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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Monday August 14, 2006
02:22 PM

hand baggage

[ #30628 ]

The UK's old hand baggage restriction was 1 item no larger than 56cm by 45cm by 25cm - ie a maxium volume of almost 62 litres. Plus on most airlines you were allowed a "personal item" such as a "laptop bag". For example see the sadly rather short lived "new" allowances from BA.

The new hand baggage allowance is strictly one item no larger than 45cm by 35cm by 16cm - ie a volume of just over 25 litres. But any laptop bag or suchlike must fit within your single item. So the allowance is down by 60% if you aren't taking a laptop, but by considerably more if you are. In fact, a typical chunky laptop bag takes up most of the new allowance, so it's likely that if you're on a business trip you can no longer fit all your clothing into hand luggage. That isn't going to please these guys. Money talks, and a £20,000,000,000 trade surplus talks quite loudly.

The embago on fluids seems proportionate, given the description of the threat given, and the seeming credibility of the chemical experts describing liquid explosives. However, it does have the side effect of wiping out all duty free sales of alcholol in the departure lounge, which isn't going to please the retail tenants of these guys. And while you may think that the Ministry of Motorways is only interested in roads, those guys had enough clout to make it veto the SRA's propsals to abolish the Gatwick Express to free up paths for more trains to Brighton.

Hateful firefox for crashing while I was previewing the previous version of this entry

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  • The embago on fluids seems proportionate, given the description of the threat given, and the seeming credibility of the chemical experts describing liquid explosives.

    I've seen a number of chemistry experts point out that making the alledged mixture would be impossible in an airplane toilet - you need special glass containers for a start, and definitely no bumping around, or what you get is your face burned off and no "explosive" effect but a nasty hot short-lived fire - not something that would result in l
    • Seems like if you could get a molotov cocktail into the cockpit, or perhaps the electronics of the hatch release, then maybe you're in business. Other than that...
      • Then we're back to the observation (not sure how accurate) that unless every passenger is cavity searched (or run through an explosives sniffer) then between them several people can smuggle a reasonable amount of high explosive onto a plane without even needing hand luggage. I'm not sure how one conceals a detonator from the X-Ray machine or the metal detector.

        And if airlines become too secure, why not switch to a fuel air bomb built from a tanker lorry (or a barge)? I understand these to be considerably m

        • My girlfriend suggested that people should have to check in all their luggage and travel naked on the plane. Airlines might hand out uniform sack-like clothes for a small fee.

          Now that would be save...
  • As always, I defer to Bruce Schneier for the last word on security related matters.

    -Dom