28th May 2020

Brussels may postpone hand luggage size restrictions

  • Restrictions on the size of hand luggage could be delayed (Photo: Wikipedia)

The European Union 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 across the bloc in early April, but airline companies have asked for more time to prepare the changes, reports Swedish news agency TT.

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The European Commission is considering delaying the moment when the security law will come into effect, European Commission spokesman Michele Cercone told EUobserver. "But it's not official yet," he added.

If delayed, he said, it could be another six months or maybe even more before passengers would have to make sure that their hand luggage fits EU regulation.

The maximum size of hand luggage that will be allowed beyond check-in, will then be 56 x 45 x 25 centimetres for airlines within the EU.

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

Restriction of liquids allowed on board - which have already come into effect - are also part of the security measures.

The liquids restriction introduced on 6 November last year limits passengers to carrying 100 millilitres of liquids onto aircraft in a sealed plastic bag.

The measures do not apply to passengers from outside the 27-member union, but if they are transiting to an intra-EU flight at a European airport, they still need to hand in their liquids if these do not fit the regulation.

The inconsistency means passengers travelling from Singapore into Frankfurt are allowed to carry on their duty-free liquids, while their fellow travellers transiting on to Ljubljana, for example, will have their perfumes or whisky confiscated in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt International airport has already confiscated 300 tonnes of duty free liquids in the last four months.

The issue will be raised by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso at the EU-US summit next month, according to Irish RTE News.

Last month, the EU transport commissioner Jaques Barrot signalled that he would like to extend the EU's restrictions on liquids beyond its borders to help European duty-free companies compete on a more even basis.

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