UK airports in chaos as security relaxed

15th Aug 2006

Security is being relaxed slightly at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the UK, Tuesday. Passengers will be allowed to take one piece of hand baggage on to planes.The ban on taking liquids, including cosmetics, water, contact lens solution and hair gel - remains in place, although computers and mobile telephones will be allowed on board.

Travellers have endured five days of tight security and BAA in a statement Tuesday are saying “this [new] easing of restrictions is not a return to normal.”

For more information on BAA’s statement click here.

Airlines are angry at the way the main UK airport operator, British Airports Authority (BAA) has handled the security incident.

Now the UK’s three main carriers—British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are calling on BAA to pay some of the £250 million ($470 million) of costs airlines are estimated to have incurred since the security threat began. BMI and Ryanair are also rallying to this call. 


Heathrow, Britain’s main hub, continues to see 20 percent of flights cancelled.

BAA ordered airlines to cancel flights as security and baggage personnel could not process a doubling in passenger checks with the heightened restrictions on carry-on luggage.

A British Airways spokeswoman has said that it is “seriously considering” legal action against BAA for lost earnings.

Andrew Fitchie, Collins Stewart’s airline analyst told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the unrest could have cost British Airways £50 million ($94 million) alone, with easyJet incurring a further £10 million ($19 million).


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