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  • The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

    Well, a number of you have been curious about this for a few days... having heard scuttlebutt and chatter through the grapevine regarding some serious fail of baggage handling, airline security, and border control policy.

    What actually took place is far too long to post here in a thread, and i've included too many images in the story for the forums to easily support that... so i invite anyone who is curious to visit the page i've put up on my web site chronicling the whole affair.


    Please feel free to discuss everything here, as i can't wait to hear people's opinions and thoughts on what took place.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

    Apparently our work web proxy is not a fan of deviating.net... ;-)

    Edit: (anonymouse.org FTW) I had heard a good deal of this story but the whole thing just stinks. One would hope that elevating the issue to some level would make an impact, but I'm certainly pessimistic on that front.
    Last edited by theprez98; February 25, 2010, 05:10.
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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    • #3
      Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

      I'm sorry you guys had to put up with such idiocy. The way they treated all of you was bad enough, but the numerous instances of various personnel not following proper procedure just baffles me. It is even more disappointing that all your attempts to contact the FAA, TSA, etc. ended with reps who basically gave you no help.

      "The entire baggage screening process should be revised, in my opinion. All passengers should remain with their luggage after check-in and should be present for the screening, much like what often takes place nowadays when one travels with a firearm...Only in the rare instance of an alarm would the passenger unlock the bag, step back behind a rope or other barrier that allows clear viewing, then re-lock the case after the completion of a hand-scan."

      I totally agree. In fact, I wonder why this is not already the standard procedure.

      By the way, thanks for pointing out the Abloy Protec lock - I had seen a few on military stuff before but had no clue what kind they were. A bit expensive, but I think it would be worth it to get one of those. I may borrow your idea of using a ginormous ammo can and one of those locks for future moves so the moving people have no chance of stealing electronics.

      I really hope you guys can get into contact with someone in an authoritative position who will listen to your story and that he/she will actually do something about it.
      "Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users? " - Clifford Stoll

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      • #4
        Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

        That's some crazy poo! Great write-up; very descriptive. Pretty sad how some of that went down. I don't profess to know what needs to be done with airline security, I just know something needs to be done. How can something be so frustrating and ineffective at the same time!? It would be almost palpable if it was a PITA and actually made us more secure. I could live with long lines, long waits, and edgy TSA-like personnel if it all actually made us safer. But that doesn't happen either.

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        • #5
          Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

          Other larger issues and confusion was raised by this experience.

          First, the conflicting directions at CPH. There was also an announcement proceeding our being paged by name that indicated that the gate was closed and to goto the transfer center to re-book. We did as we were asked and got screwed.

          The lady at the gates outright lie that our bags were already removed or that they were quick to remove seemed to indicate a desire to make sure the plane was not delayed any further (Europe's most punctual airline) rather than considering things like bad press or the additional cost of rebooking, housing and feeding us for a night. I'm willing to bet that it cost them way more for what happened than it would to crack the seal and let us on. Seems meeting their slogans is more important than actual customer service.

          Through out the whole ordeal it was very clear that there was a very clear lack of knowledge of what to do when normal policies and procedures fail. One would think that misplaced luggage would be an inevitable occurrence (even flying without the passenger) given the huge amount of flights and bags per year. In this case it exposed a very large gap in process that as we all know can be the first step to exploiting the system for fun, profit or damage.

          It was painfully obvious when we arrived in EWR that this was not the first time EWR had dealt with a security screwup such as this. SAS was desperate to keep customs from putting the pieces together that this was becoming a habit. This just added to the motivation to write it up.

          What Dev did'nt highlight nearly as much as he should have was that at EWR when they brought our bags up in the van, the guy unloaded some of them when we met him at the curb. He then said that he had to take them to the SAS counter first rather than just handing them to us (thats fine) but then grabbed 2, walked into the terminal and left the truck open with 2 pieces sitting there and 2 bags on the curb side with no one watching them but us, who he already had not established as the legit owners. Considering how often they announce that unattended baggage would be detonated, makes me wonder how long counts as unattended.

          In all, not the most horrific experience overall, but one helluva security screwup sideshow for us that left us shaking our heads so very often. At least my pants did'nt start smoking this time....
          Never drink anything larger than your head!





