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WELCOME TO A NEW era in travel:
No liquids, lotions, gels or the like are permitted in carry-on baggage.
The change in rules is based on Thursday's announcement by British authorities of a plot to blow up U.S.-bound aircraft using explosives smuggled on board in carry-on bags. In response, the threat level for flights between Britain and the United States was raised to red; the domestic flight threat level to orange.
"Clearly, there is going to be a new regime for carry-on baggage," says Ed Perkins, contributing editor for SmarterTravel.com, a consumer travel advice web site. "It's going to be harder to do a no-checked baggage trip."
If you must travel in the coming weeks, here's how to cope:
Before You Leave Home
Pack carefully. Anyone who has ever opened a suitcase to discover a leaky bottle of shampoo or moisturizer will tell you it's important to carefully secure toiletries in your luggage. First, squeeze the air out of any open containers, says Susan Foster, author of "Smart Packing for Today's Traveler." "Air is what expands and makes the product leak," she explains. Then put each item into a sealable plastic bag. Place your heaviest items (shoes, hairdryer, etc.) along the hinged or wheeled edge of your suitcase, and then layer your toiletries on top of them. That way, when the suitcase is upright, the only things pressing atop your toiletries will be your comparatively light clothing.
Watch your weight
. An average set of toiletries weighs nine pounds, says Paul Shrater, co-founder of Minimus, a web site that sells travel-size items. If you're used to carrying most in your carry-on, that extra weight could easily put you over the airline's checked baggage limit. And those fees — which start at $25 — are nothing to sneeze at. (For more, see our column Avoiding Ugly Airline Fees.) Use travel-size items when possible, or squeeze some of your favorite brand into a small container.
The only liquid products permitted in your carry-on bag are necessary medications and infant formula — and even those must pass inspection. To get any must-have toiletries or nonvital medications in your carry-on, seek out nonliquid alternatives, advises Shrater. Many traditionally liquid products come in towelettes (bug spray, makeup remover, hand sanitizer) or dissolvable strips (mouthwash, soap). Also consider the pill forms of any liquid medications, such as Pepto Bismol, Vicks or Benadryl.
Instead of... Bring...
Dramamine caplets Chewable Dramamine caplets
Hand sanitizer gel Wet Ones moist wipes
Mouthwash Listerine Pocket Packs
Pepto Bismol, liquid Pepto Bismol caplets
Sunscreen Smart Shield sunscreen towelette with insect repellent
Shampoo Lush solid shampoo
Toothpaste Oral B Brush-Ups
Leave some room
. As of publication, passengers on flights leaving the U.K. were not permitted to have any carry-on bags at all, save those that could fit in a pocket — say, a wallet. Save space in your checked luggage for your purse or briefcase, advises Foster. Consider packing a duffel bag in your suitcase in case you run out of room.
At the Airport
Be the early bird. To catch all the banned items, airport security teams are conducting in-depth bag searches. "That kind of search takes time," says Tim Winship, publisher of FrequentFlier.com. "There are going to be security delays like you've never seen before." Aim to arrive at least three hours before a domestic flight, four hours before an international one.
Ask about mail-back options.
You threw out your bottled water and transferred toiletries to your checked baggage, but forgot to remove that Swiss Army knife. Don't panic. Most airports offer some aid to keep your banned items out of the confiscation pile. All you need to do is ask. (Do, however, weigh the consequences of getting out of line against the personal value of that item.)
One of the most widespread options is mail-back kiosks near the security checkpoint or at airport stores. For about $10, one of three companies — ReturnKey Systems, Smarte Cart and CheckPoint Mailers — will mail items back to your home. Other airports provide assistance at their traveler's aid office. At Tampa International Airport, travelers can buy envelopes and stamps, while Daytona Beach International Airport mails back items free of charge.
Avoid airport shopping
. Don't count on re-buying what you just tossed out after you've cleared security and are browsing in the shops. Those items are also banned from the plane. Buy and chug that bottled water if you must, but hold off on other purchases until you arrive at your destination.
Taken from : www.hotels.com
Published August 11, 2006, 10:30 AM CDT
To speak with a Customer Care Agent during emergencies:
Domestic: (800) 916-1821
International: (817) 333-5179
Security Threat Level Raised at all Airports
In response to a serious terrorist threat to international aviation security, the Secretary of Homeland Security has elevated the Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Condition as follows:
To Severe, or Red, for all commercial flights from the United Kingdom to the United States, To High, or Orange, for all other international flights and all domestic commercial aviation.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a number of heightened protective measures to ensure the continued safety and security of our international and domestic air travel.
For the latest information on Travel Security Alert status and screening procedures, visit the Transportation Security Administration site.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is immediately implementing following changes to airport screening procedures:
No liquids or gels of any kind will be permitted in carry-on baggage. All of these items must be in checked baggage. This includes all beverages, shampoos and conditioners, lotions and creams, toothpaste, hair gel, and all products of similar consistency. The only exceptions noted pertain to baby formula, prescription medication, insulin and other essential non-prescription medicines. Labeled prescription medications must carry the same name as the ticketed passenger.
All travelers from the United Kingdom to the United States will be subject to more extensive screening processes. The following apply to all passengers departing from a U.K. airport and to those transferring between flights at a U.K. airport:
All carry-on baggage must be processed as checked baggage and stored in the belly of the aircraft departing U.K. airports.
Passengers may take only the following items through airport security in a single plastic bag: Pocket size wallets and pocket size purses plus contents (no handbags)
Travel documents essential for travel (passports, tickets)
Prescription medication and medical items essential for the flight
Glasses and sunglasses without cases
Contact lens holders without bottles of solution o Baby food, milk and sanitary items needed for the flight
Unboxed tissues and/or handkerchiefs
Keys without electronic key fobs All passengers will be hand searched. Their footwear and all items carried will be screened.
All passengers boarding flights to the United States and all items carried will be subject to secondary screening at the boarding gate.
To assist passengers, U.S. government agencies are advising travelers to follow these general guidelines:
Pack lightly to help facilitate airport security checkpoints.
Cooperate with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates. TSA security officers will be checking carry-on baggage at gates.
Passengers should allow extra time and plan to arrive at the airport in advance to accommodate any delays.
Check with carriers well in advance of flight departures for flight delays or cancellations.
For all other questions, you can contact us by e-mail with our support and feedback form. To speak with a Customer Care Agent call:
Domestic: (800) 916-1821
International: (817) 333-5179