Lonely Planet Writer

Is it time for change at airport security?

In the UK, there's a growing clamour for change. As anyone who has flown recently will know, getting from check-in through to the departure gate can be a lengthy process.

British Airways chairman, Martin Broughton spoke out earlier this week saying that some of the current security checks are 'completely redundant' and should go.

He described airport security as a 'layered' approach, whereby 'every time there is a new security scare, an extra layer is added on to procedures' and that there are 'European requirements, there's UK requirements and...US requirements laid on top of that'.

Airports are backing Mr Broughton's call for change.

Inside Heathrow airport

Initial checks are carried out after you've checked in and before you pass through to the departure lounge. These involve a number of processes including asking all passengers to place liquids under 100ml into a see-through carrier. Liquid containers that are over 100ml must be disposed of. Additional checks are sometimes carried out at the departure gate, notably on UK to US routes.

Then there's the question about electrical equipment, do I or don't I remove it from my hand luggage? For that matter, do I or don't I remove my shoes? Coat? Scarf? Our experience tells us that the answer isn't exactly clear, with individual airports acting in different ways, at different times.

We've even come across extra checks at the departure gate where security staff ask around 50% of passengers to remove shoes again and to take a sip from their departure-lounge bought drink.

No wonder we're all getting so confused.

But should we be getting annoyed at the security process if it is just that - a process of security. If it's keeping us safer when we fly then surely that's a good thing?

Or is the blanket security check out-dated and in need of change? Could we look at having more intelligent checks instead of the mass checks that seem to be putting all passengers out?

We asked our Twitter followers the same questions and unsurprisingly found that a lot of people had strong opinions on the issue. Here's just a selection of the replies we received:

@Blathermeister: it's majorly over the top - targeting certain people making people take rubber sandals off it's a joke now & no1 is laughing

@rogercasas: airport security: since 2001 The single most stupid, clumsy and un-dignifying situation

@prolificliving: Used 2 drive me crazy I travel lots, now just happy 2 travel.

@L_Tyler: The security is there for a reason, it should be left how it is... As they say, if it isn't broken - don't try and fix it!

@wayneroxify Need to utilise new technology more: body scanners. Europe is more polite though, America is like bootcamp!

What do you think?

Should we leave airport security teams to do what they consider best? Or is it time to update old systems?

Let us know in the comment section below.