I worked in Ireland, out of one airport. Completed around 25 assignments for the company.

I won't mention the name of the airport, or the company I worked for.

I posted this up a few hours ago, but some people were unhappy with proof, so I have messaged the mods with proof and it should be confirmed soon.

Comments: 684 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

upside93203 karma

Did you ever put anything up your butt as a way to sneak it in?

qwhat_240 karma

No. I can't imagine I, or the person searching me would enjoy that.

All the items are reused too, so the other assessors wouldn't be too impressed either I imagine.

me4real27 karma


qwhat_268 karma

Pretty much yes. Just make sure it's large and jagged

matchoo11125 karma

Do they laugh and immediately realize it's you up to your old trickery, or do they immediately pull out the tasers and commence beating you? would you do this job in America?

qwhat_203 karma

I'm not sure if I would do the job in the US. Having recently flown over here, and made the trip in and out about 10 times, people are a lot more serious and thorough.

Sometimes you can tell that the officer is panicking, like when they are patting you down after setting off the detector, and they find a big knife in your sock. Every item I take through is plastered with security IDs, so once they see the item, they calm down. That few seconds is priceless though. I've never been treated poorly by anyone who has found stuff on my person or bag.

The people manning the loading trays however, they can very often be pricks to everyone (understandable at times, when you realise how clueless most people are about air travel)

justinsayin111 karma

I think the best place to hide a knife is in the battery compartment of a huge vibrator. Opinion?

qwhat_95 karma

To be honest, I have no idea.

Any time I have gotten through with things, I'd put it down to lazy staff, more so than creative hiding places.

unsanitary_napkin13 karma

And yet nobody seems to get fired?

qwhat_20 karma

Looking back, perhaps lazy staff was the incorrect word. Sometimes they are understaffed and rushed off their feet. I was there one time, with these big queues, and one woman was in charge of monitoring the x-ray scans, but she was by herself, so had to do the bag searches too. She managed to catch me though.

I dunno, I know those who fail get sent for retraining, but I imagine there's a limit, and people do get fired.

EricGMW98 karma

Did you ever have to deal with an overzealous officer who refused to acknowledge any get-out-of-jail cards or credentials that you may have had, and just took it way too far?

qwhat_115 karma


If the item is minor, like a small pocketknife, they are to either confiscate it from me, or let me go back and check it through. If they confiscate it, they must inform the Duty Sergeant.

If the item is more serious, they must immediately call the Duty Sergeant.

qwhat_38 karma

No as soon as something is found, they take it and alert the sergeant. Wouldn't be too quick to do this kind of work in the US / UK though.

Too_much_vodka89 karma

Did you try to sneak things through, or just try to bring them through without being sneaky.

qwhat_145 karma

Sometimes, I'd go in with just a boxcutter placed in my bag. Othertimes, a knife in my sock or shoe, or hidden in the lining in my bag, or hidden in some item of clothing in my bag.

It was generally up to the Sergeant on Duty, who decided what I brought through. Sometimes they would leave it up to me, where I placed the item. I certainly made it harder for security, than the Sergeant would.

SirVirus72 karma

When you got something passed, did you ever pull it out after and taunt the security agent because they were about to be reprimanded?

qwhat_302 karma

Haha, no. Can you imgaine the scene if I were to walk through security, get passed, then in front of all the security staff, and passengers, pull a bomb like device out of my bag and start laughing?

DrBiometrics59 karma

I recently found a large-ish knife in my backpack that I have traveled with at least 30 times. I had forgotten it was there. I don't want to get into details about this, but I think it was camouflaged by another item in my backpack that masked its "knifeness" After this many trips, I am pretty convinced it is undetectable.

Given that I stumbled upon this by accident, surely other determined people could have easily come to the same conclusion. Given that, is there any real value in screening for these items? Do you only end up catching really stupid people (any innocent people)?

jahfool236 karma

shit gets through all the time. There are plenty of stories of people bringing guns through that they didn't realize were in their carry-ons (concealed carry permit holders). I've unknowingly brought through knives before with no special attempt to conceal them.

I've also had items confiscated, so it works some of the time, but I think a dedicated person could limit their chance of getting caught to ~5%-10%.

BroDrunk97 karma

It makes me nervous that gun owners "forget" the location of their gun.

