21 January 2010

Security: Live It! Be It!

So yesterday Jan 20th I happened to be at Munich Airport on my way to Berlin.

I had a ticket on LH and then stepped out of the check in process only to walk right into the mess. If you want to understand what happened go here.

So let's deal with two aspects of what happened in Munich yesterday.

1. Is how to provide customer information
2. The response to bad behavior.

In the first area - Munich Airport and Lufthansa lead tenant for Terminal 2 did a lousy job of communicating the issue. They clearly had no clue what to do - down to the inability to use the PA system to deliver pertinent (and useful) information to the people in the halls. Instead individual employees dribbled information to the assembled crowds (at one point probably around two thousand people) verbally using normal speaking voices.

In the second area they acted correctly. Shutting down the whole terminal and clearing it out was the right action. It doesn't matter whose fault it was or how the person managed to breech the security cordon - the fact is that this person did and the correct response was to shut down the terminal no matter what the cost.

However what this shows is that there is not enough empowerment at the security gates for security guards to actually handle security. This same charge can be leveled against Newark Airport in the incident over New Year. That says to me that after all this time - some authorities still have a poor impression of what their role is in security.

Finally the spin machine was completely out of line...

In an official statement - it just shows either the police were out to lunch or trying too much to put spin on it. Either way this is not acceptable and here is the quote:

The impression of officials was that "the passenger likely was in a bit of a hurry, grabbed his luggage and headed off," federal police spokesman Albert Poerschke said.

I rest my case.

I will say again. We ALL have a role in security. We all have to be constantly vigilant. Security is not something that other people do.


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