Airport tries to spare Valentine blushes

Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:55pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - A British airport is entering into the Valentine's spirit by offering private pre-flight searches for those planning to surprise their partners on holiday with an engagement ring.

Manchester, which earlier this month became one of two British airports to introduce body scanners, said that in previous years marriage proposals had risked being ruined when security staff revealed hidden engagement rings during routine searches.

Passengers traveling between February 12 and 15 can whisper "Be my Valentine" to security staff to take advantage of a private search behind a screen, the airport said.

"Our security staff are more than happy for passengers to use the secret phrase especially if it avoids ruining a romantic proposal they had planned," said Mike Fazackerley, Manchester Airport's Director of Customer Services and Security.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Steve Addison)

<p>A security official poses for photographers inside a RapiScan full-body scanner being trialled at Manchester Airport in Manchester, northern England January 7, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>