We have heard plenty about increased airport security since September 11 and I will recount my own personal experiences at Palma airport. One of my travelling companions was preparing to go through passport control when the police officer on duty shouted out “hola, señora, do you remember me? I use to deliver your gas bottles.” After some hearty laughs we went through the control and not much interest was paid to our passports or what we were carrying. It turns out that the officer on duty had once been a butano man before he joined the forces of law and order. Now, my travelling companion was certainly nervous about flying and the whole incident rather put her at ease. It could be argued that it doesn't say much for airport security but my travelling companion certainly doesn't look like a terrorist and I can tell you truthfully that she isn't. The controls at Palma airport are strict and enforced but at the end of the day the traveller does not feel overburdened. At Gatwick it is the complete opposite. You are body searched and your luggage is opened and quite honestly it gets to a point that you are pretty bored of the endless controls. If you are going to do it, do it once and do it right, instead of being stopped at least three times for similar searches. Who has got the better system, Palma or fortress Gatwick? In my opinion Palma, we are being urged to travel and act as if everything is normal. I believe in airport security but I also believe in permanent thorough airport security not just after an international incident. Gatwick's system is like locking the stable door three times once the horse has bolted while in Palma, there is extra security but you still feel relatively at ease.

Jason Moore


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