UK braced for travel chaos as new hand luggage rule deadline looms | Travel News | Travel

The UK is braced for travel chaos if it cannot adopt to a big change to hand luggage rules.

The scrapping of a strict hand luggage rule was first announced in 2022. All UK airports were set to adopt to the technology-driven change by next year.

The new regulation would see airlines ditching the 100ml liquid rules. Travellers would also be allowed to take more than one small plastic bag through security.

Some airports are set to adjust to the new policy, while others may take longer, reports The Sun. Insiders say airports like Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester may not have the technology to scan bags in place by the June 2024 deadline.

Airports say they will do everything they can to make the deadline. An insider told  The Times: “It’s going to be a struggle for the big airports.

“One of the biggest issues they face is fitting the new scanners and retraining staff without impacting the flow of passengers.”

An aviation source added: “Messaging is going to be the biggest issue. At airports where there are a mix of machines it makes sense to tell passengers to only come with 100ml liquids.”

Manchester Airports Group, which includes Stansted and East Midlands Airport, said: “We continue to make good progress at our airports on the introduction of new security screening equipment, as part of the UK-wide programme.

“This is a complex programme of work requiring the expansion of terminal facilities, while at the same time maintaining operations during construction. We are rolling out the new technology lane by lane at Manchester and London Stansted airports, with several new lanes already in operation.”

Heathrow said it was prepared to spend £1 billion on the upgrades. It says it will focus on delivering the changes as “quickly as practically possible”.

Gatwick said it would have progressed on the work by June. Although it says the programme is unlikely to be finished by 2025.

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