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There are already airports which have pairs of sliding doors with a room between them, timed so there's a moment when the first door is closed behind you and the second one hasn't opened ahead, in which you're "detained".

And practically every subway system already has one-way turnstiles that can "detain" you in the sense that you can't pass until it opens, and either can't return through it without re-inserting a fare card or can't return through it period.

In fact, there's a fuck ton of controlled-access places with systems which effectively do this. What are you already doing for the "detainees" who already are created by those?

(not that I like the TSA, I just also don't see why you're treating this as new or unusual)




I have never encountered a situation like this before in an airport. If I were to, I would be very disturbed, and avoid that airport in the future. So, this is new and unusual to me. (Apparently, also, to enough people to make this video notable).

Subways that I have seen that require fare cards on exit do not actually prevent you from leaving; you can jump the turnstile or go through a gate on the side that possibly alarms. This is not the greatest thing, but at least while you are inside you can move freely inside a large subway system; being encased in plexiglass until a light turns green is a whole different degree of trapped.

Edit: And I guess this is an important part of the point: degree matters. The old boiling-a-frog story is just about slowly increasing the degree of something.


We're forgetting the obvious situation where people are "detained" on a regular basis: elevators. This is just an elevator that doesn't traverse floors.

Have you ever ridden an elevator from the lobby of a large office building? If the security clerk at the desk thinks you're a threat, he'll let you get in an elevator and then press a button to stop you between floors.

When help arrives, they'll override the controls and force the elevator the ground where the only exit is into the hands of an armed response force.


I didn't see the video, but the description sounds like basically every airport I've ever been to in Europe. I have Delta's highest frequent flyer tier.


I've flown into Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cologne, Hanover, Paris, and London, and I do not recall seeing anything like this. I'd think I would remember as it is very alarming-looking.


In Amsterdam airport they are pretty unalarming, just pairs of automatic doors a few paces apart. From a brief look at this video, you have to momentarily stop, and there is a hint that you might not be able to continue. That's just bad usability. The ones in Amsterdam allow you to carry on walking at a normal pace, and they act like normal automatic doors (in one direction). I'm sure there are people who walk through them every day and don't even notice them.

The last time I was in Atlanta, they had a similar thing, but more subtle. If I remember correctly, they have a bank of escalators, but all of the escalators go in the same direction. As I found out when I got to the top, and had to go through security again to get back down...


I often fly through CDG and AMS, and I'm pretty sure that I've gone through them at both. I never found it particularly alarming. You just walk through double doors. As others have mentioned, they often don't even close if there's enough people going through them. They just have signs making it very clear that you can't turn around once you enter them. I am particularly paranoid/upset by airport security, and they've never bothered me. YMMV.

I can very distinctly remember going through these in FRA.


hmmmm I just flew through the Amsterdam airport about two weeks ago and it had this system in the International terminal, except the doors were about 5 meters apart.


It is a bit different especially in feeling. You walk straight through and most people probably don't realise that they are sort of in a trap. With enough traffic flow they don't really shut (although they obviously could if there was some that they needed to contain but I don't know the scenarios it is used).

Because it is default allow the feeling is quite different to the system shown in the video where it feels like default deny and it asks you to wait.


Yeah you have. Just not physically.

When you exit the secure area of the airport, you usually pass through a corridor with tons of CCTV cameras and a TSA employee. Those cameras and that employee are to keep you from turning around and re-entering the terminal once you've begun the process of exiting.


You are responding to something totally different than what I was saying. Yes, we all know that there is a one-way exit from security zones in airports.

When you are passing through such an area, you are free to move unless you are detained, which in theory would not happen without good reason. The idea is that you are free to exit and just cannot go back in.

When you enter one of these chambers, you are detained by default until you are released. You are not free to go in any direction. It is very different.


I was responding fairly specifically to "I have never encountered a situation like this before in an airport."

edit: the operative word in your sentence is "_like_" and "_never_"

My point is, you have encountered systems "like" this, if you have ever exited an airport secure area. And it's the secure area, not the airport building itself.

also; boiling frog analogy is quite flawed


I once encountered a big self-revolving door exiting the secure area at an airport, and I wondered what would happen if I kept going around it in a circle. Let me tell you what happens: it alarms loudly, and the TSA employee was not amused.


That's scary - my children would do that naturally and I'm not sure I would be able to convince them of the seriousness of it beforehand.


That's good - because taking it seriously is the result of poor thinking.


The Zurich airport has this between the terminals and passport control.


There are already airports which have pairs of sliding doors with a room between them, timed so there's a moment when the first door is closed behind you and the second one hasn't opened ahead, in which you're "detained".

As do many fast food restaurants and other buildings, I'm fairly sure it's meant to function as an air-lock, mitigating the equalization of outdoor and indoor temperatures and preventing drafts into the building. Additionally, you are not being detained in such a situation as it is up to your own agency to either manually open the door or activate the IR sensor. In the airport situation it does appear people are being detained because they don't seem to have the option of opening the exit door themselves.

In fact, there's a fuck ton of controlled-access places with systems which effectively do this.

Sure, if someone or group is occupying a building and they don't want people wandering around willy-nilly they can control access and 'buzz people in' or whatever. The airport situation is entirely different as it is essentially controlling access to the entire world, restricting ones freedom of movement.

So all in all, put a little thought into what your saying before a reflexive "nothing to see here."


[EDIT: All that is wrong, because there is no check, and the doors always open]

Every place I've ever seen one of those doors, when you can't return, you can always go forward, when there is some check, and you may not be able to go forward, you can always return.

I guess, the police would be able to legally create a silo that may detain you, but nobody else can (at least on most democratic countries, I'm not sure about the US specifically).


The double sliding doors are to minimize the impact that the outside temperature has on the inside. These have been around for years and I've never seen one in place that can block someone's egress.

You are correct that many subway systems have something in place to verify that you were a fair-paying customer. It just doesn't strike me as equivalent.

In the subway case, it is there to prevent bad actors from cheating the system. It's lame the same way that people checking your receipts at Sam's Club is lame. In the airport case, you're assumed to be a criminal even before you've received any benefit.




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