Last weekend I flew from Paris CDG to San Francisco via AA’s service to New York. The ticket was a good value Iberia issued ticket but with all segments operated by AA.
At most European airports the heightened post-Pan Am 103 security is conducted by the airline and is undertaken at the check-in desk. At CDG they employee an external company, under the control of AA, to ask you the usual questions.
Only this time AA went beyond anything I had experienced before – in fact it was positively intrusive.
AA checks-in its Premium Passengers on the basement level at CDG and I joined the line there for security. Once I reached the agent I handed over my passport and confirmed that I was flying to New York and San Francisco. The conversation then went something like this:
– Can you tell me what reason you are going to San Francisco, business or pleasure.
– Can you tell me where you normally live?
– How did you get to Paris?
– British Airways yesterday
– Do you have you boarding pass from that flight?
much scrabbling to find boarding pass
– Yes, here it is. (She retains it).
– Where did you stay last night?
– At the Hyatt at the Airport here
– Why did you stay there? Do you have the receipt?
– So I would not be late for the flight, and here is the receipt.
she retains the receipt.
– Where are you going after you come back from San Francisco?
– back to London, where I live
-Do you have your ticket?
– Yes, here it is.
She retains it.
– Can you tell me about anything electrical or batter operated? We ask this as, in the past, people have been given things to take on the plane which later turned out to be bombs.
– I don’t have anything which has been away for repair.
– Can you tell me about anything you have been given by other people to take on board by other people?
– I need to check all of this with my supervisor and I will be back shortly.
She them walks off with all of my documents, passport, ticket, boarding pass and hotel bill. 5 minutes later she returns.
– You can check in now.
Do anyone else think this is too intrusive? Personally I am happy to answer security questions but having Global Entry and numerous government security checks in the UK, suggests that the US and UK governments are happy with me. One wonders why AA needs to know where I am going AFTER their trip is over, or what would have happened had I not had these things available.