Fake passport or over sensitive policing?

I tweeted at 19:33, 15th Jan from Amsterdam Airport – Sitting in airport police in amsterdam airport, they think my passport is faked

I had come back from Amsterdam after giving a talk at Follow the Money conference about BBC Backstage, Everthing was going well and I had plenty of time to catch up with some of the CES coverage using Boxee but when I got to passport control things seemed to be taking too long to look at my passport. About 10 people passed me on the other booth while I was standing there watching this police officer messing with a small microscope type thing. I was prepared for the questioning I usually only get at flights into Chicago O’Hare. But it never happened. Instead someone else came to the booth and the agents talked for a second in dutch, then the first one came out of the booth and gestured for me to follow him into a room less that 5 meters away.

Yep its one of those backrooms where theres people coming in and out. Massive mirror you just know isn’t a mirror, I was sure it was a 2 way mirror or I was being paranoid. When i sat down there was a woman who had gotten a new passport and something was missing from it. Not sure but a phone call later, she was up and out of the room. I waited while 2 officers looked over my passport, one with a microscope. After a while they left it on the table. A new guy came in from eastern europe and sat next to me. His passport also was suspect I assumed.

Anyway after about 30mins, we both get moved to a new location, I swear it was on the opposite side of the airport for another sit down for another 30mins while a 3rd officer looks at the passport under some machine. The officer walking us down said it was quicker to go down there, than send my passport down there and wait for it to come back. After a while of waiting it was decided that maybe the passport was fine and that the RFID tag might be a little faulty or something. Those rfid chips in passports are bull I was told I was free to go but I should follow the officer back through the back way to make the plane.

The trek to the gate was fast and frantic. They had left me about 20mins before the airplane closes its door which would be fine if I was super fit like these dutch officers. Being marched down to my gate so I don’t miss my plane. This airport feels like 10 miles long, but I’m out and coming home

It was certainly a struggle keeping up through the miles of tunnels and doors. I quickly grabbed a few gifts in the shop and boarded the plane back home. Only to be stuck in a queue for 50mins on the UK side because of new passport checks… Geez, I slept well that night…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.