Groped again—in Munich

I got to the Paris airport so early (5:15 a.m.) that I was able to get a much earlier flight to Munich than I’d reserved, which was good since my waiting time in Germany was only scheduled to be an hour, and the Munich airport is big and the walks are long (plus one has to go through passport control again if you’re flying to the U.S).

Security was tighter than I remembered: I had to show my boarding pass and passport three times (and this was after I’d already done it in Paris), and then pass through luggage and body screening as well. I see the Germans have purchased the See-You-Naked-Machine (or as they’d call it: “Wir-Sehen-Dich-Nakt Maschine”, and this one singled out yellow areas on my wrists, ankles and upper body over the shirt pocket.

Because of these danger zones, I once again experienced a full body grope: fore and aft, including the obligatory palpation of the buttocks and inner thighs. Then I had to sit down while they groped my ankles too.

It wasn’t the TSA, but they were even sterner: “Take any papers out of your pockets!”, the man barked at me.  Papers??? What for?

Did I mention I had to remove my shoes, which have NO metal in them, and is just security theater after the shoe bomber tried his stunt seventeen years ago. Most European airports have long ago dispensed with shoe removal except for shoes with metal.

At least I got through with only minor sexual predation, and in two hours will be on my way to America.


  1. Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    TSA has been pressing overseas airports to use enhanced security measures for flights to the US in recent months. I’ve recently been groped in Barcelona and Copenhagen.

    I try to remember the line from Marcus Aurelius, which goes roughly: “Nobody can harm you [emotionally] without your permission.” It is all a matter of how you choose to be affected by it.

    You can see a little bit more about it (the security) at


    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Four to two years ago, I used to fly from Bulgaria to Italy and back, and I always had to take off my shoes. So it is not only TSA and not only the Germans.

  2. Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Did they catch you trying to board with more than 2 ounces of shampoo? I hope they caught that deadly threat.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    “Groped again—in Munich”

    Isn’t that a lyric from Cracker’s great tune “Eurotrash Girl”?

    Well, it oughta be.

  4. Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    it’s 247 0nline these days, and children can access what they like, a changing world..

  5. Erwin
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Terminal 2 at MUC, which is owned by Lufthansa, did not have additional security scans if you arrived clean on a star alliance flight. The other airports sued them to implement these scans because otherwise MUC would have a competetive advantage over them.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    “Take any papers out of your pockets!”, the man barked at me.

    A new take on the old Nazi trope “Your papers, please”?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Yeah Ken, but don’t forget – he was just a Quisling for the TSA.


  7. Jonathan Morgan
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Queue “Security Joan”
    (Donald Fagen—from Morph the Cat)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Can never get enough of those mu-major chords.

  8. Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I just love the “related” that is produced for this …

  9. Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Welcome home!

  10. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I dunno, I’ve been through a lot of airports, but was only frisked once, very superficially at that, no groping of the buttocks or inner thighs.
    Is it something about profiling or so? Why would they so often grope you? Was I just lucky?
    The worst I got was that I had to get rid of 3 porcupine quills in my hat.
    The turks were upset about my pipe cleaners (I still smoked pipe then), but I got them through by demonstrating their flexibility.
    Jerry, I commiserate with you about them always picking on you. I can’t think of a reason.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted November 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Its these mysteriously bright signals that they see on him from their damn machines. it raises a flag. Could be dye from a wallet and leather wristwatch band? I dunno.

  11. Posted November 13, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Close your eyes and think of England.

    • David Coxill
      Posted November 13, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you think being groped is enough to deal with.

      Speaking of England ,was it someone on here who mentioned the novel “England ,England ” by Julian Barnes a while back?
      Just finished reading it ,the last chapter reads like a britexitters wet dream .

  12. Wayne Robinson
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I had a ‘minor groping’ at Munich Airport this year in June (I was flying to Doha on my way home to Perth). Apparently I set off one of the screening devices for no reason.

    I don’t worry about being groped. It’s not as if I’m ever going to see the security agent ever again.

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I suspect it was because you were flying to the USA. Fly somewhere else and you won’t get groped.

    This is one of the things that most tweaks my anti-American streak – they (the US) not only inflict their insanity on each other, they try their damndest to export it to the rest of the world, as if this was some confirmation of the validity of their delusions. And frequently (as with the War on Some Drugs) its evil consequences persist in those countries long after the US itself is starting to return towards (relative) sanity.



    • Zaphod
      Posted November 14, 2018 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      Tell me about it! I was quite heavily into online sports gambling a while back and after 9/11 I had to close some of my associated bank accounts because the US was pressuring banks into applying US regulations to foreign customers. We in South Africa were very limited for a while in what could be done with a Paypal account, a circumstance foisted on us by the US in order to make things easier for their law enforcement efforts, at least according to rumour.

    • TJR
      Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      See also Identity Politics.

  14. BJ
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    You know, it never occurred to me before, but, while we think about how much it sucks to get groped at the airport, imagine how much it must suck to have your job be groping people all day! And many of those people probably get really nasty with you and say hurtful things. It must be a terrible job.

    • Zaphod
      Posted November 14, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

      You aren’t very familiar with airport security then. Sections of the DSM-5 are heavily involved in their recruitment process. The court system is a good source of staff. The convicted are given a choice between prison time or passenger molestation duty.

      • BJ
        Posted November 14, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        It sounds like you’re saying you think everyone who gets that job enjoys groping people, or perhaps even wants to molest them. What, are they exclusively recruiting people convicted of sexual assault? This is silly.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Yeah but…

      I actually had the same thought about those pests who cold-call you on the phone trying to sell some service you don’t need. Time was, when I would have taken the opportunity to scream at them. But cold-calling people must be the most soul-destroying shit of a job ever, so I content myself with a rather abrupt “Not interested”.

      But there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that *some* of the TSA are authoritarian thugs and many of their administrators are self-important apparatchiks with an inflated sense of their own importance. The nature of the job encourages it.

      Same with traffic cops (I do have personal experience of those) – most have been decent guys, a very few have been little Nazis.


      • BJ
        Posted November 14, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Oh, sure, every job that has the possibility of allowing that kind of control over others will attract some such people, but there are thousands of these employees around the country. I imagine most of them do not enjoy their jobs. They certainly never look like they do, and I can understand why, especially when it comes to being consistently abused by passengers (or just being treated poorly, but not given explicit verbal abuse, since passengers know they can get into trouble for that). It’s both a thankless and likely emotionally taxing job, getting glares and grumbles from many of the people you interact with every day.

      • BJ
        Posted November 14, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        It’s a job much worse than traffic cop, as they rarely have to interact with the targets of their actions.

  15. TJR
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I was recently told by someone who works at Heathrow that their choice of who to “sample” from the queue is genuinely random, or at least the operators don’t control it.

    Also, if in your bags you have books packed next to something like a laptop cable/battery then that looks bomblike and the bag will be opened.

  16. Hempenstein
    Posted November 14, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Back in the ’90s on a flight from Gatwick to Shannon (or the opposite – I forget now) I had to product my boarding pass to get into the destination airport. For me, who can misplace a theater ticket before I get to the guy I’m supposed to hand it to, it was a miracle that I both actually still had it and could also find it.

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