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Checking hand luggage

Amanda Farnsworth | 18:41 UK time, Monday, 14 August 2006

It's all been pretty confusing for passengers - just exactly what can you take as hand luggage on a plane?

BBC Six O'Clock News logoSo some bright spark on the Six O'Clock News came up with the idea of making our own baggage size checker, and taking it to passengers so they could find out on the spot whether their bag would pass muster.

The BBC's baggage-checking device at an airport, todaySo we did it - in fact our friends at CBBC made it for us for free. Not quite sure why they did, but they did...

It turns out lots of passengers are still bringing the old size hand luggage and getting told to repack - perhaps every check in desk should get one of our size checkers - we could start our own business!


  • 1.
  • At 07:10 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • John nash wrote:

I don't know - a dodgy looking bloke lurking around the airport with a strange contraption - he should have his collar felt. Maybe he could claim he was carrying his profile.

  • 2.
  • At 10:49 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Alan wrote:

Some years ago, when life was good I lived and worked in Baghdad. Well the war was going on (Iraq/Iran)and things were scarce. Our office had a bar with a beer licence. But although we could buy whiskey dirt cheap, getting other drinks were impossible. So as we rotated our staff to the UK for their break, all had to bring back items we needed. We never flew BA it's a lousy airline. Instead we flew Air France and Lufthansa usually to Frankfurt, where we rode to Baghdad on Iraqi Scareways.

Our job was to avoid at all costs to pay excess baggage. So... we would sweet talk the girls at the Heathrow check in. Business class 30Kg. We usually had three times that amount. You see, we knew that once we got on the Iraqis wouldn't bother too much about weight. I once travelled with 10 bottles of Barcardi, 120 toilet rolls and a bumper and other spare parts for my old Volvo car, teabags and various meat products! I paid nothing for the excess and when the lass asked me about the toilet rolls I told her I was going to a football match!

When I see and hear of the rubbish now concerning air travel I'm very glad I don't need to do all that anymore. I'm fortunate now to live in Europe and able to access many countries by train or by road. Who wants to travel now by air? Hours to get to the airport, Hours spent in the check in. Crummy food and services
intrusive searches and over priced so called duty free! Hand luggage? What a joke. Go by train it's fun I usually drive Warsaw to the UK in 18 hours, which is just about the time it takes to fly when you add in all the agro factors!

  • 3.
  • At 11:32 PM on 14 Aug 2006,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Perhaps if you find the boxes sell you could reduce next year's licence fee?

in fact our friends at CBBC made it for us for free - not quite sure why they did but they did...

Well they never can resist an opertunity to do something with old cereal boxes and sticky backed plastic.

  • 5.
  • At 08:29 AM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Richard Morris wrote:

Ryan Air have had these for years.

  • 6.
  • At 12:31 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

Regarding post 2 - this may see a return to 'travelling hopefully' and people seeing train journeys as part of the experience. As for post 4 - sounds like a job for Blue Peter..

  • 7.
  • At 12:52 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Carl wrote:

Why do people take hand luggage anyway - I've travelled for years without any and been ok - never seen anyone use anything out of their 'hand' luggage, though seen many people with bags big enough to carry bodies in them board planes

  • 8.
  • At 01:35 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Chris Foley wrote:

These are so common in Canada that I think they may even be manditory. Ah well, beter late then never ;-)

  • 9.
  • At 10:54 AM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Mark wrote:

Get the the airport 2 to 3 hours early for your flight or you may not get to board at all. And that's for a domestic flight, an overseas flight can be an hour or more longer. But wait until the A380 arrives. You'd better plan to camp out in your sleeping bag at the terminal the night before. By the time you get to board that flying cattle car, you will feel you were born at the airport. Talk about the wrong plane at the wrong time.

What was good about these new ones (I used it at Heathrow yesterday afternoon en route back to JFK) is that it's fit to the new smaller size that went into effect yesterday morning. Everyone in line at the AA counter was using it.

I missed this report.

Was it as cringeworthy as last week's 6 o'clock news report which had a BBC reporter actually taste a bottle of baby milk seemingly on the basis that the audience were too stupid to understand what her report meant?

With what has happened with the US flight alert today 16/08/06, London Heathrow to Washington flight. Does this not tell you how laspse our security is?? I for one would welcome no hand luggage at all. The BAA cannot cope with the workload. I sugggest get more staff. it has to be cheaper and better than loss of lives. Al Quaeda will find a way of getting items onto flights. the same as this women on this flight managed to take on board Vasseline, Screwdriver and matches. Come on wake up and do something and stick to it. Give passengers pease of mind when travelling. How did the 12 year old boy manage to get through security and board a flight without tickets etc??????

  • 13.
  • At 04:59 PM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Graham Taylor wrote:

What is this about size? It's ridiculous. Why not allow everyone to take bags of the old size but ensure that they are properly searched. Mandating a new size is just stupid and indicative of how gestures get confused with real action. I think that were it not so ridiculous, it would be funny. As it is, it is just pathetic.

  • 14.
  • At 08:43 PM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Archie wrote:

Post 12: the 12-year-old boy went through Gatwick airport security normally. Nobody was in any danger.

Someone boardng a plane without a ticket is NOT a security error - it's a paperwork error. The people checking your boarding card at the gate aren't security: they are there to check that (a) you've paid for your flight, (b) you're on the right flight, (c) you have a passport that gives you a fair chance of being admitted at your destination so that the airline won't have to pay to take you back again. None of that is about security. If the kid had not been caught, the worst that could have happened is that he got a free flight.

  • 15.
  • At 06:27 PM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • L Hogan wrote:

Hand luggage: we all need hand luggage containing enough supplies for at least 2 days, toothbrush, shirt etc. Always the possibility of your checked bag never being seen again.........

  • 16.
  • At 11:50 PM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • Jenny wrote:

Can someone explain why it is at all acceptable, even treated as a joke, that so much hold luggage goes missing, or travels apart from it's owner, when Lockerbie was a bomb in a bag? And now when people are given no alternative but put their most important items in the hold? Why doesn't each item get an RFID chip at check-in, retrieved upon collection? That is surely what RFID would be ideal for, rather than passports, where anyone with a scanner within yards will be able to read one's name, nationality, etc..

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