Monday, March 16
Customs took my cheesecakes!
Last time I came throught customs at Gatwick airport, on my way back to Naples I was stopped and my hand luggage was thoroughly searched. It was a strange selection of items that the customs officer pulled from my bag. Lets see: a couple of magazines and a paperback novel, a laptop and a phone, a chicken and leek pie fresh from the farm, a couple of GU chocolate and vanilla individual cheesecakes and a pot of Cornish clotted cream.
He lay out these items and slowly shook his head. I gulped.
"You're not going to take away my chicken pie are you? Its for dinner..." I asked him pleadingly. His hand hovered and came to a rest over the box with the 2 cheesecakes inside.
" Not the pie, no, but these? I don't think they are allowed."
" But they're for pudding! I need them..."
He went off to check with his supervisor, but no, small chocolate and vanilla cheesecakes are not allowed to be carried in hand-baggage, although the clotted cream and the pie were fine.
In a panic, I asked if I could eat the cheesecakes there and then, but, no, that was not allowed either. They were binned in front of my eyes and I left sadly, wondering whether I actually could hijack a plane with a cheesecake.
It cheered me up no end when I read this letter in the weekly Telegraph:
As an airline captain I am also searched, along with my crew, prior to bording our aircraft.
On one occasion my nail clippers were confiscated - I assume security consideredthat I might hijack myself with them. Prior to departure, the handling agent presented our pre-flight paperwork, together with a set of chefs knives removed from a passenger. They were given to me for safe-keeping during the flight.
I stored them next to the flight-deck crash axe.
at 10:58 AM