76-Second Travel Show: The Great Airport Shoe-Removal Debate

Video  •  Robert Reid  •  11.18.10 | 11:50 AM ET

Forget the scanners. Robert Reid wonders: Is airport shoe removal "the single greatest energy-wasting resource-sapping project of all time"?

Robert Reid, the U.S. Travel Editor for Lonely Planet, lives in Brooklyn. He was the subject of a World Hum interview.

Video by Robert Reid

1 Comment for 76-Second Travel Show: The Great Airport Shoe-Removal Debate

Suzanne R 12.27.10 | 7:01 PM ET

Having just returned from a trip that involved flights out of 4 European airports, I can vouch that the US shoe-removal policy is the subject of ridicule, incredulity and laughter.  Only one airport I flew out of examined shoes separately from the body scanner.  At Amsterdam’s Schipol, you step out of the body scanner onto footprints that scan your shoes - while they’re on your feet.  No tie-up in security while people remove and replace their shoes.

Another idiocy - I use carry-on luggage exclusively.  I had no problem clearing security with unopened tins & jars of chocolate, all weighing over 3.8 grams, at Schipol, or at the airports in Rome, Naples and Palermo.  Likewise, upon my return, with additional tins of olive oil and glass jars of sauce, in Palermo or Rome. 


P.S.  I have no problems with body searches.  I have an implanted heart device & am hand-searched everywhere.

I flew from Rome to LAX, with a stop at JFK, on Delta.  Security confiscated everything when I tried to board my connecting flight from JFK to LAX. 

In other words, you can fly into the U.S. with unexamined shoes and containers larger that 3.8 grams, but you can’t fly out of the country with them.

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