From (my own) Destination: Earth Travel Blog: “No More Sieges ForYou”

London’s Heathrow Airport recently released a new set of “enhancements to security procedures.” Among these are common sense measures such as advising travelers to check in as much luggage as possible, and going to security as soon as possible after checking in. They also list things that can speed up the security check process, such as removing any sharp objects, removing laptop computers from their cases and removing any overcoats, among others.

To help travelers even more, they include packing tips, listing items that should not be in your hand baggage lest they be removed if discovered. The list includes obvious candidates like scissors (except where both blades are round-ended or less than three centimetres), razor blades (except those set in a plastic moulding), and knives with blades of any length, but then they go to list other less obvious items, such as household cutlery (including large spoons/tablespoons, though small teaspoons are ok), walking/hiking sticks (how big is your handbag?) and, my personal favorite: Catapults.


Yes, folks, that’s correct, you cannot take your catapults in your handbags at Heathrow. If you want to lay siege to a city, you must check your catapults in your hold baggage. Weirdly enough, Heathrow does not make any mention about packing ballistae or trebuchets in your hand baggage, so you may still have a chance to pull off that siege you were planning.

Now, of course I’m being facetious, as I know that in American English what they mean is a slingshot, but just the thought, the mental image, of someone trying to put a catapult into their handbag, and often enough so that Heathrow Airport would have to specify it by name in their security enhancement, makes me laugh.

You can see the new security enhancements at Heathrow Airport here.