Come fly with me... but leave the poteen and fireworks at home please

Siobhan McAnaney, left, Customer Services Manager, and Charlene Shongo, Commercial Manager, pictured with items confiscated from passengers at City of Derry Airport. INLS0814-140KM
Siobhan McAnaney, left, Customer Services Manager, and Charlene Shongo, Commercial Manager, pictured with items confiscated from passengers at City of Derry Airport. INLS0814-140KM

The saying ‘it could only happen in Derry’ exists for a reason.

Only in a place like Derry would air travel passengers attempt to take items such as a Swiss army knife, an extremely large and very heavy monkey wrench and fireworks on board a passenger jet.

The aforementioned list, and others, including bottles of illegally distilled Irish poteen, tins of Heinz baked beans, Christmas crackers, toy guns, handheld drills, dumb bells and intimate personal items (adult toys) are but a few of the items to have been confiscated or handed in to the lost property office at the City of Derry Airport over the last few months.

It’s worth noting that not all of the items confiscated are actually prohibited. Some of them, like the extremely large and very heavy monkey wrench, are regarded as oversized items and providing the passenger agrees, they can collect the item from the airport directly within a short period of time.

Frank Doherty is Terminal Services Manager for Security at the airport and has been working there for almost 25 years.

“The vast majority of people are very understanding when you explain to them why you have to confiscate an item or items.

“You often find that the people who have items confiscated haven’t travelled in a while so they’re not used to the new travel restrictions.

“My advice to anyone travelling would be to either contact us here directly at City of Derry Airport or they should visit the government website regarding hand luggage restrictions.

“All prohibited confiscated items are disposed of in accordance with CoDA procedure. Oversized items can be left at the customer services desk for a friend or a family member to collect within a 24 hour period,” explain Frank.

Confiscated items at airports brings with it inevitable images of travellers being left red faced as airport security staff discover items of a sexual nature in their hand luggage.

“You name it, we’ve found it,” said Commercial Manager, Charlene Shongo.

“Many of the intimate personal items turn up in lost and found. It’s usually down to stag parties and hen parties.

“What they tend to do is try to play a trick on their friends but, although they mean no harm, we would ask them to refrain from doing it because we want to make everyone’s experience at the airport as comfortable as possible,” she smiled.

“Like Frank said, I would encourage anyone with a query to contact us directly at the airport. We are here to help. If you’re not sure about what you can and cannot take on board with you, please give us a call and we will do our very best to make sure you have all the information,” added Charlene.

To contact City of Derry Airport, telephone 028 7181 0784; website, www.cityofderryairport.com; Twitter, @CoDerryAirport; Facebook, www.facebook.com/city-of-derry-airport

For more information, please visit www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions