Written by Karen Beber Futernick, ozonetravel.com
If you’re considering travel to the US, within the US, from the US internationally or within Britain or from Britain internationally, please be aware of the current restrictions regarding airport security and carry-on baggage. These restrictions are subject to change, so it’s best to check with the TSA (www.tsa.gov) and your carrier the day of travel, to see if there have been any updates.
As of Sunday August 14, 2006-
For all travel to or from the United States internationally, or domestically within the United States, you may now take up to 4 ounces of non-prescription medication, glucose gel for diabetics, solid lipstick and baby food with you in your carry-on luggage. (Author’s note: whether saline solution/eye drops for contact lenses is classified as a “non-prescription med” is nebulous, and is up to the discretion of the TSA employee/supervisor. You may be asked to put some drops in your eyes, or you may be asked to leave it behind. If in doubt, get a prescription and make sure that the name on the prescription matches the name on your travel documents.) All other liquids, including shampoos, make-up, toothpaste, sun cream, water bottles, etc… are prohibited. All aerosols are prohibited, and you will be required to remove your shoes to pass through security. Laptops, cell phones and iPods are still allowed.
For travel within Britain domestically or outbound from Britain internationally, including travel to both Europe and the US, you may now carry one small bag on to the plane, but no liquids at all. There is still a ban on mobile phones, iPods and laptops; these must be packed in checked-baggage, or left behind. For updated information, please visit www.heathrowairport.com.
Of course, all of these measures have resulted in longer security lines (in the US it’s pretty much back to normal; in Britain, lines are still long) and, thus, missed flights and connections. Plan accordingly.
At London’s Heathrow airport, nearly 30% of all flights over this past weekend were cancelled, following a directive from airport authorities. Monday, there were only 68 cancellations, with fewer forecasted as the week goes on. Again, contact your carrier the day of your departure to check on your flight’s status.
If you’re headed out on a kite holiday, consider that there is a chance your bags – including your gear!- may not arrive with you. Depending on your city of departure, and your destination, you may want to travel with your control bar, at least. And make sure that you have enough money, or access to money, to organize gear for yourself, should the necessity arise. You may also want to consider purchasing certain types of travel insurance, that cover you in the event of delayed or lost luggage. (Check first with your credit card company; if you purchase your airline tickets with a credit card, you may be covered.)
When the wind changes, we adjust… and so it shall go with air travel!
Be safe and enjoy the journey!