Even duty free hit in hand luggage ban

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The Independent Online

Hand luggage has been banned on UK flights, including liquids and even spectacle cases. Baby milk is only allowed if parents taste it in front of security staff and people flying from the UK to the US will not be able to take duty free perfume or alcohol.

A Department of Transport spokesman said: "With immediate effect, the following arrangements apply to all passengers starting their journey at a UK airport and to those transferring between flights at a UK airport."

All cabin baggage must be processed as hold baggage and carried in the hold of passenger aircraft departing UK airports.

Passengers may take through the airport security search point, in a single (ideally transparent) plastic carrier bag, only the following items. Nothing may be carried in pockets:

* Pocket size wallets and pocket size purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards, identity cards etc - not handbags);

* Travel documents essential for the journey (for example passports and travel tickets);

* Prescription medicines and medical items sufficient and essential for the flight (eg, diabetic kit), except in liquid form unless verified as authentic;

* Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases;

* Contact lens holders, without bottles of solution;

* For those travelling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) and sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight (nappies, wipes, creams and nappy disposal bags);

* Female sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight, if unboxed (eg tampons, pads, towels and wipes);

* Tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs;

* Keys (but no electrical key fobs).

All passengers must be hand searched, and their footwear and all the items they are carrying must be X-ray screened.

Pushchairs and walking aids must be X-ray screened, and only airport-provided wheelchairs may pass through the screening point.

In addition, all passengers boarding flights to the USA and all the items they are carrying, including those acquired after the central screening point, must be subjected to a secondary search at the boarding gate. Any liquids discovered must be taken from the passenger.

WHSmith is limiting sales to food and drink only at its airside stores in some UK airports. It will not sell other goods - such as books and cigarette lighters - at those shops.

BAA head of media relations Mark Mann said: "Passengers can still continue to shop in the airport shops. The goods they buy will be subject to secondary searches when they go into the boarding area.

"Passengers getting flights to America, at the request of the American authorities, are not allowed liquids."

British Airways said any of its passengers who failed to comply with the Government's restrictions on luggage and other items would not be allowed on its planes.

A spokesman said: "Customers are advised to check in as normal but to expect delays at all UK airports.

"British Airways regrets any inconvenience caused. Any customers not complying with this government instruction will not be accepted for travel by British Airways."

He added that passengers were advised that no electrical or battery powered items including laptops, mobile phones, iPods, and remote controls could be carried in the cabin and must be checked in as hold baggage.