Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions.
On a recent work trip to Sydney, I bought a bottle of cleanser on my last day, put it in my handbag and promptly forgot about it - that is until I had to go through security. Of course it was thrown straight in the bin and to add insult to injury, the airport security officer got a bit smart about it, which really annoyed me. It's like they take pleasure in throwing out your stuff! I can't believe this stupid rule has just become the norm. Will it ever end?
We have had to put up with that draconian liquids rule for more than 10 years now, after it was introduced in 2006 as a response to a terror plot to blow up jets travelling from Heathrow to the United States. The general idea of the "Liquid Bomb Plot" was to create an explosive device on board, using ingredients disguised in soft drink bottles. Though the plot might not have even been all that advanced, British airlines initially banned passengers from taking anything more than a purse or wallet on board. Parents were allowed to bring milk or baby food on board, but first had to taste it in front of security to prove it was the real deal.
As you can imagine and probably remember, this caused chaos in airports and eventually the rules were loosened to the international liquid ban we have today - where liquids must be in a container no bigger than 100ml and stored in a clear plastic bag. But this was only meant to be temporary - and that was in 2006.
We've been promised the rules would ease eventually and there has been some progress.
You can now take duty free liquids on a connecting flight through some European airports, as long as they're in security tamper-evident bags (STEBs).
In 2014, it was reported new scanning machines were being developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation to detect bomb ingredients - this would mean no more tiny bottles of shampoo and ziplock bags. These high tech scanners were introduced to some airports, including Heathrow and Sydney, in 2013, to be tested on liquids already allowed on planes, like medication. While reports suggested they could end the liquid carry-on restriction by 2016, this obviously hasn't been the case. However, the technology does sound promising - maybe we could aim for 2020?
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