Way out of line
"I realised that I'd made a mistake and was told by the person at immigration that this was unacceptable," posted John Dougan on AirlineQuality.com, recounting how he crossed a key boundary at Atlanta airport. "I apologised, then I was met with a stream of invective and threats. Once he found out I was a university professor he cranked up the abuse and suggested that perhaps a remedial reading course was in order. My dressing down concluded with him throwing my passport at me and telling me: 'Get out of here'."
Communism in action
"My two companions went through in seconds," noted Cuba visitor John Ottawa at DebbiesCaribbeanResortReviews.com. "When I went through, I got the usual questions. Then the officer asked me, and I quote: 'How many Cuban women did you ****?' Then he held up my passport which had a Postit note affixed to it with a hand-written message: 'Give me a gift'."
"I was travelling to San Diego and got stopped," wrote hockey goalie Katie T at Yelp.com, recalling how her hockey bag aroused suspicion. "There is nothing more embarrassing than having a person grab your toiletries bag and asking: 'Do you have a vibrator in here?' He pulled out the base of my electric toothbrush and asked if it was some sexual device. I started cracking up."
"If you want to visit Hell on earth, Sheremetyevo Moscow is the place," posted John Bird at AirlineQuality.com. "Incredibly rude staff with a serious attitude problem. They look at you strangely as if you're some kind of crime suspect. If you don't speak Russian, you lose. One officer claimed that my visa (written in Russian) started the next day. Another pushed me behind the red line where I was forced to sit on a broken seat. After about three hours of sitting on that broken brown plastic chair I was dying of thirst. At 4 o'clock in the morning an officer said: 'Good visa 250 dollar.' I paid and was allowed into the ugliest airport I've ever seen. Dark, old and dirty. My luggage was lost."
"He spent the next two hours practically tearing the Ford apart," Janet posted at Tripso.com, recalling how on their return to the US across the desert from Mexico she and her University of California, Berkeley, lecturer father were turned over by a zealous official. "He even took a flashlight to the cracks where the windows roll down. He was about to give up when one of his helpers reached into that bag of dirty laundry and hit pay dirt an old tennis ball. They all gathered around as the chief took a machete and chopped the ball into two. I wish I had a camera to catch their disappointment as they realised that there were no drugs inside."
Fast track fury
"Rude, arrogant, uncaring and downright aggressive," remarked Jon Moss on WebWorkerDaily.com, claiming a US vandal at the gate slammed his new MacBook Pro on a metal counter. "A complaint to the Neanderthal's boss resulted in a torrent of abuse and zero customer service."
"I was shattered after an airport delay and an 11-hour flight," posted Joe_From_Ireland on TripAdvisor.com after a run in with Amsterdam customs over undeclared goods. "He asked me to sign a form that was completely printed in Dutch. I was aware enough to be most uncomfortable signing anything official-looking that I could not read. I said this to the guy but he ignored me. I was ordered to sign the form. The drum was taken away. I was concerned about missing my flight now, as the guy kept disappearing for 15-20 minutes at a time ... At about 12.40 he told me: 'If you pay now, it will be over.' I was exhausted and concerned about missing my flight, so I had to go to a currency exchange, change travellers' cheques, and pay a total of €204.99. It was now 12.45 and, even though I ran through the airport, I missed my 13.10 flight."
"I answered all of his questions but the entry clearance officer was angry and rude straight off the mark," posted Aussie Mel on GlobalVisas.com in a report about visiting Britain. "He accused me of lying, showed he wasn't happy with my answers so harassed me with the same questions again and again, threatened to deport me, and wouldn't allow me to explain anything as he only wanted a 'yes' or 'no' answer. I had a male friend waiting outside to pick me up at the airport so after the standard questions he began to ask me whether my friend outside was my boyfriend, his name, what he does, how often we spoke and, wait for it, asked me whether I loved him!"
Assume the position
"It took some 20 more minutes to be 'specially searched', without any regard for the fact that my flight was, by then, about to depart," wrote Maria Roose on AirlineQuality.com, concerning her return to Atlanta. "I was asked to stand with my legs spread 'as widely as I possibly could', so that my crotch could be checked with the metal detector all of this within easy view of all who were passing through security."
Have you had your own border security nightmare? Tell us about it.