11 January 2006

Airport security and male chauvinism

Security ordeal for Qantas boss

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- The female head of Australia's major air carrier was suspected of being a terrorist at a U.S. airport because a security guard refused to believe a woman could run an airline.

Qantas Airways chairman Margaret Jackson has said she was detained and frisked at Los Angeles airport last year after a search revealed she was carrying aircraft diagrams in her briefcase.

She said her briefcase had contained detailed plans of a new aircraft, including cross-section diagrams showing seat layouts, Australian newspaper the Herald Sun newspaper reported Wednesday.

"The guy said 'Why have you got all of this?'," she said.

"And I said, 'I'm the chairman of an airline. I'm the chairman of Qantas'. And this black guy, who was, like, eight foot tall, said, 'But you're a woman'."

Oh man. Somebody is eating a major crow. Without spices and without utensils.