This past weekend I had to pick up my wife and her friends from the Toronto International Airport from the arrivals lounge after a week-long ‘girls only’ trip to a sunny, warmer, southern paradise. While I was waiting for them to go through customs, collect their luggage and exit the baggage area, I noticed several transportation company representatives displaying placards with names on them. They all seemed to be acquaintances as they were very friendly to each other and shared stories. They were obviously there to pick up specific passengers and take them to their final destination. Now, I don’t know how secure these transfers are, or whether the passengers know them, but it struck me as odd that the passengers acknowledged their name on the placards and then left with the representative without any obvious verification of identity or trading of secret validation script or password to ensure they were getting into the car with the right company/person.
I wondered how easy it would be for someone to falsely represent him or herself and abduct an unsuspecting traveller? Now, I am sure all was in order, but being in the security business and exposed to stories of the dangers of international travel, especially to countries with crime and terrorism concerns, I also wondered what measures did the company the passenger worked for take to ensure their Duty of Care obligations were met? And, what measures did the transportation company take to ensure the identity and background of their representative? Is a thorough background check a mandatory requirement for employment?
Personally I’ve always felt most comfortable when travelling for personal reasons; when I’ve arranged airport transportation with a company I know and drivers that I’ve met before.
For those of you who read my last blog entry, I am pleased to tell you that I wrote down where I parked at the airport and found my car without incident. The ‘girls’ had no knowledge of my paranoia.