US introduces hand luggage restrictions on flights

The United States authorities have introduce restrictions on hand luggage in the light of the incident on Northwest Airlines flight 253 between Amsterdam and Detroit on Christmas Day, in which a passenger was detained. Transatlantic passengers will now only be able to take one item on board the aircraft with them.

The US Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying: “Passengers may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the travelling public on domestic and international flights.”

British Airways says that it has been asked to ensure that passengers departing on a flight from Heathrow or Gatwick to the US carry only one item of hand luggage onboard.

The airline said it would not charge extra fees for checking in extra items of hand luggage. Those travellers carrying wrapped presents onboard would be required to unwrap any items at the gate. It advised passengers to check in wrapped items as a result.

Virgin Atlantic said the measures introduced today included extra screening of passengers and hand baggage at the gate immediately before boarding.

The carrier said: “In order to minimise delays and congestion, we are asking all passengers to arrive at the gate early and to minimise the amount of hand baggage they carry on to the aircraft.”

Remember your travel insurance!
Medical costs in the USA can be expensive even for a minor injury, so don’t skimp by not taking out this essential insurance cover.

You can purchase great value travel insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a week’s holiday in the US, it will cost you only £25.52* – a small price to pay so you can enjoy your holiday all the more!

*Premium £25.52 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on 1 adult aged under 55 taking out a “standard” Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 7 days in the USA excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (January 2010) and are subject to change.