How to travel safely by air

During the late 1980s, I was working for Schlumberger in Cambridge, and they gave us training in how to behave in a world where terrorism was a risk. I thought I’d pass on the elements that I remember. This was the era of hi-jacking, when we had to worry both about bombs and about being taken hostage when travelling by air.So here are some of the points I remember:

  1. Be on the lookout for luggage without an owner. If you see a bag that looks abandoned, move well away from it and report it.
  2. Avoid areas with large sheets of plate glass. If a bomb goes off, you’re at greater risk if you’re close to glass flying around.
  3. Avoid crowds – if there’s a suicide bomber, they might well look for a crowd in order to maximize the damage they do. This is pretty difficult with the sorts of check-in lines we see at Heathrow at present!
  4. Don’t carry anything with you that will call the attention of a terrorist to you – anything anti-Islamic obviously, and also we were told that anything that might be classified as pornographic will be an added risk.

I’m sure there was more. But certainly there are many interesting commentators about airline security – here’s one.

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