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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Baggage restrictions lifted at some UK airports

08 January, 2008
Improvements in security screening technology at around 20 of the UK's airports have enabled the department for transport to lift the one bag restriction.
If you're of a certain age, you'll remember those maths "problems" that were so popular in the primary school curriculum. I can't remember any specific examples but they went something like "If you're flying with BMI out of Glasgow with two children, one of whom has a laptop and the other a violin and an umbrella, and you're transferring at Gatwick South Terminal to fly to America using Virgin Atlantic, how many bags can you take on board?"

If, like me, you were one of those pupils who would prefer to stare through the window and dream instead of tackling this kind of problem, you'll be wishing now that you'd paid more attention.

The airport rules are now relatively straightforward. Heathrow, for example, has lifted the restriction but Gatwick hasn't, or have they? Some sources say that restrictions still apply in the North Terminal but not in the South but Gatwick's official web site clearly states that the one bag restriction still applies and makes no distinction between the terminals.

One of London's other airports, Stansted has lifted the restrictions but the vast majority of flights that run from this airport are operated by the cheap and cheerful Ryanair and Easyjet, who both have a one bag only policy.

So what's the answer to our problem? Well, Glasgow has lifted the restrictions and BMI allow one item of hand baggage plus an accessory so you can take one bag each plus the laptop and the umbrella but Gatwick's restrictions would require you to put the umbrella in the hold and stow the laptop in your one item of hand baggage so the answer is one piece each, no umbrella, no additional laptop. There, that was easy, wasn't it?

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