We just returned from an amazing week at CTI, but on the way back, after going through security but before boarding the airplane, everyone on our flight had to have their carry on bags open and searched and then get a pat down by a security officer. It seemed like these officers were not the normal ones at the initial check point, and they were a little too handsy (I've had airport pat downs and none made me feel like the lady should have bought me dinner before).
Has this happened to anyone else? What's the deal?
There is a second security screening at the gate, usually random. Jamaica's security is stricter than our own. (ie. cant have any lighters) My husband usually gets picked and I don't. This year I stuck his shifty looking self right behind me so that we'd have a chance to get through the second screening without being stopped. It worked. This applies to all airlines, not just AJ.
We had the same experience boarding Air Jamaica/Caribbean Air two weeks ago on our return flight to Phila.I actually had my bags checked twice! It was the first time I had a pat down and while it was a little odd I didn't really feel it was inappropriate in anyway.I was wondering at the time if this was normal procedure now for all flights or if maybe its just random flights that get "special attention". I can't imagine they'd have the manpower to do that on every flight. The person behind us in line told us that he was singled out at the first security check point to get an extensive search,swabbing etc... Seems when you're issued your boarding pass if you get one of the random "lucky tickets" you get the extra security check. I did notice that our boarding time was earlier than normal so maybe thats a clue as to whether or not your having to have the pleasure of a pat down. lol
This has been typical for the last couple of years now returning from Jamaica. It's random so for some flights security will be more or less intrusive than others. I don't think it's specific to Air Jamaica but we had the same experience traveling on Christmas Day.
On another note, we've about had it with Air Jamaica since Caribbean Air took over. We haven't had a flight leave on time in the 3 round trips we've made with them since the acquisition. Equipment problems and long delays seem to be routine for them.
We have had this happen twice in the past. We joke about making sure to wear our last clean pair of undies on the way out of the country. My husband gets an intrusive pat-down every other visit. It ticks me off but he takes one for the team. NOTE: this last visit we bought tickets at the Mobay Lounge counter next to security and with the guided escort through security the mean ladies in security couldn't get their hands on my husband. Another perk of Mobay Lounge.
We took AJ/CA home from Cn on Dec11 and went thru the same security and pat down as you thou not where we buying her dinner, lol. We checked our bags then went to walk thru security and they asked us what flight we were on, the minute I said AJ/CA they opened our carry on then scanned my husband and I. The gentleman in front said he was taking a different airline and he walked thru. When we went to board security went thru everyones carry on and did the pat down for every single person. I asked the security while she was patting me down if they were looking for something specific and she replied No(not that she would tell me).So I asked the stewardess why we were being put thru this as in the last 8 years they never checked and patted down every person boarding the plane. She said it was something the airport was doing not AJ/CA. On the same day my cousins took Continental and only one got stopped and had her bag looked at (not patted) while they others took Jetblue and they walked right thru. I understand the need for security but this was a bit over the top.It seems to me that on the other airlines it is sporatic but on AJ/CA they search every carry on and pat down every person. They would not even let me wait for my husband and told me to move along. They were a bit testy about it too. It will be something we will have to deal with while taking AJ/CA as they do have the best times and prices from JFK.
It's the security in Jamaica. I've had my carryon searched before, but this last trip (August) my husband was the lucky one who's bag got searched. As we finally started to board the plane he was again searched, but this one included a patdown at the gate. I had to "move along" and wait for him just inside the gate to board the plane. This was happening to about every 7 person and we flew Delta, for what it's worth.