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Hand luggage restriction

New hand luggage restriction for UK airline passengers
Hand luggage restriction: November 6th, 2006

Hand luggage restrictions - prohibiting liquids from being carried on board flights in and out of the UK - have been relaxed today.

The EU security measures allow airline passengers to carry small quantities (maximum 100 ml per container) of liquids, pastes, gels and aerosols in their hand luggage.

New regulations, which come into force today (Monday, November 6th, 2006), apply to passengers on flights to Kenya from all UK and EU airports. They also apply on flights from Kenya to all UK airports or any airport within the European Union.

The rules prevent passengers carrying fluids - including water, soft drinks, hair gels, sprays, toothpaste, moisturisers, contact lens fluid and aerosols - of more than 100ml per item, in their hand luggage. However, these items are not restricted for check-in luggage.

EU rules also require passengers to carry these items in ONE transparent plastic bag. The bag, which must be re-sealable, should not exceed 20cm by 20cm (8" by 8") and is limited to one litre in volume. Passengers are allowed to carry appropriate transparent plastic bags from home.

Restrictions do not apply to baby formula (milk) nor medication required during the flight, though if each item exceeds 100ml, they will be subject to higher scrutiny. Passengers are allowed to make tax-free purchases at the airport after they have passed through the ticket and/or passport control. Any purchased liquids and gels are to be packed and sealed at the shop or on board the flight.

Kenya Airways said in a statement issued Friday, 27th Oct 2006, that passengers travelling in and out of Europe would have to comply with new hand baggage laws introduced by the European Union.

Kenya Airways Corporate Communications Manager Michael Okwiri said toiletries such as toothpaste, facial creams, hair gel, shaving cream and lip gloss are also to be restricted.

"Transparent plastic bags allow for a more speedy completion of the security check of each passenger," said Okwiri.

The new rules, which are likely to impact on passenger comfort, especially those on flights to Kenya and other long-haul destinations, are the result of alleged terrorist threats to trans-Atlantic flights in and out of London Heathrow Airport.

However, new hand luggage restrictions do not apply to passengers on internal flights in Kenya. Many visitors to Kenya use small safari flights - 'air-taxis' - to travel between the numerous game reserves in Kenya. These passengers are not subject to new hand luggage restrictions either.

It was not clear whether the rules would be applied to other African destinations, although most airline flights to Africa have been applying the rules for sometime now.

Liquids and gels purchased at non-European airports, or aboard non-European flights, which are not packed in compliance with the new rules will be confiscated at any EU airport.

Hand luggage restrictions have been introduced to limit the threat of a possible terrorist attack using liquid explosives. Larger volumes of liquids could be used as explosives.

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