Where are your favourite and least-favourite security staff (and other airport staff)?
Heathrow is struggling to take off in terms of its rude, bureaucratic staff security staff.
Bangkok and Singapore are flying high with curteous and polite security staff.
Might seem strange, bearing in mind old reputations, but I passed through Miami twice recently and the staff there were all polite and helpful. The immigration person was extremely helpful, used my first name once she saw my passport, corrected mistakes I made on my Form for me, and wished me a happy holiday! The airline staff were all very good and the security staff efficient and friendly, even saw one let children play in the metal detector arches... A bit different to previous experience there. The whole airport seemed to be making a real effort to support the users (are you listening Heathrow?). The only passengers I saw have problems at Miami were rude first to the staff, maybe that is the answer- you usually get the service you deserve.
Only real problems I have seen recently have been in the queues for low cost airlines, where the system of no seat allocation is now not viable-too many people working the system, pushing and shoving and foreign handling agents who cannot be bothered to control the boarding proceedure. Can see a riot happening soon at a far corner of the Easyjet empire if they don't control things better.
I remember going through LAX a year or so ago travelling between Canada and New Zealand, and i remember an extremly frosty reception in general, with questions galore about exactly what i was going to do in my three hours before boarding my next plane. I thought about maybe being sarcastic but i thought that wouldn't go very well with the American immigration people.... I also remember on the forms being asked straight out about whether i was a terrorist or not. Incredible times.
Some years ago a friend of mine was waiting in the immigration queue at an American airport with passport in hand. Needing to search for something in his pockets he held onto his passport between his teeth, freeing his hands to rummage through his pockets.
When he got to the immigration desk the immigration officer refused to accept his passport as it had been in his mouth!