The Dutch don’t mess around

Seb and I took the redeye from Accra to Amsterdam on our way to Berlin. The Dutch airport security is airtight. The woman barking orders to you looks like an angry lunchlady and when she insists you take your belt off it is wise to comply because the next leg of your trip through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport security is a 360 degree magnetic scanning machine that you have to stand inside with your hands in the air…like you are being arrested. The machine reminds me of the Arnold movie, Total Recall. Finally, you are frisked by a security officer while your luggage is being scanned.

But the abuse is not over yet. While waiting 2 hours for our connecting flight, we heard the Schiphol PA system call several people out for holding up the plane, stating specifically, “passenger soandso, you are delaying the departure of KLM flight whatwhatwhat, immediate boarding is required. We will proceed offloading your luggage.” Not only are they announcing to the entire airport that you are the one responsible for holding up the departure of a flight, but they are also threatening you with removal of your luggage. I guess adding humiliation and threats to an already botched trip is a nice way for the Dutch to say thank your for flying through their airport.

In general, I commend the Dutch for their tight-ass security and no-nonsense check-in protocol, but I have to admit I am confused, I thought Germany was the model of efficiency and hardass-ery. I guess I will have to explore the German landscape more thoroughly. Next up, Berlin.


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