Random Chemical Test........Positive | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Random Chemical Test........Positive

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Manihiki

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Nov 17, 2006
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I'm sure many have had the random chemical test at the end of the security check. I've had heaps / all negative until the other day.
My carry bag tested positive. Second test also tested positive. My checked in suitcase was removed from the plane & also tested positive.
Now to cut a long story short.
Probably some chemicals I had been working with during the week contained a substance that is also used in the making of explosives. A comprehensive search of my gear revealed nothing & I went back through security & boarded the plane which was delayed about 10 mins. Because of me or not, I'm not sure, but glad it was.
During the testing I asked what would happen if the plane left without me & was told that I would be taken to talk to the airline people.
This was at a remote airport with one flight per day & costly taxi & accommodation costs if the flight had left me.
Does anybody know who would have been responsible for my costs if the flight had left me.
I had the feeling it would have been me even though I had done nothing wrong.
No complaints about the tests though, good to see it works....sort of.
 
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Mal

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Interesting situation.

I've been flagged as positive on the first check, but not a second.

I was asked weird questions about whether I'd been on a golf course recently etc (Fertilizer I assume).

I don't think your airline owes you anything if detained due to a false positive on the explosives test. That is outside of their control.

However, I think the decent airlines in Australia would err to the side of a miss-connection or similar and rebook you the next morning without charge.

Taxi and Accomodation would probably be your baby to nurse I suspect.

Some airlines may cover it, but I'm not really sure. The security "droids" are paid for by the airlines (IIRC), however, on the flipside you did really have a precursor type chemical for making explosives flagged.

As I said earlier - Interesting situation. Hope I never have to deal with it!
 

serfty

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Mal said:
... I've been flagged as positive on the first check, but not a second. ...
Me too, once in MEL out of (40+ times) all I had been to was my CBD office and the SkyBus!
 
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Evan

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I have been pulled up a couple of times now, but i did at the time work on a site that had nitrates and explosives :)

Both times it was on my shoes, after some extra checking and scanning and a few questions and they were satisfied my shoes were not going to explode they let me through, only took 10-15 mins.

If you get delayed like this the airline would usually help you you out by re-booking i would imagine but at the end of the day thats what travel insurance is for.

Evan
 

Soundguy

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Jun 15, 2006
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I haven't been tested that many times but have never had a positive test yet, which is good because sometimes I handle explosives at work. I questioned one of the security guys doing the screening one time and he seemed a bit vague about what happens when they get a positive test; rather like he had no idea what would happen beyond the fact that your bags would be removed from the flight. He advise that it was probably a good idea to carry some documentation which shows you are authorised to handle explosives, so I now carry this in my wallet in case.

There are some fundamental and somewhat obvious (to me) flaws in the testing method used for explosives in Australian airports which concerns me. Lets just say I am thankful that most terrorists are not likely to be too bright.
 

bigjobs

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i am keen to know which 'remote airport with one flight per day' in australia is conducting this type of screening.

my experience is that remotre and even not so remote airports in australia do not do any of this type of screening.
 

Evan

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I think they meant 1 flight per day to there destination of choice, like you i could hardly imagine a single flight a day with explosives screening, unless maybe it was some areport used by mining companys or near military base ?

Plenty of airports where you can catch a plane (jet, not just a prop) without being scanned at all, as far as i am aware there is not x-ray for bags and no metal detectors at one airport i am thinking of, but once you get to Sydney you get re-scanned before getting near a connecting flight.

Evan
 

Manihiki

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It was the Whitsundays Airport which has only one flight per day to my destination per carrier.
 

NM

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bigjobs said:
ah I see now... said the blind man to the deaf camel.
I see, I see, I see ... said the blind carpenter as he picked up his hammer and saw :p
 
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