New Airline Security Rules
The foiled UK terrorist plot has wreaked havoc with air travel in the country:
All short-haul inbound flights to Heathrow airport have been cancelled. Some flights in and out of Gatwick have been suspended.
Security has been increased at Channel ports and the Eurotunnel terminal.
German carrier Lufthansa has cancelled flights to Heathrow and the Spanish airline Iberia has stopped UK flights.
British Airways has announced it has cancelled all its short-haul flights to and from Heathrow for the rest of Thursday.
The airline added that it was also cancelling some domestic and short haul services in and out of Gatwick airport during the remainder of the day.
In addition, pretty much no carry-ons are allowed:
These measures will prevent passengers from carrying hand luggage into the cabin of an aircraft with the following exceptions (which must be placed in a plastic bag):
- 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 (e.g. diabetic kit), except in liquid form unless verified as authentic;
- Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases;
- Contact lens holders, without bottles of solution;
- For those traveling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger);
- 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 (e.g. tampons, pads, towels and wipes) tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs;
- Keys (but no electrical key fobs)
Across the Atlantic, the TSA has announced new security rules:
Passengers are not allowed to have gels or liquids of any kind at screening points or in the cabin of any airplane.
They said this includes beverages, food, suntan lotion, creams toothpaste, hair gel, or similar items. Those items must be packed into checked luggage. Beverages bought on the secure side of the checkpoint must be disposed of before boarding the plane.
There are several exceptions to the new rule. Baby formula, breast milk, or juice for small children, prescription medications where the name matched the name of a ticked passenger, as well as insulin and other essential health items may be brought onboard the plane.
See the TSA rules for more detail.
Given how little we know of the extent of the plot, these don’t seem like ridiculous short-term measures. I’m sure glad I’m not flying anywhere this week.
EDITED TO ADD (8/10): Interesting analysis by Eric Rescorla.
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