11th Dec 2018

New EU air travel rules come into force

  • Baby milk can still be taken on board in larger quantities (Photo: wikipedia)

In airports across the EU restrictions on liquids carried in hand luggage and stricter security checks come into force today (6 November), with officials advising travellers to arrive well ahead of their flights to avoid delays.

Under the new EU rules, air passengers can only take on board liquids - such as skin creams, hair gels or make up - of up to 100 millilitres kept in containers which must fit into a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag easily checked by security officials.

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Some airports are planning to distribute the plastic bags to travellers for the initial period after the new measures enter into force and will also provide extra staff to help people through the change.

Passengers may also take baby food and medicines in their hand luggage without any quantity limitations, as well as drinks and perfumes bought in airport duty free shops, but duty free goods must be kept in sealed and unopened transparent bags.

On top of this, security officials will separately screen laptops and other large electronic devices, such as video cameras or radios.

EU-wide restrictions on the maximum size of hand luggage cases allowed on board - 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm, except for special cases, such as musical instruments - will come into effect next April.

Free leaflets listing all the new rules - to apply at all EU airports, but also in Albania, Iceland, Kosovo, Norway and Switzerland - have been translated into several European languages and distributed at airports.

They new rules were hammered out in late September in reaction to an alleged terrorist plot in the UK to blow up transatlantic airlines using explosives disguised in liquid form.

Brussels may postpone hand luggage size restrictions

The EU could postpone putting in place new rules on the maximum size of hand luggage allowed on board of air planes. The new rules should have been implemented in early April, but airline companies have asked for more time to prepare.

Greens boycott EU-Morocco vote after lobbying expose

EUobserver has exposed Moroccan lobbying at the European Parliament, prompting a probe to be launched against several MEPs. The Greens have now decided to boycott next week's Morocco trade vote in protest, saying the lobbying investigation must be finished first.

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