Last week, returning to the United States, I connected via Munich. It’s a great airport in many respects, much nicer than its rival Frankfurt. Heck, it has its own brewery, AirBräu.
But Munich is a maddening place for one reason: Local airport authorities appear to be making up their own double-secret security policies regarding flights to the United States.
In particular: They’ve created a stricter liquids ban than European or American airport security rules demand.
As in many European airports, flights to the United States get especially zealous security, with extra bonus checkpoints, gates set apart from other flights, and a game of 20 questions before boarding. (New question for me this time was “Are you carrying any electronic items, and when did you last use them?”)
But Munich goes a step further, making things illegal that aren’t illegal elsewhere. Travelers on my flight grumbled that their stick deodorant had been taken away, despite being an opaque solid. But even worse, the perennial bugbear of liquids:
The ban on liquids purchased in the secure area of the airport has already been reversed, making it possible to buy duty free liquor or a bottle of water after security. But not in Munich, if you’re flying to the United States.
When the duty free shop denied my effort to buy a liter of hooch, they told me it’s because of American rules. But that’s not true. It’s not the European rule, either. No details at all on the Munich Airport website. Either the revised rules aren’t trickling down to Bavaria, or, much like in Britain, airport operators are making up the rules as they go along.
I suspect the latter. Consider yourself warned if traveling through Munich.