Friday, February 17, 2012

Security Retrieved Item (SRI)

This topic comes to fore from the seemingly “hot” umbrella topic. My goodness I did not expect the umbrella thing could flood my emails hehe. But happy to receive them anyway even if I am lately burning many sleepless nights just trying to read all of these emails. What am I becoming now, a complaint desk? Hahaha its looking like so, but I am not complaining (yet). Promise! I mean honest! Keep them coming since I actually forward many of those concerns to my friends from the airlines, airports, military, travel and tourism industry – without your identities, of course! All for their benefit and ours, really! Can you believe some of these contacts do not even know who I really am nor do I know who they really are?! But I know things happen and things get attended to anyway! So let’s move on and here we go on SRI…

What’s an SRI?
It means “Security Retrieved Item”. Wheh? What is that? Calm down people of the world, the phrase may just sound rocket science, but we are all familiar with what those actually are! Those are items that are retrieved (by the security personnel at the x-ray area) from you or your hand-carried items AND are endorsed to the airline staff for proper handling i.e., tagging them to your destination and loading them at some compartment away from you.

Read the last sentence again… that means there is no way that the security personnel manning that x-ray machine or anywhere else in an airport are supposed to get any item from you and keep them. That is unless you willfully decide to leave those with them yourself. IN fact, at other airports in the world, these security folks won’t allow you to leave anything with them. You will be kindly advised to go out and look for someone to leave them with or look for a trash bin or go back to the airline counter and see what they can do for you. But in this poor country, sad to say, our security people are just as patay-gutom as most of us. Just say no if they decide to get anything from you. Yes, anything at all!

Take note: Even if you were bringing a gun, a knife, a belt with knife-buckle, an endangered species, an undocumented pet, lighter fluid, wads of illegally sourced cash or even a bomb, these security personnel ARE NOT supposed to get any of those from you. There is a proper way to handle those things and you. BUT there is none that says they may get and keep them for themselves or their office.

Examples of SRI?
The previous topic – umbrellas! Same with other pointed objects like knives, ice-pick, fishing hooks and/or rods, scissors, martilyo, palakol, maso and whatever else that may be deemed ‘could cause harm or hurt you and fellow passengers'. Ah included here are toy guns, toy knives, toy grenades and similar things that look like real “armas de fuego”! These things are usually discussed in the airline’s website or your ticket’s terms and conditions itself.

How are SRI handled?
We shall only talk about those that are retrieved from you and endorsed by the security people to the airline okay? We cannot include those that they get and keep.

Security personnel are mandated to bring those themselves (with you in tow of course) to the airline’s counter at the gate – though its okay if they brought you back to the airline’s check-in counter. Airline personnel will tag your “security retrieved item” to your destination (like they do with check-in baggage) and give you the claim stub for said item. Then upon arrival, you claim the item at your destination airport.

If yours was a gun or knife, airline personnel at your destination airport will bring those to the security people (those are usually PNP officers, not your stupid gwardya) as they’re the ones who are authorized to release them to you lest you use those items for some bad intentions anywhere from the time you step out of the plane to the time you are at the airport’s arrival area. Okay?

Actually… if they would only follow IATA-approved procedures, after retrieving from you and tagging to your destination, these airline staff are even supposed to put all these SRI in a sturdy pouch either as a group of items in a pouch or individually at one pouch per item. The pouch/es is/are then endorsed to the airline’s baggage handling personnel at your arrival airport who in turn are in charge of releasing those things to you. Sadly, only PAL has that or does that nowadays. In many instances, depending on the type of item, either somebody will just toss the thing to you anywhere from the time you step out of the plane until you reach the arrival area. Sus, you might even encounter your lowly scissors also floating at the baggage conveyor belt along with check-in luggage of your fellow passengers!

That is the procedure on security retrieved items, my dear folks. so I learned!

“Oi, that’s what they did when I had this big fruit basket bought from the airport stores last christmas and same thing they did with my sister’s wedding gown”!

Are those things similarly considered Security Retrieved Items? NO, but let’s do that in the next article, aight?!