Myrdok21 karma

I'm a staunch supporter of 2A rights, CCW with me everywhere I can, own multiple guns, and basically don't know anyone that doesn't own a gun or five: This thought makes me nervous also. I don't know anyone that would 'forget' where they put a gun.

tyereliusprime11 karma


qwhat_14 karma

In Ireland, most of the police don't have guns. The ones that do, drive around in cars marked "armed response unit"

qwhat_20 karma

I don't catch anybody, I'm the person that gets caught. I'm not well versed on the screening process at all, only what everyone else can see as you pass through.

Ricesth55 karma

What was the most dangerous thing you brought through security?

qwhat_96 karma

I never brought anything hugely dangerous with me. Plenty of times I had large knives, box cutters, general things with blades. One time I was sent through with a replica (non-working) of an IED(Improvised Explosive Device) that had been recently seized in a European airport.

I've also been sent through with other packages to resemble bombs, but it depends what you consider dangerous. The bombs are theoretically the most dangerous, but in practice, the most dangerous item I have been given is a knife.

squandrew40 karma

What was the worst reaction you received from airport security?

qwhat_122 karma

I've never gotten a "bad" reaction where the staff member has gotten nasty.

I was being patted down one time and the guy found a knife in my sock. The poor guy must have been new, and he patted my foot about ten times, probably hoping that he hadn't just found a knife.

MEuRaH38 karma

Are you rooting for yourself to get these items in? Or are you rooting for the workers to find them?

qwhat_57 karma

A little bit of both.

I root for myself, because I wanna see just how much I can get through security with. With that said though, I'd probably feel a lot safer if the workers found everything everytime :)

lukekarasa29 karma

did you ever get caught? if so, how much trouble did you get in or did you have immunity?

qwhat_75 karma

I got caught most of the time. The idea is to get caught, so I don't get in any trouble.

The Duty Seargeant escorts me away, which is always funny, as everybody else is staring you down the entire way.

I have gotten through security unchecked, with something I shouldn't have more times than I'm comfortable with though :/

AlfonsotheTroll28 karma

What is the most dangerous thing you've gotten away with bringing through security?

qwhat_58 karma

I got through security with a replica of a bomb that was seized in a European airport about a year previous. At least that's what the seargeant told me.

In reality it was an opened up phone with a load of wires hanging out of it, attached to a fairly non-descript brick of something (the explosive, I assume)

Purpl3Surreal26 karma

Are there any silly items you broughy through?

qwhat_61 karma

Not so much for the actual banned item. However, it's up to me what else I bring in my bag.

Depending on my mood, I'll fill my bag with the strangest assortment of clothes. Like lots of shorts, pants and jeans, but no tshirts underwear or socks or whatever.

Aggressiveneutral25 karma

Pre or Post 9/11?

qwhat_39 karma

Post. From around late 2008 up until about 10-12 months ago. 25 may seem like a small number for the period of time, but they had to be well spaced so the security staff did not remember me.

feureau20 karma


qwhat_32 karma

They company I worked for started dragging their feet paying me and other assessors. I was waiting up to 8 months for money to come through. So I gave it up.

ahraysee24 karma

One time when I was 9, I stuffed my overall's front pockets with milkweed seeds and two chinese chestnuts before going on an international flight, just to see if I could get away with it. Such a rebel...

Is there an element of breaking the rules that you enjoy about this job?

qwhat_25 karma

Well, I'm not breaking the rules per se, I'm just abiding by a different set of rules. When given the chance though, I like trying to make it as hard as possible for security to find the item.

th3ch0s3n0n320 karma

What happens when you get through security unchecked? Do you fly with the forbidden items or do you double back and debrief?

qwhat_26 karma

No, I'm never actually flying anywhere, although, if I happened to be flying through the airport at a suitable time, they could arrange for me to do an assessment. When I arrive, I'm provided with a fake boarding pass. I didn't understand this at first, because my passport didn't match the pass. It was only then I learned you don't need your passport for security. Passport is checked at check in and boarding only

If I'm unchecked, I keep on walking and meet the sergeant at a designated spot, and he escorts me back to his office. I return the item, and a slip of paper that states why I am here, and go on my merry way.