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          • #6
            Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

            Originally posted by renderman View Post
            ... At least my pants did'nt start smoking this time....
            For which your wife is eternally grateful. Or not.
            Thorn
            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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            • #7
              Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

              I get two things:
              1) Airline security is theater. I think we all knew that though. The real problem is that the HCIC (one person) was able to bypass the rules for passengers==baggage, with no consequences to her probably.
              2) I could have had that hasp cut in 10 seconds with an angle grinder, but apparently customs don't have those :)
              --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

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              • #8
                Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                Call Fox news and tell them you smuggled in a dirty bomb. When the media frenzy starts up the the press gets fed the scapegoats hilarity shall ensue and heads shall roll. Then when they come to arrest you for your smuggling crime show them a blow-up sex doll and say "no.. I said I smuggled a DIRTY BLOND in my luggage.."

                -Gadsden
                Happiness is a belt-fed weapon.

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                • #9
                  Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                  This now puts UPS/FEDEX higher up on my list when traveling abroad. I'm just happy I don't have to carry as much stuff as you do.

                  The sad truth is that you will never get an answer as no one is going to own up to fscking up this badly. Getting the word out will be the best thing. Likewise everyone (FAA, TSA, Quasi gov't agencies, airlines) involved is in the clear because no one knows. They'll just keep passing the buck and you'll never get a real name as I've found in the past that they use pseudonyms just as often as we do.

                  But it is quite funny to see that case with all the pry marks. Boy I would've loved to seen that go down. I'm assuming that it spent some time in a maintenance shop and there was quite a bit of swearing and bruised knuckles. :)

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                  • #10
                    Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                    Originally posted by beakmyn View Post

                    But it is quite funny to see that case with all the pry marks. Boy I would've loved to seen that go down. I'm assuming that it spent some time in a maintenance shop and there was quite a bit of swearing and bruised knuckles. :)
                    One can only hope. But I bet if it were in the maintenance shop, they would have gotten into it. An angle grinder on the hinges and you're in. That has all the signs of them grabbing whatever they had available and then giving up after a couple of broken screwdriver heads and pinched fingers as they tried to peer inside the pried lid.
                    A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                      Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
                      An angle grinder on the hinges and you're in.
                      not after this most recent trip. i'll post photos when i'm finished with the newest modifications. at this point, i'm just making the most indestructible luggage i can think of (on the cheap) in an attempt to cause no end of infuriation to anyone who might ever try to cut into it.

                      they'll literally have to torch or otherwise completely fucking destroy the luggage and some of its contents if they want to get in once i'm done.
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                        not after this most recent trip. i'll post photos when i'm finished with the newest modifications. at this point, i'm just making the most indestructible luggage i can think of (on the cheap) in an attempt to cause no end of infuriation to anyone who might ever try to cut into it.

                        they'll literally have to torch or otherwise completely fucking destroy the luggage and some of its contents if they want to get in once i'm done.
                        Careful that you don't design something that they'll nuke from orbit, just to be sure.
                        A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                          Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                          not after this most recent trip. i'll post photos when i'm finished with the newest modifications. at this point, i'm just making the most indestructible luggage i can think of (on the cheap) in an attempt to cause no end of infuriation to anyone who might ever try to cut into it.

                          they'll literally have to torch or otherwise completely fucking destroy the luggage and some of its contents if they want to get in once i'm done.
                          From what I've seen of your cases, the hinges are the only real point of unauthorized access. Other than that, perhaps a few spot welds and a steel plate to prevent the lid from being pried easily. But yes, try not to make something they will nuke from orbit. That might just get you paged to a back room every time you travel.
                          "You have cubed asscheeks?"... "Do you not?"

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                          • #14
                            Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                            I wonder if you can get a similar size case with a "rolled lip" where the lip overhangs the top edge just enough to basically make it impossible to introduce a prying tool.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The SAS Airlines luggage disaster story

                              I just got up, it's Saturday and I like to sleep late on Saturday, that said I suggest developing a suit case cam. Use laptop batteries, with a battery arrangement that doesn't look like dynamite, or C4, powering a DVR, and a small camera with a bubble lens attached to the lid of the case. You might not capture everything that happens, but you could capture enough to make a case.

                              Applying Occam's razor to the problem, I'm just wondering if some of Dev's cases aren't packed to the gills. With Dev being the leet traveler that he is, I'm sure he has gotten very good at getting the most he can out of his suit case. The inspection staff may simply have a quota of time, to spend per suit case, mandated by the union, the airline, and their government masters. Once they rifle through it, they may simply not be able to fit everything back in the way it was, in the time allowed. So what appears like theft, is simply poor planning, and execution of the inspection protocol.

                              xor

                              I would be willing to make a small equipment donation toward the luggage cam just to see.
                              Last edited by xor; February 27, 2010, 14:34.
                              Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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