Dealing with the Liquids Ban at Airports

A PASSENGER drank an entire bottle of vodka in front of Manchester airport security staff in a bid to stop it being confiscated under security restrictions.

He later had to be removed from his flight because he was so drunk.

His was just one of the tales in a catalogue of bizarre attempts to get liquids through security at Manchester Airport since tough hand-luggage rules came into force.

One man arrived at the departure hall with four large bottles of frozen water and claimed they were exempt from the rules because they were solids.

Then there was a woman who tried unsuccessfully to take two bottles of vino through a check-point by claiming were not actually liquids but 'fine wines'.

The list of bewildering incidents has prompted security chiefs to re-issue advice on the amount of liquids that can be carried as hand-luggage.

Mike Fazackerley, the airport's director of security, said: "Some of the lengths that people go to are incredible and amusing up to a point, but this is an incredibly serious issue.

"The legislation which restricts the amount of liquids, gels and pastes that passengers can take in to the cabin of a plane is in place for a very good reason.

"It is in the interests of everyone travelling to make sure they fly by the rules."

Tough restrictions were imposed on hand-luggage following the alleged attempt to blow up trans-Atlantic planes with liquid explosives in August last year.

A total ban on liquids was imposed at first but passengers were eventually allowed to take small amounts on board as cabin baggage.

The current rules, which were brought in on November 6, allow passengers to carry liquids, gels and pastes in containers of 100ml or less.

They have to be carried in a small, re-sealable plastic bag, which must be no bigger than one litre in capacity.

The passenger must take the bag out of their hand-luggage, declare its existence to security staff and allow it to be x-rayed separately.

The bag can contain two or more items of less than 100ml each but it must be uncluttered to allow security officers to carry out thorough checks.

While some passengers have adopted bizarre practices to get around the rules, others went to great trouble over relatively everyday items - like soup.

One woman carefully decanted half a 200ml container of it into a clear plastic bag in an ill-conceived bid to get it on board a plane.

But some of the measures people take are not so amusing. One man found himself in trouble after he protested against having his shaving foam confiscated by squirting it all over an x-ray machine.

The airport is urging people to co-operate with security staff over the rules, which are designed to keep people safe.

It is also urging passengers to think about their hand-luggage contents before they arrive at the terminals.

Mr Fazackerley said: "We do remind people of the rules as they check in and there are posters throughout the airport.

"There are also customer service advisers as people enter the security screening area.

"They remind people to either check in liquids over 100mls or consume them but still some people are taking no notice.

"We would ask everyone to check the restrictions before they arrive at the airport and to make sure that any liquid they are carrying in their hand luggage is below 100mls and is contained in the right sealable bag."

Confiscated liquids are disposed of safely.

Passengers are allowed to buy larger quantities of liquids once they have passed through security, because they have been separately screened.

Passengers will no longer be supplied with free, sealable plastic bags from February 19 and must take their own to the airport.

The bags will be on sale in the terminals but passengers are advised to bring their own or pack liquids in their hold luggage.