Luketh1217 karma

Were you ever asked to take through some illegal substances or the like?

qwhat_9 karma

No, never worked with drugs

eiccy5413 karma

Has airport security increased as drastically in Ireland as it has in other places (i.e. US) after 9/11? Is it difficult to sneak through?

qwhat_15 karma

I don't remember too much of airport travelling pre 9/11, but I have spoken a lot to the sergeants about it, and they assure me it has.

I know people who work on the airside section of the airport too, and they tell me security is tight for them too.

TimMitchell8 karma

What percentage of the times did you get caught?

Do you think airport security has a meaningful impact on deterring terrorism? And if so, do you think that this deterrent is is worth the cost of the security (cost meaning money, time, invasion of liberty, inconvenience, etc).

qwhat_8 karma

I was caught about 85 to 90% of the time I guess.

I think airport security is pretty much essential. I mean if you were to reduce airport secuirty to the level of lets say a bus station, or a subway stop, all hell would break lose. Is it worth the cost? It brings a lot inconvenience to airtravel, but I can't see another alternative

Posts_About_Ayn_Rand8 karma

What is the most dangerous item you failed to pass through security? Most dangerous item successfully brought past security?

qwhat_8 karma

Most dangerous item was a replica bomb. Well, it wasn't able to explode, so technically, the only way it was dangerous was if I hit someone on the head with it. But, theoretically, it could have been a working model. Not sure if they would have appeared differently on the scanners.

menomenaa5 karma

Is it true that they finally re-allowed small pocket knives to be carried on the plane not because they feel security measures can finally be relaxed but rather because they were missing so many pocket knives that they'd rather not be "wrong" all the time?

qwhat_7 karma

I'm not sure on that to be honest, but even from reading the comments on here, a lot of people seem to have gotten knives through.

I see absolutely no need for anybody to have a knife on board a plane. The only time it should occur is if someone is bringing carry on-only, on a carrier that charges extra for checked luggage. Even at that, I feel there should be a facility to check these items in, without having to check an entire bag.

thebastardizer5 karma

How did you get this job? What did you do in between assignments for them?

qwhat_11 karma

I originally began working for a Mystery Shopping company, doing customer service appraisals. I also did work that involved sending off packets of cigarettes so shops selling counterfeits were cauight. After about a years work, they contacted me asking me if I was interested. At that point I had completed about 50/60 assignments (non-airport) for the company and had been conisitently high rated, and would be willing to take on jobs that involved long distance travelling, if the company was stuck. After I indicate my interest, I needed to be vetted by police, and then sit through a day's training before being allowed to work

Aspiring_Physicist5 karma

1) How well did this job pay?

2) Was this your only job over the period of around 4 years?

3)How did you get into that kind of employment?

qwhat_12 karma

I was paid per assignment. For security work it was a fee of 40 euro (around 52) dollars. This was to for me to get to the airport, go through security, go home, and submit the report. I live quite close to the airport, so if the queues aren't huge, I'd be done in a little over an hour.

No, I worked part time in a supermarket (I'm a college student), and that provided me with a regular wage. This was just extra cash on the side. Like I say below, I started doing Mystery Shopping work for them, so I kept doing the odd assignment in that department too. The pay for that would depend on the company you are assessing, the work/travel involved etc.

I started off for the company doing Mystery Shopping work. After a year of working with them, and being highly rated, they contacted me asking if I'd be interested in this. It was a new project they had accepted, and were only accepting experience, reliable assessors.

Reubenwilson4 karma

What kind of things do you do to distract them from what you're carrying?

qwhat_17 karma

I don't try to distract them, I try to blend in with the other passengers. There was one day, I had a knife in my bag, and it had passed through the scanner, but I was referred for a search, according to the sergeant "because one of the staff members thought I looked to comfortable".

