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View Full Version : A weird thing happened at the airport today


mwerner2
05-22-2003, 11:44 PM
My tennis shoes tested positive for explosives! Now I am a 43 yo overweight woman with an 11yo DD in tow. I don't own a gun and the only thing I can think of is that I somehow got some Illuminations or Fantasmic firework residue on my shoes. (The shoes are only a week old. The first time I wore them was to WDW)

Has this happened to anyone else? (BTW, if any part of your carry-ons or shoes test positive, they will test every other item in your carry-ons, as well as pulling your checked baggage and looking thru that.)

I'm not complaining, as I think security is good, but I don't want to spend an hour in security every time I leave WDW.

madcoco
05-23-2003, 12:32 AM
Sorry to hear about your experience. Your guess is good one. Tennis shoes with certain composition rubber soles have a fairly high rate of false positives especially with the new EDS (explosive detection machines that is used for checked baggage). Some food items will give a high false positive rate as well. This can be attributed to the fact that some food items have a similar density to that of some explosives. The machine that uses a swab for trace detection(used at security screening) has a significantly lower false postive rate but it happens. Some tests have shown the machine to be overly sensitive and actually work too good by detecting just a few molecules of explosive residue from the air,ground etc that someone came in contact with.

WdwJon
05-23-2003, 07:25 AM
It is my understanding that common fertilizer will give a false positive. So if you happened to walk across a newly fertilized lawn it can set it off.

Jon

FoodLover
05-23-2003, 09:45 AM
Security at Orlando has definitely become a big pain in the past several months. At most airports, I think things have drastically improved since the TSA took over. Not at MCO!

The queues for security have gotten horrendous. Even right after 9/11, I never had to wait in line at MCO's security for more than 10 minutes. Now it's consistently at least 30 minutes if you are departing in the afternoon.

Last time I departed from Orlando (May 2) the security screeners were really adamant that everyone should remove their shoes because they "probably have metal in them." I declined, because my shoes were soft leather slip-ons with rubber soles and they definitely DON'T have metal shanks! I recently wore these same shoes through at least a dozen security screenings on a trip to Europe, and never "beeped" once in San Diego, Seattle, London, Helsinki, Stockholm or Paris.

Well, at Orlando I beeped. I was forced to remove my shoes and undergo a personal search. Nothing on my person beeped, so they claimed my shoes were the culprit. The two people traveling with me, who were also wearing flat shoes with rubber soles, also beeped and also had their shoes taken away for secondary screening, with the same claim from security that their shoes must contain metal.

I truly can't understand it, unless there's a way for the security screeners to deliberately induce a "beep" on those metal detectors. I absolutely was not wearing any metal.

They just seem to be dead-set that everyone must remove their shoes at MCO. It's something I've seen suggested to men wearing wingtips and women wearing high heels or boots at other airports -- which is logical, because such shoes often have hidden metal shanks -- but only at MCO have I seen it demanded of EVERYONE.

Meanwhile, somebody left three suitcases unattended right in the middle of the queue for the security screening. As I was moving through the line, I could see that the bags weren't moving and no one was standing over them, touching them or taking any notice of them. Finally I beckoned a security guard and pointed out the unattended bags. Well, I was treated like a nut. Hello! Those could have been bombs! Fortunately the owner finally identified himself -- he was in another part of the queue and didn't feel like carrying his bags.

Ugh. Thanks for letting me vent! :rolleyes:

Mary

mcnuss
05-23-2003, 03:00 PM
They just seem to be dead-set that everyone must remove their shoes at MCO. It's something I've seen suggested to men wearing wingtips and women wearing high heels or boots at other airports -- which is logical, because such shoes often have hidden metal shanks -- but only at MCO have I seen it demanded of EVERYONE.

At Logan they all but pry your shoes off of you. You could be wearing flip flops.

FoodLover
05-23-2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by mcnuss
At Logan they all but pry your shoes off of you. You could be wearing flip flops.

LOL!

Mary

NotUrsula
05-24-2003, 10:48 PM
Same deal in St. Louis. I got tired of it, so now I just put my shoes in my carryon and go through security barefoot.

Tinky
05-26-2003, 01:05 PM
I have been through Tulsa, Houston (Hobby), New Orleans and Dallas in the past two weeks and they were insisting on "shoes off" except for tennis shoes. I thought the TSA people were doing a great job. I'm happy to take my shoes off. Heck, I'll strip if it makes things safer.

mom_rules
05-26-2003, 02:44 PM
My DS was wearing "Boarder" tennis shoes. We got through Toronto Airport OK. Same shoes-but in Orlando on the way home one of them beeped (the other did not). Go figure.

100percentDisney
05-26-2003, 06:56 PM
When we traveled last summer and leaving MCO, I was wearing shorts, sleeveless shirt, and sandals. My DH was wearing jeans, t-shirt, and hightop tennis shoes. I went through one line as he went through another (just to save on time). I was pulled to the side and asked to take off my sandals and body scanned with the hand wand. However, my husband walked right through no questions asked and had to wait on me.

This past Christmas, we traveled as a surprise present to me from DH & DS. When leaving MCO this time, my DH & I went through with no questions. However my DS (age 17) was last of us three of going through and was asked to step to the side for the shoe/body scan. Of course, I turned back around to wait and assist him. The guard then realized his under age, so they had to ask our permission to do so and had to get a supervisor involved since he had started the search prior to asking our permission. Needless to say, the time to get through seemed to take forever.

I am glad for security. I just wish I could get myself to adjust to the time it takes. I hate sitting around waiting to board the plane (it causes my DH to get more worked up on how much he hates to fly) and therefore I seem never to allow enough time to get through security. But I haven't missed a plane yet!