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Outrage grows as British Airways bans passengers with beards

airplane-1980-cockpitBy Simon Davies

British Airways this week announced sweeping new security measures that will permit the airline to turn away passengers who are carrying a mobile phone that isn’t fully charged.

In the past any suspect device could be confiscated. Under the new rules the passenger’s seat is confiscated.

Media organisations have been struggling to make sense of the new measures, but after thoroughly researching the airline’s press release they are now assuring readers that the draconian rules are in response to terrorist groups that are working on an undetectable bomb. Or something like that.

Beards will no longer be trusted

Beards will no longer be trusted

Of course if terrorists were to be carrying an undetectable smartphone bomb, there is an argument that a fully charged device may have more capability than one that has no power whatever. This complex logic may have slipped under the radar of even the smartest airline security advisors – or indeed even some children in remedial education.

No-one quite knows where the information about terrorists and undetectable bombs came from, but it’s a fair bet it originated from the NSA’s chief partner, GCHQ, which suddenly needs to make at least a token effort to show that it’s worth the undisclosed billions of pounds spent on it each year.

Who knows. Airline security people never disclose their rationale, in part because they’re pissed off that they never made the grade into police academy and in part because they watch a lot of terror films that feature exploding smartphones.

In any event, passengers are now stuck with the deal. BA even has a flashy slogan to promote the new regime: “Protecting our infrastructure is our highest priority”, which makes everyone feel good.

But even these harsh measures don’t go far enough. BA must think out of the box, so here’s a list of other rules that will be adopted for future flights.

The exploding beard. It’s been under our nose all this time and we never spotted it. Ninety percent of male terrorists and thirty percent of female terrorists have beards. And a hundred percent of potential terrorists with false beards are real terrorists. So in future anyone with facial growth of more than two centimeters will be taken aside for a beard-pulling exercise. Anyone not making a convincing “Owwwww” with accompanying watery eyes will be banned from flying.

The bombshell bra. All bras will be banned. One hundred percent of heterosexual male security chiefs support this measure, citing a little-known Al Qaeda training manual that said something about the importance of hiding tits. Or was it in the Holy Qu’ran? Who cares.

We will not tolerate this threat on our planes

We will not tolerate this threat on our planes

Toxic water. All carry-on fluids will be banned. Anyone wanting a drink can pay for it on the flight at whatever price we deem reasonable. This measure has been taken following a BA risk assessment showing a one in three million chance that a terrorist will hide ricin in an oversized bra, add it to a water container and distribute the fluid among other passengers.

Suspect names. It has been established beyond doubt that certain names are attached to terrorists. These include Abdullah, Abu, Mohammed, Ramadan, Joanne and Daniel. It would be unfair to ban all passengers with such names, so BA has decided to ban only the actual names from flying. As you can’t fly without a name, one side effect is that the body associated with the name won’t be able to fly either. Oh well.

Deadly hearing aids. Hearing aid technology has escaped security scrutiny over the past two decades, so we must assume it involves unknown threats. Until more is known about the capability of these devices it is in everyone’s interest that they be prohibited. We hope this message is understood loud and clear.

The detonating lunchbox. Any male with a large genital package in his pants will be barred from flying. This isn’t so much because of any security risk, but more because airline security people have been shown through academic studies to have an average seventeen percent shorter penis size than the rest of us.