Fierystick4 karma

After they searched you and found these items, what procedures did you/they take? Did you tell them you it is your job and then you all just had a laugh and moved on? Or did you have to play it out fully?

qwhat_7 karma

The items have stickers on them identifying themselves as security items, and I have a slip of paper that I can hand to the officer too. Regardless of who I am, they need to call the Sergeant anyway. The sergeant comes over and escorts me to landside. I return my slip, my boarding card and anything else, and I go on my way.

dst873 karma

If you managed to get through what were you instructed to do? Presumably not take out the knife/bomb and wave it around, maniacally laughing!

qwhat_4 karma

Haha, no. I'd go to a deisgnated point, and meet the sergeant, and they would escort me to the landside area

HtownNative3 karma

So how hard would it be to get marijuana through airport security? hypothetically speaking of course.

qwhat_4 karma

I don't really know, I've never worked with drugs and I have no idea how they show up on scanners and things. I've read stories about people bagging it, and storing in a hair gel container (with all the hair gel) to mask the smell, but that was before the liquid ban iirc. You wouldn't sneak much into a 100ml container.

ficl3 karma

What is the best method to smuggle large amounts of drugs onto an airplane?

You know.. For science..

qwhat_2 karma

If you're not picky on the type of plane. I'd say the easiest way is to rent a Cessna, and just walk on.

andicotsteel3 karma

I don't see where you mention how many times you were undetected. So out of 25 times how often did they effectively screen you for carrying a weapon or whatever you had that was not allowed on a plane?

qwhat_3 karma

From memory I was caught all but 3/4 times.

GrinningPariah3 karma

Are they aware of the wallet blind spot?

I flew close to 6 times before remembering that I had put a thin folding knife in my wallet months before. Some countries you just put your wallet in that little dish and it never gets scanned, in others it goes through the xray but the change masks metal in it.

qwhat_3 karma

I've never heard of that. Every time I have ever flown, I've put my wallet in a dish and it goes through the scanner.

PaWe_082 karma

Do you feel safe on planes after testing airport security?

qwhat_5 karma

Tbh, despite getting through with things that I shouldn't, it doesn't really cross my mind when I'm actually flying. Aside from that, I really enjoy flying.

ngalfano132 karma

Is this your full-time job or do you have another job and just do this a few times a month?

qwhat_2 karma

I did it no more than once a month, so there wouldn't be a risk of the security staff recognising me.

No, it wasn't a full time job. I'm a college student, so at the time I was working in a supermarket. Currently on work placement doing software development. I gave up doing the security work last year, as the company was taking up to 6 months to make payments to it's assessors.

FrenchBraidsAndSemen2 karma

Where there any items that got picked up by security when they shouldn't have?

qwhat_2 karma

No, not that I can think of.

Fraymond2 karma

I feel like it's gotten really popular to publicly prove that the methods of airport security are flawed. While this translates into motivation to improve security standards, I also get the sense it will lend bravery to those looking to create a body count. Agree/disagree?

qwhat_2 karma

It very well could lend bravery to some people. However, in my experience, any issues with security are largely a result of human error. So while publicly condemning aiport security will do little do affect the automated/hardware aspect of security, it should make staff more vigilant. Which in my eyes, is where the weakness lies.

TaxcReddit2 karma

How did you end up with this job?

What do you do for a living? "I sneak shit secretly through security"

qwhat_3 karma

I'm a college student. Used to work for a supermarket part-time, currently on placement doing software development. I got the job through a Mystery Shopping company that I had worked with for about a year. This was a new project they were taking on, and I was one of their more reliable assessors in the area. I had to vetted by police, and do a day long training course before I was allowed to work

aggemamme2 karma

Is it illegal (for 'normal' people) to go through security with a replica of a gun in Ireland?

qwhat_6 karma

I imagine it is. Even if it's a non working replica, it could still incite panic, which is one of the most dangerous weapons anyone can have.

secreted_uranus2 karma

So how do you smuggle weed through?

qwhat_4 karma

I've never worked with drugs, so I can't talk about it.

spoonerluke8822 karma

can i just say i flew to Australia via Singapore from the UK and back leaving the UK we were searched normal procedure and then the same at all other airports but on the way back into the UK you had two options the items to declare and the no items to declare tunnel's the no items to declare tunnel had three police officers in a corner talking nothing else is this common occurrence other airports or is there some secret system that we don't know about

qwhat_5 karma

I imagine that if you are trying to sneak a load of expensive goods into the country, you will walk down the "no items to declare" tunnel. I guess the police there will search anyone they think looks suspicious?

I don't really know, I purely worked with departures security.

