Heathrow the other day.
I had an early morning flight and had, by accident, put my travel size toothpaste into my toiletry kit rather than the 3-1-1 bag.
Of course, Heathrow being Heathrow found it. My bag was sent to the side for inspection.
The agent assigned to searching the bag asked the machine operator what was wrong. The operator said "toothpaste." The searching agent looked at me and I said it was possible I had accidentally put my travel sized toothpaste into my toiletry kit rather than the 3-1-1 bag.
Big mistake. I tried to show her where it was but she just asked me to step back and leave it to her.
Apparently, leaving a travel sized toothpaste in your luggage is very serious. Very serious indeed.
As she proceeded to take everthing out of my bag, and I mean everything. she kept eyeing me with suspicion. I smiled.
Big mistake. Suddently, out of nowhere, ropes dropped from the ceiling and armed police dressed in combat gear, rappelled down. Their laser sighted automatic weapons were aimed directly towards my heart. Doors on the side flew open and men in dark suits and dark glasses came running towards me. They flashed their credentials yelling they were with MI5 and wanted to ask me a few questions.
"What was I really carrying?" they screamed thinking my travel size toothpaste was just a diversion. "Do you want us to turn you over to the Americans where they could send you to Guantanamo?" one asked assertively.
"No", I said. "I just want to go to Iceland."
By this time there were about 10 people behind me waiting for their bags to be searhed as well. The women checking my bag was still going through mine, swabbing everything and making numerous trips to the bomb detection reader.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, she finished and thanked me for being cooperative. Like I had a choice.
Okay, the part about the armed police and MI5 weren't true but I sure felt as if that would happen.
The moral of the story is simple.....at Heathrow, make sure anything that is supposed to be in the 3-1-1 bag is in the 3-1-1 bag and nowhere else.