Monday, December 11, 2006
These "Friendly" Skies
As I ready myself for my return home next Monday, I realize I should look into the current flight restrictions. Lucky me, I'm flying into London Heathrow, the world's busiest airport. There was a time I loved Heathrow and occasionaly even lunched there without catching a flight. Now, I am dreading my transfer between terminals 1 and 4. My boss told me that he fley through Heathrow to the US last month and took a good hour getting across the airport. Part of that is due to that stupid train that serves as a shuttle but is in fact an actual train and forces you to watch a safety video before taking you anywhere. Luckily I will have 4 hours to make the journey and both of my flights are on BA so I am hoping to catch the second one without problem. I am also hoping to bring my lap top home with me but first I must find a ruler and determine the size of my computer bag in centimeters. It is a good thing I brought my small purse with me as in order to bring a lap top and a purse, both must fit within one bag and within strict dimensional standards. Basicaly, these are the rules of the UK; cabin baggage allowance restrictions The following cabin baggage allowance remains in place and is applicable to all passengers: starting their journey at a UK airport all passengers transferring from international flights at a UK airport We advise passengers travelling to the UK to also adhere to UK cabin baggage allowance restrictions when travelling within Europe or to check individual airport operators. each passenger is permitted to carry ONE item of cabin baggage through the airport security the dimension of the bag must not exceed a maximum length of 56cm, width of 45cm and depth of 25cm (including wheels, handles, side pockets, etc) all items carried by passengers must be x-ray screened a handbag or bag can be contained within the one cabin bag, but must not exceed the maximum dimensions items permitted in your cabin baggage In addition to the liquids permitted in one transparent re-sealable bag you can take the following in your one cabin bag, as previously in place: electrical equipment including laptops, mobile phones, MP3 players, portable music and DVD players, digital and film cameras, video cameras – all larger electrical equipment will need to be removed from your cabin baggage and x-ray screened separately essential medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight in quantities less than 50ml (e.g. diabetic kit), as long as verified as authentic – items must be removed from the bag and placed in a tray and screened separately solid cosmetics e.g compact powder and lipstick (not lipgloss) baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) are permitted in the cabin bag other items all coats and jackets must be removed and screened as cabin baggage items normally carried in cabin baggage such as books, medicines in non-liquid form, keys and travel documents may be carried in the cabin bag as long as they fit into a bag no bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25 cm pushchairs and walking aids, including wheelchairs are permitted but must be security screened outsize items All items of luggage which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size must be checked in. One musical instrument in its case (no items other than the instrument and its accessories may be carried in the case), will be allowed as a second item of cabin baggage. The item will need to be screened and passengers should check if special arrangements need to be made. If the people flying are anything like those I encountered in Stanstead no one has heard of the no liquid rule or some how everyone thinks they are the exception to the rule. Even out of Boston, the guy in front of my tried to bring an entire bottle of Crown Royal and two maple leave-shaped bottles full of syrup in his back pack. The security guy asked him if he had any liquid and he said nope...bad idea Mr. In London, I watched a woman fight to keep her cosmetics as they were confiscated one by one out of her carry one. The whole time an orphaned 2 liter bottle of Fanta sat on the counter reminding me of how stupid people can really be. Let's hope things work a bit better this time around.