OMG! Such a LONG flight back to New Zealand. I’ve done it before many times but I always have to psych myself up for a long haul flight. I find things very boring. I watch a movie or two, then my eyes get tired. I try to sleep but can’t. So I end up BORED. This time though I did knock myself out with a sleeping pill for the Bangkok to Sydney leg. That worked pretty well.

But I want to tell you about the hissy fit I had. I flew Rome-Dubai-Bangkok-Sydney-Christchurch – all in one hit. Dumb ass I know. Going over to Rome, I broke the journey by staying in Sydney for a few days. Smart move. Then I took a Sydney-Dubai direct flight –  dead easy – then a quick Dubai to Rome flight. For the return journey to NZ, the Dubai-Sydney direct flight wasn’t available, so I was stuck with the Dubai-Bangkok-Sydney leg.

So what you ask? Well, you get tossed off the plane in Bangkok because they clean it and refuel. And the problem is you have to put up with massive security that, if you ask me, is beyond ridiculous. Here’s what happened.

We arrived at gate E6 and were told to be on the upper level (same gate) within 30 minutes of departure. So that equalled a stopover of around 1.5 hours. I could go to the Business Class lounge but frankly couldn’t be arsed as I knew the torture I was about to go through. So I hotfoot it down the arrival hall until I reached the yellow Transit gates sign and into security I go. Out comes the laptop yet again plus the handbag – all go through x-ray – as they had anyway getting on the plane in Dubai.

On the flight from Dubai, I see it as very unlikely that a passenger would have obtained any dangerous or suspicious substances, so I really don’t see why we have to go through the whole security thing again. Anyway, I could put up with this IF it was just one security check but noooooooooooo…at gate E6 (upper level) you are met with heavy handed security. All of our bags had to be checked AGAIN despite having just gone through x-ray.

There were three desks with Thai security people rummaging through everyone’s carry-on luggage and handbags. All of this had just been checked less than 5 minutes before on the lower level. Between there and the upper level was an escalator and a series of departure gates. Hardly an opportunity to lay your hands on explosives or dangerous substances.

I had just bought El Hubs a small duty free item that was 50 ml but I was grilled about this at the security desk just outside E6. They wanted to know what the item was (it was a Biotherm moisturiser). I find this very odd indeed considering the plastic sealed bag had King Power written all over it and King Power is Thailand’s mega duty free store. The security people could see it was sealed and came from their own airport duty free. King Power were very quick to tell me that only 100ml or less is allowed onboard – just like any other regular traveller on this planet, I know this fact. So I don’t get why the security dudes were so obsessed with my duty free! I decided it was the appropriate moment to have a hissy fit. So I did.

I asked them why we had to go through this security circus yet again when we had all literally just been through it less than 5 minutes before downstairs. I was told the Australian Government requires it blah blah. I asked for verification of this; what could they show me in the way of legislation? Regulations? Australian Government fact sheet? They couldn’t produce anything and then decided they were going to rummage through my handbag (the very same one that had been through x-ray minutes before).

I decided to see if I could bluff my way through and declared that international privacy law and the privacy laws of New Zealand would preclude them from doing this. Yeah, I know – good try. Especially considering airport security people (specifically, the TSA) are the new dictators of our society, telling us what we can and can’t do.

But the Thai security dude wavered for one instant and that was my window of opportunity as they say. I declared that the whole security thing was overkill, a circus – and a few people behind me agreed. There were mutterings of anger, frustration, impatience. The dude then said okay, go to the gate.

This was the next laughable moment because the gate was literally a few steps to my right. I was met with a dolly bird who wanted to check my passport and boarding pass – these documents had just been checked by the security dudes moments before. I had yet another hissy fit and sarcastically said – I don’t know why you’re checking this yet again. This is the Sydney-Christchurch gate; not the one to Iceland.

She smiled and lets me through. Down the ramp I go to…you guessed it. MORE security. I had to show my passport and boarding pass again. The dolly bird at the gate is within view of the security people down the ramp – so I don’t know what sinister things they think passengers could get up to as they amble down the ramp.

9/11 has of course altered everything. I get it. Gone are the days when you could meet passengers on the tarmac, at the bottom of the disembarkation steps. Or take onboard a 150 ml bottle of moisturiser to save your skin from becoming lizard-like during a 20+hour flight. Unfortunately, we now have to endure this sort of circus and it can make travel somewhat unpleasant I must say.

Bound for Dubai from Rome.

My Business Class seat – Rome to Dubai.

Winging it from Dubai to Bangkok – and into the arms of security dudes!

After having my hissy fit, at least I could relax and enjoy my first sighting of the South Island of New Zealand after two months in Rome.

Flying over the Southern Alps – South Island, New Zealand.

Approaching Christchurch – the beautiful patchwork landscape of the South Island.

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