Wednesday, July 7, 2010

International Air Travel Update - What You Need To Know About Carry-On and Check-In Luggage.

International air travel today operates in an era of heightened security

Packing has become a separate science. No longer do we have the luxury of bulging carry on luggage and fitting it all in! 

Back Chat gives you a summary of the do's and don'ts of what you need to know about carry-on and check-in luggage. 

For seasoned travellers this may be old hat. But for many all this will be new and possibly bewildering.  Do contact me if you need to know more about this very important aspect of modern day International Air Travel.   Either email me at les@leslieback.co.za or leave a comment on Back Chat. I look forward to hearing from you.




CARRY- ON BAGGAGE

It is all about  LAGS.  Liquid, aerosols and gels.

LAGS  is an acronym used internationally to define the quantities of these items that you may take on board an aircraft in your carry on luggage.
 

THE RULES AND REGS OF LAGS
* When taking any of these in your hand luggage, you must ensure that they are in containers of 100ml (3.5fl ozs) each.   Larger containers that are half full and rolled up tubes of tooth paste are not permitted and will be confiscated.

* The legitimate containers must be fitted into a separate transparent plastic, zip-loc or resealable bag that does not exceed 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inches) or the equivalent of 1 litre capacity.   Quart – size bags and not gallon bags or fold- over sandwich bags are required.

* Items must fit snugly and the bag must be completely closed.

*At the airport security search, the plastic bag must be removed from your cabin bag and x-ray screened separately.

ITEMS  CLASSIFIED  AS  LAGS

All drinks, soups, syrups, creams, lotions, perfumes, mascara, lip gloss, spray solutions, oils, shaving foam, spray deodorants, pastes such as tooth paste, gels such as bath and shower gels, and any other liquid- solid mixture of similar consistency.
 
Certain items must be presented separately for screening at airport security checkpoints.


* Liquid baby food

* Medication that is accompanied by a prescription or medical certificate in the name of the user.

* Coats

* Large electrical appliances, laptop, large digital camera, DVD player.

* Duty-free items with proof of purchase may be carried onto the plane.  These are sealed in special duty-free bags that are provided free of charge.   These may not be opened before reaching your final destination.

PROHIBITED ITEMS

Sharp items such as scissors, tweezers, pocket knives and razors.

A weapon, explosives, mace, hammers etc.

Bringing prohibited items to a security check, even accidentally, is illegal.

 

SIZE AND WEIGHT OF CARRY-ON
AND CHECK-IN BAGGAGE

These vary according to which class you have booked and the airline concerned.   It is necessary to check the relevant airline about their requirements.  This will also apply to the number of pieces you are allowed.
 

CHECK – IN BAGGAGE

In order to streamline security, it is recommended that you place as many LAGS in your check-in luggage as possible.

Remember the rules do not affect liquids packed in checked baggage or drinks and perfumes bought at airport shops after passengers have cleared security.

All sorts of innovative ways have been found to deal quite legally with the restrictions.

* Passengers are using hard luggage as one of their check-in pieces.  This way they can pack things that would have previously been in carry-on luggage and the danger of breakages and spillages are reduced.

* Some actually courier their LAGS ahead – a very expensive option.

* Airlines usually produce a pouch of sorts with useful and safe toiletries for the trip.  You need not feel deprived.

* Men are now shaving when they reach their hotels on arrival.   Hotels sometimes provide disposable razors – or they can be bought en route to the hotel.
 

FINALLY…

NB:  YOU MUST ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT 3 HOURS BEFORE AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Check with your airline prior to your flight merely to confirm what you already know or to find out it there are any new regulations.

This ‘new normal’ may change at a moment’s notice.  It remains as a very dynamic process.

Be prepared to remove your shoes, belts with large metal buckles or anything that may trigger the alarm as you are checking in and prompt a check by hand.

Full body x-ray searches are being conducted in certain airports and will eventually become the norm.

Remember these regulations are the result of extensive research and are for your safety.

As you head for the security area, take a deep breath and remain calm because you know that you have done your homework and are well prepared.

BON  VOYAGE!

 

 Illustrations by Catherine Lauinger


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