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G4S warns British travellers to be more careful with what they carry onto aircraft

G4S Secure Solutions (UK And Ireland) : 14 July, 2009  (Technical Article)
With UK airports annually confiscating £60 worth of items from travellers' carry-on baggage, G4S issues a warning to ease check-in congestion by being more aware of the regulations
New research from G4S Aviation Services ('G4S') reveals that every year over 110,000 Britons are dishonest when asked by airport security officers if they packed their own luggage. In addition, more than 122,000 passengers leave luggage unattended when going to the toilet, visiting airport bars and when duty free shopping each year, creating major security alerts and long delays.

Ahead of the summer travel rush, G4S is warning passengers that it is a criminal offence to lie to airport security about packing your own bags and offenders found guilty could find themselves facing prosecution.

Gavin Windsor, Managing Director, G4S Aviation Services commented: "Each year we face a summer of security alerts and delays at airports as a result of irresponsible travellers leaving bags unattended and putting restricted items in their hand luggage. Before they fly, all travellers should check with their airline the items that they are permitted to take on board the aircraft and keep their bags with them at all times."

According to the findings, one-in-five (19%) Britons has had items confiscated by airport security in the last five years. Even amongst those that did not have items confiscated, one-in-ten (11%) travellers did not check regulations regarding carry-on luggage before flying. G4S is advising travellers to carefully check regulations before flying or risk having items confiscated from their hand luggage.

The research shows that almost 900,000 British travellers each year have liquids seized by personnel at security check points and over half a million flyers have had sharp objects such as knives and scissors confiscated.

Meanwhile, over 325,000 Britons have had medical items and toiletries confiscated. G4S is urging travellers taking essential medical supplies, such as a syringe and needles to treat diabetes, onto an aeroplane, to ensure they have a letter from their doctor confirming their condition, or they risk being denied access to their flight.

Items confiscated by security at airports in the last year are summarised as follows:

Liquids (such as beverages) 897,400
Sharp objects 629,600
Medical items and toiletries 325,200
Gases / gas powered devices (such as curling tongs) 70,400
Explosives 24,600
Toy guns 22,400
Flammable liquids 21,600
Corrosives 20,800
Poisons 17,000

Every year British travellers voluntarily dispose of £60 million worth of items including, toiletries, deodorant cans and manicure kits when they reach the security checkpoints at airport departure gates. Passengers could find themselves forced to throw away expensive makeup and designer perfumes if they are over 100ml by volume and fail to put them into their checked luggage.

Regionally, one-in-four Londoners have had items confiscated by airport security in the last five years. People living in the South East were most likely to lie to airport security about packing their own bags, with more than one-in-twenty (6%) travellers admitting to this crime. Travellers from the North East are the most likely to leave their luggage unattended in airports, with one-in-twenty travellers in the last five years risking causing a major security alert.

A passenger flying to Sao Paulo, Brazil, from a British airport in May was found to have given false information regarding packing her own baggage. The passenger was immediately taken off the plane and handed to the appropriate authorities.

Travellers wishing to check what they are permitted to take on board an aircraft can visit the government's website and should check with their airline before flying.
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