Airports 'coping' with baggage changesNo reports of extra queues

08 January 2008

Airport sign directing travellers to the terminal.

Airports and the government say passengers have coped well with new baggage rules despite fears that changes would lead to confusion.

The one-bag-only rule for hand luggage was lifted yesterday at 22 UK airports but remained in place at others.

At Gatwick Airport in West Sussex there was a two-bag rule for connecting passengers passing through the South Terminal but a one-bag regulation for everyone else.

But a Gatwick spokeswoman said there had been no extra queues and that passengers were coping well.

Two bags accepted at:

  • Aberdeen

  • Benbecula

  • Birmingham

  • Cambridge

  • Cardiff

  • Edinburgh

  • Glasgow

  • Heathrow

  • Inverness

  • Islay

  • Kirkwall

  • London City

  • Manchester

  • Newcastle

  • Plymouth

  • Prestwick

  • Southampton

  • Southend

  • Stansted

  • Stornoway

  • Sumburgh

  • Wick

Tightened security

It was a similar picture at other airports, with a spokesman for the Department for Transport (DfT), which is responsible for airport security, saying there were no reports of any difficulties.

A Gatwick spokeswoman said: ‘Everyone seems to know what's happening. There have been no problems whatsoever.’

At Heathrow, where the one-bag rule has been relaxed, a spokesman said: ‘The operation here has been going well.’

Passengers at UK airports have been subject to the one-bag rule since security was tightened in August 2006.

Passenger confusion

Airports where the restriction was lifted today included Stansted, Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff.

But the one-bag regulation remains at some major airports - including Luton, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool - as these airports have not demonstrated to the Department for Transport (DfT) that they can cope with an easing of the restriction.

Among the groups that had been concerned the rule changing could lead to confusion was the Air Transport Users Council.

Its chief executive Simon Evans had been worried that having sent out one particular message to people about baggage rules, the aviation industry now had to change its advice.

Despite the relaxation of the regulations, air passengers must still abide by the conditions laid down by individual airlines.

No-frills airlines

For instance, no-frills carrier EasyJet was still sticking with the one-bag rule today, despite the restriction being lifted at seven of the 14 airports in the UK from which it operates. Rules on liquids also remain at all airports.

This is not a particularly busy time at UK airports. A bigger test of the new bags regime will come during school half-term holidays next month.

The DfT is working with airports so that the necessary security is in place to ensure that the one-bag rule can be relaxed at all UK airports by the end of May.

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