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Terminal Velocity

2013 March 27
by Grenville

I wish I had a photo…

Ever watched a film where the hero – in particular someone official or law enforcement – is running through a packed airport terminal to catch ‘someone’ about to board a plane…?

You know – matter of life or death – sprinting through customs, vaulting security barriers, charging through body scanners. That sort of thing.

And you sit there, couch bound, watching it on the big screen. Your own Terminal reality is a lot more down to earth… queues, the checks, the number of times you say – “Shoes? Belt? Laptop?”

Wouldn’t you just love to just blow caution to the wind and do it just like they do in the movies – just once…


I did….!

There we were on this job in Dubai and we had just seen this big, all powerful, delegation off on a tour of the newest terminal. All in golf buggies. Bye!

Two minutes later, as we are boarding the coach with the rest of the security team, we get this call on the walkie talkie – one of the delegates has left his sim-tran receiver! He needs it – now! No one has a buggy. Security not sure where we can get one or how long its going to take. How are going to sort this? – what shall we do? No time to think…

So I grabbed one of the airport security team passes (all in Arabic – do I care?…) and legged it.

It’s the most brilliant sensation – bowling along – flat out – on a great long travelator – it’s as though your feet grow wings.

Hold up the pass nice and high and run as fast as you can through the passport check points. Pass the queues at the scanners – through the arch. Did it go beep? you bet! Customs – whizzzzz…

Just caught them up as they were boarding the shuttle to the satellite terminal…

And then trotted back the way I came – waving, thanking all those that just waived me through.

Of course it was a completely different matter when, three days later, I arrived at the same place with all the bags and paperwork.

“Shoes off?..”

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