New rules for hand luggage at all EU airports

Starting 6 November 2006 new rules for hand luggage at all EU airports

Liquids, gels and aerosols are only allowed in hand luggage in small quantities (no more than 100 ml per item) and if correctly packaged. These rules will apply to all passengers departing from or changing planes at EU airports. The new rules cover liquids such as water and other beverages, gels, pastes, lotions and the contents of aerosol cans. Toiletries such as toothpaste, shaving cream, hair gel, lip gloss and creams also fall under the rules.

These are the rules for liquids in your hand luggage: 1. You can only take liquids and gels in containers of no more than 100 ml on board the aircraft. 2. These containers must be carried in transparent plastic bags. 3. There is a limit of one transparent plastic bag per person. 4. The volume of the transparent plastic bag may not be greater than 1 litre. 5. The transparent plastic bag must be re-sealable.

You may bring a suitable plastic bag from home. During the introductory period, free transparent plastic bags will also be given out at some airports.

There are two exceptions to the above rules: 1. Baby food needed during the flight; 2. Medicines needed during the flight.

Shopping at airports and on board the flight You can still make purchases, including duty-free purchases, after ticket and/or passport control and on board European airline flights. Liquids and gels that you buy after ticket and/or passport control or on board will be packed and sealed for you as necessary by the shop or cabin personnel. The seal is valid for one day. If you must change planes, you may not break the seal until you reach your final destination.

Keep your liquids separate When passing through the security check for hand luggage, you must place your liquids separately in the bin for X-ray screening. Your containers of liquids must fit comfortably in the transparent plastic bag, and the bag must be closed. Coats, jackets and large electrical appliances such as laptops must also be handed in separately to be checked.

Questions & Answers

Why are these rules necessary? The new rules for hand luggage were introduced after the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain in August 2006. The suspects were thought to be involved in a plot to destroy aircraft using liquid explosives. Liquids in hand luggage are now subjected to greater restrictions and stricter controls to reduce the chances of such an attack.

Why liquids? Extensive research on the subject has shown that large amounts of liquid explosives are needed to cause an explosion. For this reason, passengers may no longer carry large amounts of liquids in their hand luggage. Liquids and gels sold at airports are subject to extra checks, and liquids and gels brought from home may only be brought on board in small quantities.

What can I expect at airport checkpoints? At the security checkpoints, all hand luggage goes through a scanner on a conveyor belt. At this point your hand luggage is also checked for liquids. According to the new rules, if you want to take liquids in your hand luggage, you have to pack them separately before departure, either at home or at the airport. If, in spite of this, you pack loose containers of liquids and gels in your hand luggage, you should allow for the possibility that they will be confiscated at the security checkpoint. Before the checkpoints, there are specially equipped locations at most airports where you can obtain a plastic bag and repack your liquids and gels.

You must present all liquids separately when your hand luggage is checked. Your transparent plastic bag must be closed, and your containers of liquids must fit in it comfortably. Coats, jackets and large electrical appliances such as laptops must also be presented separately for inspection.

Where can I get a plastic bag? Transparent plastic bags that meet the European requirements are still hard to obtain in shops. During the introductory period, free transparent plastic bags will be given out at some airports.

Can I still shop after passport control? Is there still duty-free shopping? Yes, you can still do your shopping, including duty-free shopping, at EU airports after passport control and on European airline flights. Liquids and gels that you buy after the ticket and/or passport control or on board will be packed and sealed for you as necessary by the shop or on board. The seal is valid for one day. If you must change to another plane, you may not break the seal until you reach your final destination.

Shopping at non-European airports and on board non-European airlines

If you buy liquids or gels (duty-free or not) at a non-European airport and change planes at a European airport, you should allow for the possibility that your purchases will be confiscated at the security checkpoint. This can happen with purchases you make on board an aircraft operated by an airline from a non-EU country.

Why do I need a plastic bag? The transparent plastic bag is needed for the airport security check. If all the containers are together in the transparent plastic bag, security personnel can see at a glance if the rules have been followed. Ensuring that the bag is closed and packing it so that the containers fit in it comfortably will make security checks go faster. If, in spite of this, you pack loose containers of liquids and gels in your hand luggage, you should allow for the possibility that they will be confiscated at the security checkpoint.

Do these rules apply everywhere? The same rules apply at all airports in all 25 EU countries. These rules will therefore apply whenever you are departing from or changing planes in the EU. Similar rules for hand luggage apply in the US and Canada. Bear in mind that different rules may apply in other non-EU countries.

Where can I find these rules? The same rules for hand luggage will apply to all air passengers in the EU as of 6 November 2006. You can find these rules on teletext TV or on the website of your airline or airport.

How can I bring back wine or raki from Crete? From now on this is only possible in your checked in luggage, not in your hand luggage.

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