India’s Airport Security Inspires Comfort


When you check a bag at an Indian airport you run it through the security screener before you check-in. So they screen it, paste a “security cleared” tag on it, and then give you back your bag. You walk around with it, check in to get your boarding pass, and then give your bag to the ticketing agent who rolls it down into the airplane.

In the States you give your bag as you check in and you don’t see it again. They screen it after you turn it in.

Doesn’t that make a lot more sense? After my bag got cleared by security in Delhi I walked around with it for 30 more minutes. It would have been easy to sneak an explosive in there or any other kind of dangerous item. Their only deterrent against this behavior is a weak, white band that wraps around your bag. All zippers are still accessible.

Scared yet?

How about this. My zipper on my backback got jammed as I waited at 12:05 AM for my flight to Hong Kong to leave. I was at the gate waiting to board the plane. I had already been cleared and searched by security. I consulted the guy sitting next to me in the terminal how I should un-jam my zipper. He said get a knife or scissors. I laughed. “Yeah, I’ll go up to a security guard and say, ‘Can I have a knife?'” He laughed. I got up, walked to a security guard, and asked if I could have a knife to un-jam my backpack. He didn’t blink. He grabbed some scissors, gave them to me, and let me do my business.

Thank goodness I’m not a terrorist.

Ben Casnocha
Ben Casnocha is the author of the bestselling business book
'My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley", which the New York Times called "precocious, informative, and entertaining." He founded Comcate, Inc., an e-government software company, at age 14. Ben's work has been featured in dozens of international media including CNN, USA Today, CNBC, and ABC's 20/20. At a conference in Paris PoliticsOnline named him one of the "25 most influential people in the world of internet and politics".

BusinessWeek recently named Ben "one of America's top young entrepreneurs." He writes prolifically on his blog which the San Jose Business Journal called one of the "Top 25 Blogs in Silicon Valley." He's also a commentator for public radio's "Marketplace."

In addition, Ben has given speeches at dozens of universities and organizations around the world. He has traveled to more than 25 countries and he also co-runs the Silicon Valley Junto, an intellectual discussion society for business and technology executives. In his free time Ben enjoys playing chess, ping-pong, reading, and writing.

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