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Staying on top of airport bagge rules

The announcement Thursday that British authorities had foiled an alleged terrorist plot to attack airplanes en route from the United Kingdom to the United States has prompted tough new screening rules for passengers. As the story develops, the rules on what passengers can and cannot carry onboard have changed in just one week.

UNITED KINGDOM FLIGHTS

The United Kingdom has the strictest requirements, which apply to all passengers starting their journey at a U.K. airport and to those transferring from international flights at a U.K. airport. Each passenger can carry one item of cabin baggage through the airport security search point. The item must not exceed a maximum (in centimeters) of 45 long by 35 wide by 16 deep (in inches, 17.7 by 13.7 by 6.2, approximately), including wheels, handles, side pockets, etc. Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within the single item of cabin baggage. All items carried by passengers will be X-ray screened.

No liquids of any type will be permitted through the airport security search point. "Liquids" includes gels, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures and the contents of pressurized containers, such as toothpaste, hair gel, drinks, soups, syrups, perfume, deodorant, shaving foam, aerosols, etc.

The only exceptions are

  • Prescription medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight (e.g., diabetic supplies), as long as verified as authentic
  • Baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by the accompanying passenger)
Further, passengers boarding flights to the U.S. and items they are carrying, including those acquired after the central screening point, will be subjected to secondary search at the gate. Any liquids discovered will be removed from the passenger.

To get the latest news, visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office site at www.fco.gov.uk.

UNITED STATES FLIGHTS

For flights originating in the U.S., the federal Transportation Security Administration has banned all liquids, gels, lotions and other items of similar consistency in carry-on baggage. All such items must be packed in checked baggage. Liquids, gels and lotions purchased beyond the checkpoint must be disposed of before boarding the aircraft.

The only exceptions are

  • Small amounts of baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling
  • Liquid prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket
  • Up to 8 ounces of liquid or gel low blood sugar treatment
  • Up to 4 ounces of essential nonprescription liquid medications, such as eye drops
  • Gel-filled bras and similar prosthetics worn for medical reasons
Also, solid cosmetics and personal hygiene items as such lipstick, lip balm and similar solids are permitted. Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed; however, they must be removed and screened.

For the latest developments, visit the TSA Web site at www.tsa.gov/index.

CANADIAN FLIGHTS

Canada's agency Transport Canada advises all travelers departing from Canadian airports that liquids, gels or aerosols in containers of any size must be packed in checked baggage; they may not be carried on board aircraft by passengers.

For the latest news, visit Transport Canada's Web site at www.transportcanada.com.

HELP FROM HOTELS

To help travelers, both the Omni and Wyndham hotel chains have expanded the line of complimentary toiletries they offer to guests. The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas has converted one of its meeting rooms into a space where guests can get complimentary toiletries including shampoo, lotions and toothpaste.

For its 2006 convention and trade show, slated for Oct. 18-21 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals plans to make packing easier for its attendees by adopting a casual dress code, expanding onsite computer services and offering an online travel resource center. "We want to make it as stress-free as possible for our attendees," said HFTP president Ralph Miller, "and do our part to make worldwide travel easier."


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