09/08/2012 13:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Children's Tennis Racquets, Sir? They're Lethal Weapons, Say Airport Security Staff

Children's tennis rackets, sir? They're lethal weapons, say airport security staff Getty

Here's a cautionary tale for tennis-loving holidaymakers: if you're thinking of taking your racquets, think again – because they could be seized by airport guards as potentially lethal weapons!

That's what happened to dad Richard Chew, 46, as he tried to board a flight with his nine-year-old stepson Will.

The dad-of-two had two Dunlop children's racquets seized from his hand luggage by security staff.

He said: "I appreciate that we live in a security conscious age but this is ridiculous and I think they should allow the security services to exercise some common sense.

"All I had was two kids' tennis rackets but they said I couldn't take them through.

"When I asked why they said it was because they were potentially lethal weapons.

"He actually said that I would be able to take it out of the bag and hit a steward or stewardess on the head with them rendering them unconscious.

"I mean it's possible but it takes a bit of a leap of imagination. You don't hear many people sleeping next to a kid's tennis racquet just in case of a burglary, it's really silly.

"He even told me that you can take small scissors on board and knitting needles. You could do more damage with them than a tennis racket."

Businessman Richard and Will were on their way to Majorca to visit Will's mother, Vicky Locklin, 44, who had recently relocated there for work as a DJ.

Richard said they had been looking forward to basking in the sun and enjoying a few games of tennis.

But the border staff destroyed their tennis plans, when they told them to hand over the racquets as they passed through security.

Richard was told he could check the racquets in for £40, but the delay would have meant they missed the flight.

A spokeswoman for Leeds Bradford Airport said: "Government legislation dictates what can and cannot be used as hand luggage.

"All UK airports are mandated to adhere to government legislation, compliance in this matter is frequently audited."

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