ReyasWI3 karma

You posted this three times in a row, but since this a cool AMA, I upvoted all three of this answer.

qwhat_6 karma

whoops. Haha, my bad.

qwhat_1 karma

I imagine that if you are trying to sneak a load of expensive goods into the country, you will walk down the "no items to declare" tunnel. I guess the police there will search anyone they think looks suspicious?

I don't really know, I purely worked with departures security.

qwhat_1 karma

I imagine that if you are trying to sneak a load of expensive goods into the country, you will walk down the "no items to declare" tunnel. I guess the police there will search anyone they think looks suspicious?

I don't really know, I purely worked with departures security.

modawg2 karma

Can you describe each assignment?

qwhat_2 karma

There's too many to go into detail on each.

When it started first, it was a two person job. I'd go up as the assessor and there would be another person as the observer, and would compile the report together. Back then we would do two assessments in one trip, timed around the changeover of security staff.

This I would imagine proved to be quite expensive for somebody, because after a few months it was cut to just the assessor and only one assessment per trip.

As whole though, they are all really similar, collect your item, hide it, pass through security, do/don't get caught, leave and fill out the report.

1readdit2 karma

Anything you would improve on to make sir travel more efficient and safe, and is it really necessary to throw away any liquid greater than 3oz? The full body scans, pat downs, and extensive bag checking all seem ridiculously unnecessary

qwhat_3 karma

I have never had someone check my liquids when going through security. Sure, I have them in a separate bag, but so long as all the bottles look to be around that size, I think you'll get away with it. Do i think its necessary? No. Any safety that this ruling brings can be easily circumvented by having multiple passengers. I imagine it has done a lot for bottled water and soda sales in shops beyond security though.

Can't get the list to work below :/

To make travel more efficient and safe: The regulations of what you can and cannot bring on a plane are easily available online and plastered all over the airport. Don't bring things you know you can't travel with. I've seen a man with a 10 year old son and a 2litre bottle of Fanta stopped before (WTF?). Be aware of what they might ask you do in Security: * Remove your jacket. If it's a big clunky jacket, you WILL be asked to remove it. So just premept them, and take it off.

  • Remove your shoes. Only happens sometimes. Wear shoes that you can easily slip on/off

  • Remove your belt. If possible don't wear one.

  • Remove your laptop/electronics. You don't need to wait for them to ask you to take it out, do it as you are queuing. Keep it in an easy to reach place, not buried under all your clothes.

  • Remove liquids. Liquids must be bagged in a clear bag and must go through outside your carry on. Like your laptop, leave it somewhere easy to get at.

  • Pockets. Empty your pockets into the trays. Just don't throw loose change into the tray, put it in your wallet first. Then you can make a quick exit on the otherside.

  • Umbrellas. Umbrellas must be removed from carry on luggage before you go through security.

logitecharse2 karma

Was Galway as easy as I always thought it would have been?

qwhat_2 karma

I won't disclose the airport I worked at.

brazilliandanny2 karma

Did you actually go on flights, or just through security. If the latter would they issue you a fake ticket?

qwhat_6 karma

No, Im provided with a false boarding pass. I wondered on my first trip what would happen, as my boarding pass doesn't match my passport. Turns out you don't need your passport going through security.

TheShroomHermit2 karma

I have a ceramic kitchen knife. I've been assured that all manufacturers of said knives are required to add metal so the blade can be detected. Is this true?

qwhat_3 karma

I have no idea to be honest.

jarrettbraun2 karma

Any really close calls? If so, what was going through your head and how did you act during said experience?

qwhat_2 karma

What do you mean by close calls? Like I thought I was gonna be tackled to the ground or something?

No, when they find the item, they are under clear instructions on what to do. The item they find is also covered in Airport Security stickers. Despite all that, on my first time, I was convinced I was gonna get tackled.

jmona7892 karma

How many times were you able to get through security with forbidden items? What were they?

qwhat_1 karma

I was caught I'd say between 85% and 90% of the time. I have gotten through with knives and a replica IED.

albinousrex2 karma

What is the procedure for proving you are on their side? Just from mostly US experience it seems to me if you were bringing anything crazy through security they would be pretty quick to arrest you.

qwhat_4 karma

The Sergeant is observing the entire time, they know about my assessment. The staff search me and/or my bag and find the item. The item itself will have Airport Security stickers all over it, and I will have a slip saying who I am and what I am doing.

