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London Terrorist Threat Affecting UK, US Airport Security

By August 10, 2006

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British authorities have arrested 24 people this week in connection with an apparent plot to explode US-bound planes in midair, according to world news reports. In response to the terrorist threat, US and UK governments have raised airport security levels significantly and long flight delays are happening in both countries. The list of items which could not be carried onboard in the US and UK was hugely expanded Wednesday to include laptops, cell phones and iPods in the UK, and most liquids and gels in the US (note that personal electronic devices were not banned from carry-on luggage on planes in the US, and there is no indication that they will be). An excerpt from a Wednesday US TSA (Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security and sets policy) communication: "No liquids or gels of any kind will be permitted in carry-on baggage... This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency." (TSA update on 8/14/06: 4 ounces of liquid medication now permitted.)

Services mail banned items home from US airports

The TSA's list will doubtless continue to expand; if you're in a US airport and find yourself carrying something newly banned from carry on luggage, know that services exist which mail banned airport security items home for a fee ($9-$14) and are found near security checkpoints in some airports.

Related: About Banned Security Items in Airports | Lighters to Take Flight Again? | | "Foiled Plot Disrupts UK Flights" | If you're at loose ends in London: Top Free Things to Do in London, How to Use the London Tube, and Soho Shopping | Current TSA FAQ | Current TSA List of Prohibited Items

News sources | Note that personal electronic devices are not currently banned at US airport security checkpoints.

Photo: Kathleen Crislip
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