Personal Observations

Like most people, you might be a little scared about flying through major international airports right now.  Here’s my personal observation on airport security during recent flights from Turkey to Canada and back.

Comparing security at Canadian & Turkish airports

At the Turkish Airports

I’m sitting in a Turkish airport (Dalaman, a small international airport) right now, waiting for my flight to Atatürk in Istanbul. As you can imagine, I am a bit nervous about travelling through Istanbul because of the June 28 bombings at the Ataturk airport. But, a family emergency requires me in Canada, so here I go.

I’ve already cleared three security checks:

  1. Stopped at police check point for visual inspection of vehicle, luggage and passengers as we approached the airport.
  2. X-Ray of luggage, body scan and pat-down on entry to building. Sensors seem to be set on high as nearly everyone is triggering them.
  3. X-Ray of luggage, body scan and pat down on entry to departure area.

There will be another x-ray/body scan before we board the plane.

I expect I’ll go through similar processes for each of my flights today. Security is tighter than I’ve ever seen it, making me feel that Turkish airports may be some of the safest places to be right now.

It will be interesting to see whether similar security levels are being applied in the Canadian airports I’ll be travelling through.

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At the Canadian Airports

(Update after my return to Turkey)

On this trip, I travelled through several international airports, including Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, and Toronto Pearson International Airport. By far, the security was the most stringent in the Turkish airports. Not “scary” stringent, but definitely heightened.

Outside of Turkey, the only “exceptional” security I experienced was at the airport in Ottawa, where I was taken aside for a complete inspection of my suitcase. However, this is likely because I was “importing” six cucumbers – a gift from my mother-in-law (Turkish) to my mother (Canadian) – which I declared on my Canadian customs paperwork upon arrival in Canada.

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With terrorist acts becoming more and more frequent throughout the world, people are understandably nervous about travelling, especially through major international airports.  Have you experienced heightened airport security recently?  How did it make you feel?  We’d love to hear your opinions!

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