UK entry stamp from Gatwick Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the UK’s Independent newspaper, security concerns have been raised at Sharm el-Sheikh airport after a British holidaymaker claims he was “offered the chance to pay £20 to skip queues and baggage checks”. The article reports that Dale Parkyn, who visited the Egyptian resort with his wife earlier this year, told Sky News they were approached by a man in military uniform and asked if they wanted to avoid the long queues.
Source: Russian plane crash: Sharm el-Sheikh airport security concerns raised after tourists ‘pay £20 to skip bag checks’ | Africa | News | The Independent
This story castes a serious cloud over the security regime at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.
Having flown through hundreds of airports, I understand the challenge. There are a number of dilemmas, latest technology versus manual inspection. Similarly, there’s a question over airport employed staff versus contractors.
Let’s face it though, the UK is far from state-of-the-art on airport technology and in my view relies far to heavily on contract employees. In the UK, these contract employees can often be quite rude and intimidating – if a passenger objects, the chances are that they’ll miss their flight. Many countries like India and China by comparison run world-class airports, with latest technology and well-trained and disciplined security staff.
As the UK media give Sharm el-Sheikh airport a tough time, I think it’s worth remembering that UK airports have a few problems too.