Partial liquid ban lift expected to prompt delays

by Tiffany Millar on April 12, 2011

A partial lift on the ban of carrying liquids in hand luggage is expected to cause delays for airline passengers in the EU later this month. From April 29, passengers should be allowed to carry duty-free liquids between long-haul flights while in transit. The products, which include aerosols, perfume and alcohol, will, however, have to be carried in clear, tamper-proof bags.

EU officials hope to completely lift the liquid ban on all flights by 2012, but it is feared that the partial lift will cause chaos for travellers who are likely to be unaware of the rules change. Airports and airlines have also warned that severe delays could be seen.

Following the Heathrow bomb plot of 2006, many EU countries have refused to lift the ban on carrying duty-free liquids in hand luggage. UK airports still remain uncertain about whether or not they will meet the EU deadline, while France and Italy are expected to refuse outright.

The USA is also yet to confirm whether they will allow goods from European destinations to be carried on internal flights in the country, as the machines that are meant to detect liquid explosives have so far not been tested outside of laboratory conditions. This would mean security personnel would have to open bottles in order to manually test the liquids inside.

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