Basic passenger guidelines for air travel in the UK

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With an increase in terrorism related threats, it has become an absolutely must that airports all over the world, especially in the US and Europe,ramp up their security measures. This is essential to ensure that passengers can travel in a safe and secure environ, without the threat of harm to their property or lives.

What makes the task all the more challenging is that with development in technology, there are new materials and chemicals which are virtually undetectable by the old screening methods. As a consequence all major airlines have gone in for a major technological overhaul and are using the latest screening systems to foil any terror threats.

But all of this enhanced security systems means that passengers have to be willing to undergo more stringent checks and screening, which means longer check-in times. One of the benefits of staying in a hotel close to the airport like the Park Grand in London Heathrow is that, you would not have to commute a long distance to make it to the airport on time. That would give you a more relaxed trip instead of being keyed up about reaching in time, especially if there is heavy traffic. That is one of the primary reasons why the Park Grand London Heathrow is a favourite with business travellers to the city of London. Some of the major changes introduced by Heathrow and other airports in the country are as follows:

Check-ins

Make it a point to arrive well in time to undergo the mandatory security checks. In case of overseas flights, you need to be at least 3 hours before departure. For flights within Europe it is 2 hours before take-off and for domestic flights within the UK 90 minutes before the flight departs.

Hand Luggage

It is essential that travellers are patient and follow the instructions laid down by the airport authorities thoroughly. It is meant to ensure your safety, so why should one be negligent? There could be delays at times or extra security checks for which passengers need to be more accommodating. In terms of luggage travellers are permitted to carry more than a single item of hand luggage through security. Although it is better to check with the airline before you arrive at the airport. There are certain airlines which still only allow a single item of hand baggage, with size and weight allowances varying. For baggage size specifications, check with the airline before arrival.

What’s permitted?

Those pieces of luggage that do not meet the permitted cabin baggage specifications must be checked in, to be stored in the aircraft hold. In case you have a musical instrument that does not meet the cabin baggage size criteria it may be allowed as a second item of cabin baggage. It must be screened and it is best if you check with your airline as to whether any special arrangements need to be made. If you are carrying a laptop it has to be removed from its bag and screened separately in the provided trays. If you take the laptop bag it will be regarded as a single item that is allowed into the cabin. In case of items like walking aids, pushchairs and wheelchairs these are allowed but have to be screened.

Liquids

The airline authorities have removed restrictions on certain liquids which are allowed through security checkpoints. e.g. pastes, foams, gels, liquid cosmetics, lotions and pastes etc. However, there are still restrictions imposed as to the quantity. It should not exceed 100 ml. They need to be brought in a transparent re-sealable single bag that itself must not exceed 1 liter in capacity. Its dimensions need to be approx. 20x20cm with the bag being sealed. The bag has to be presented for examination and only a single bag is allowed per passenger. All other liquids which cannot be placed inside a re-sealable bag go into the hold luggage and have to be checked in. Larger quantities of liquids can be kept in luggage checked into the baggage section of the aircraft.
Liquids include water, syrups, soup and drinks along with perfumes, oils, creams, cosmetics etc. Gels such as shaving and shower gels and foam are also permitted along with liquids of a similar consistency.

Medicines

Any essential medication that is over 100 ml is permitted upon being authenticated.This also includes exceptions for milk and baby food although you may have to taste the liquid during the security check.

Airport purchases

Once you are through with the security check you can carry on board any items purchased from the duty free or departure lounge. As a norm most duty free purchases are given in a special sealed bag which is not to be opened till you reach your destination. Also keep any receipts as proof of purchase as you might have to furnish them at transfer points. All of the mentioned rules and regulations are laid down by the Department for Transport. Airlines & Airports. There may be additional measures enforced at times, so all passengers must check with their carrier or the airport before checking in.

There is a separate list of restrictions that apply to duty free purchases on return journeys when flights are changed at an EU airport. All of these and more detailed information need to be checked on the Department of Transport’s website.

These are just a few basic guidelines.For more detailed information ensure to check the airport’s website also.

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