Restrictions on hand luggage imposed at airports in the wake of an alleged terrorist bomb plot are to be relaxed.
From tomorrow, passengers will be allowed to take larger bags on to planes for the first time since the stringent rules were introduced last month.
The government initially banned all hand luggage and all but non-essential liquids from being taken on planes but has since relaxed this to allow small bags.
From Friday, larger bags are allowed as long as they’re no bigger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (about 22in x 18in x 10in) – about the size of a small suitcase.
Liquids ban remains
Laptops and large electrical items will be allowed in hand luggage but will have to be taken out at security for separate screening.
However, the ban on all but non-essential liquids will remain and passengers will still be restricted to just one carry-on bag.
The liquid ban means that only essential medicines in liquid form deemed essential for the flight – such as a kit for a diabetic person or baby milk and liquid baby food that has been tasted by the passenger – will be allowed on board.
Musicians with instruments too big to go into hand luggage will also be able to take these on board, although they’ll have to be screened separately.
The Department for Transport said: ‘The measures we introduced in August were in response to a very real and serious threat which continues…We will never compromise on the safety of passengers but it is right that we continually strive to strike the right balance between properly robust security and arrangements which minimise the burden on passengers and business.
‘Passengers should be able to travel as freely as possible but we have no intention of putting their safety at risk. In the meantime, as ever, we will continue to keep our security measures under review.’
It’s estimated that the restrictions have cost the UK economy around £300 million. British Airways alone suffered £40 million losses, having had to cancel 1,280 flights.
Meanwhile, passengers using Luton Airport today were warned about possible delays and cancellations after a private plane overshot the runway last night. Passengers have been advised to contact their airline for more information.