May 12, 2011

I was fined by FRA custom!

If you have never been to FRA terminal 1 B section, that’s because flight  from industrial country such as USA or Canada land in A section, where you can hardly find one custom officer.

B section is a totally different story, that’s where all flights from developing or third world countries land. several custom officer wait to find something from you. Did they ever ask or search Caucasians? maybe,  I never saw one.  Today, I was the first Asian to get off plane and passed immigration, but custom officer already stopped several African for question and search. I knew I would be stopped again, not first time, actually nearly every time.

” Do you have any cigarettes and liquor in your bag?”

“Yes, I do, 10 packs of cigarettes,”

Then he took my bag for X Ray to make sure I don’t have liquor. I thought it was done and I could go, but instead, he opened every single pocket of my bag to find cigarettes. After he emptied every pocket, he scanned my bag again to make sure I did not have any secret compartment. He looked a little disappointed when he could not find more than 10 packs.

Then he asked me to empty my pocket to see if I had any in my cloth, Aha, he got me. I had one opened box with only 7 cigarettes left.  He finally could put some fine on me and explained to me how much will be, 200 cigarettes for free, but need to pay these extra 7 cigarettes with 0.38 euro each including fine, total 2.66. Unbelievable. Again, while they were searching me, I did not seen a single Caucasian was stopped, well, that’s FRA. I am used to it already!

I understand racial profiling is happening everywhere, It’s the world we live in.  It’s not I have never been searched or questioned in US or Canada before, but every time people are nice and reasonable.

I don’t believe coincidence, so what’s the chance I got searched every time and seen at least 8 officers at FRA B section but rarely seen a single officer in A section?

Posted by Troy under 2011 Trip, Airports, Europe | 8 Comments to Read

  1. david said,

    It’s even worse when it’s reverse discrimination. In a 5* hotel in BKK recently, I was stopped for wearing flip flops with my bermuda shorts, linen blazer for going to the bar that doesn’t allowed shorts/sandles. However, scanning inside quickly, I saw several caucasians with crocs/teva with their cargo shorts drinking away. The reality is that, this is the world we live in. Don’t let it get to you.

  2. The Nomad said,

    I was stopped at FRA for carrying a perfume bottle that they deemed too large. ’3 oz’ was printed in bold letters on the bottle. Nevertheless they kept it!

  3. Troy said,

    @The Nomad, that’s custom or security? should be security, right?

  4. Dre said,

    Customs asked to see my iPad and laptop in MUC right after security to make sure I hadn’t bought it from the US on that particular trip. Both were showing wear so it was pretty clear to them they weren’t brand new.

    Pretty sneaky of them to stand right at security, because they see a lot of things in your bag without having to pick people randomly.

  5. Nancy said,

    I’m a caucasian female & they searched me as well in FRA and actually pulled everything out of my handbag.(Although being above average in the looks department probably had more to do with it.) Let’s face it….racial profiling happens in every country & obviously in FRA customs is a revenue center for them. (It’s all about the bottom line!!)

  6. sayeah said,

    didn’t have a good impression at FRA last either. Germans are very unfriendly

  7. Bart Lapers said,


    I’m a caucasian male and got searched by customs at FRA arriving on Lufthansa flight from China (not sure if it was Beijing, Shanghai or HK) As I’m a photographer I had quite some pro photography equipment with me. The customs officer asked me if I had bought any equipment in China. Luckily I was prepared and had copies of my equipment invoices with me to prove all equipment was bought in the EU.

  8. Strappy said,

    My wife is Asian, so I guess we will brace ourselves when we go to FRF.

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