If you’re checking in at Canberra Airport, you’d better act serious. Security there has just arrested three people in the last week for making jokes about having dangerous items in their luggage. In the latest incident, a Brisbane man was arrested and fined $750 after he told the Virgin check-in agent that he had "cocaine and guns" in his luggage.
Are these security guys on crack? How hard can it be to ask someone if they’re joking? Or glare at them a lot and tell them that they’d better answer the question seriously? Or even take them off into a side room and give them a big talking to? Are we really so uptight as a nation that we have to send people who are obviously joking to court?
This also points to the stupidity of asking people whether they have dangerous items in their luggage. It ain’t like the bad guys are going to feel compelled to tell the truth. This was why US authorities last year dropped the requirement for airlines to ask the "do you have dangerous stuff? did you pack your own bags?" questions. Australia should do the same. And maybe while we’re at it, we could lighten up a little.