Q I’ve just come back from a holiday in Spain, and I was amazed to see at both Manchester and Malaga airports that passengers were still having items such as sun cream confiscated. I thought the liquids ban was supposed to be temporary?
A It’s 10 years this month since the “liquid bomb plot” was uncovered, leading to the current draconian rules that limit individual liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) to 100ml containers, all within a clear, resealable bag.
Airline passengers have been repeatedly promised an easing of these rules, but not much has happened yet. Europe has slightly loosened the restrictions on duty frees, allowing them to be transferred at some airports so long as they are in security tamper-evident bags (STEBs), though reports reaching The Independent suggest that not all security checkpoints share the same view about what is allowed. And that’s the problem. New technology should allow an easing of restrictions, but until all the equipment is in place and all the staff have been trained any change is likely to spark yet more confusion and upset.
On the horizon, both within Europe and worldwide, is a world where we’ll be breezing through a corridor flanked with detection gear instead of having to get all our personal stuff checked in front of everyone. But it is some years away yet.