I'm told security staff here are not really supposed to do much other than call the sergeant.

miurabull2 karma

Would you consider a rusty spoon as a potentially dangerous weapon of war?

qwhat_3 karma

It wouldn't be top of my list, but I imagine some people could be effective with one

Northwait2 karma

Were you ever afraid that, when caught, knowledge that you were authorized would be disavowed? In another answer you mentioned the contraband is covered in security ids, but did you ever think they would call them in and the other end of the line would say "nope, we never heard of 'im, those stickers are fake" and all of a sudden you'll find yourself on the evening news?

qwhat_4 karma

That never really crossed my mind. The Duty Sergeant, who knows what is going on, is always up there watching so there wouldn't be a lot of time for anything serious to happen before he intervened. I meet the Sergeant before every assessment so there's no way they woudn't be up to speed.

PatrickTuma2 karma

How does one apply for such job? And what does it pay? Do you have a background in somewhat security related jobs?

qwhat_2 karma

I didn't apply for the job. I worked for a Mystery Shopping company for about a year, then they took on this new project, and they asked if any of their more reliable assessors would like to do it and be trained for it. I was one of them.

yoda20882 karma

ever bring a machete on board?

qwhat_6 karma

No, never a blade that size

FatBlitz2 karma

How did the company you work for make money?

Was it the airport, airlines or Irish government (or someone else) that paid for your services?

qwhat_3 karma

The company I worked for are involved in a number of different business services, and this was a new project for them. The managing body of the aiport hired the company I worked for to conduct the testing. They paid me accordingly.

Squeezer992 karma

what happened when you got caught?

qwhat_3 karma

Staff take the item, call the Sergeant, he escorts me back to landside. I give back all the documentation, and I go home.

intentsman2 karma

In what ways is airport security better in Israel?

qwhat_2 karma

I've never been to Israel..

eulertheoiler1 karma

What's the weirdest thing you smuggled through? What's the weirdest way you've smuggled something?

qwhat_3 karma

I've never hidden anything anywhere other than ON (:P) my person, or in my bag.

Nothing really weird has gone through, just knives, box cutters, things made to look like bombs

EDIT: I've taken bullets through before too

GentlemanGeezer1 karma

Starting next week ill be flying to Belfast twice monthly. Any tips? I travel only using carry on.

qwhat_2 karma

Be aware of what they might ask you do in Security:

  • Remove your jacket. If it's a big clunky jacket, you WILL be asked to remove it. So just premept them, and take it off.

  • Remove your shoes. Only happens sometimes. Wear shoes that you can easily slip on/off

  • Remove your belt. If possible don't wear one. Be aware they may ask you to take it off.

  • Remove your laptop/electronics. You don't need to wait for them to ask you to take it out, do it as you are queuing. Keep it in an easy to reach place, not buried under all your clothes.

  • Remove liquids. Liquids must be bagged in a clear bag and must go through outside your carry on. Like your laptop, leave it somewhere easy to get at.

  • Pockets. Empty your pockets into the trays. Just don't throw loose change into the tray, put it in your wallet first. Then you can make a quick exit on the otherside

  • Umbrellas. Umbrellas must be removed from carry on luggage before you go through security.

Dr_Procrastinator1 karma

Who employs you to do this type of work? Is it the airport or a third party?

qwhat_3 karma

A third party.

CarryOnMyWaywardPun1 karma

What's the worst security you've ever seen in an airport? Also, does your job make you worry when travelling by air?

qwhat_1 karma

I've never really seen bad security. Every airport I've passed has the standard metal detectors and patting down etc.

In the bigger airports though, there is certianly more high-tec security. Don't they have those scanners that can see you naked now? I remember passing through some Pod at one point, that you had to stand in and would shoot air around you or something. Someone told me it was a bomb detector, but I was only 16 at the time, so I'm not sure.

mayyte1 karma

What airport did you find the easiest to get through?

NotACrustacean7 karma


If I were to fly back to my country with a lot of drugs, which airport is least likely to check me?

qwhat_6 karma

I only worked out of one airport, but I never went through with any drug like substance.

For what it's worth, I have never seen a sniffer dog in an Irish airport, but you'd also have to realise the possibility of being caught at Arrivals in wherever you fly to.