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More new rules for air travelers

From Times staff and wire reports

THE alleged terrorist plot uncovered last week has changed the rules for travelers yet again. British authorities arrested about two dozen people suspected of plotting to blow up airliners flying from Britain to the U.S. Liquid explosives reportedly were to have been taken onboard in beverage and other containers, and then detonated with electronic devices.

The U.S. reacted by prohibiting passengers from taking liquids and gels into aircraft cabins, and Britain banned carry-on bags entirely. The measures threw airline travel into chaos as passengers coped with longer-than-usual security lines. At LAX, hundreds spilled onto sidewalks outside terminals Thursday morning. By Friday, LAX officials said, “near-normal wait times” had returned.

As of the Travel section’s extended deadline Friday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration had implemented these rules for flights originating in the U.S., according to its website:

* Passengers were forbidden to take liquids or gels in carry-on luggage. This includes hand lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and many kinds of makeup. Those items will need to be disposed of before boarding or be packed into checked luggage. Exceptions were being made for baby formula, prescription medications and some medical items needed for the duration of the flight.

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* Drinks purchased in the boarding area were to be consumed or discarded before boarding.

In addition, British authorities imposed other restrictions on flights originating in Britain. Among them:

* Carry-on bags were banned. But passengers were allowed to hand-carry some items, including travel documents, prescription medicines needed for the flight, infant food and supplies, wallets and pocket-sized purses (but not handbags) in a single, preferably clear plastic bag.

* Electronic devices, including laptops, MP3 players and cellphones, had to be placed in checked luggage.

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British Airways said it was banning carry-on baggage on Britain-bound flights from the U.S.

Canada said it was following TSA rules for its flights.

Some U.S. airlines advised passengers to arrive up to three hours before their flights, whether domestic or foreign, to allow for increased security.

United, Continental and American were among airlines that waived change fees for some ticketed customers traveling until Sept. 1. Passengers should check with their airline for details. A list of contacts can be found at latimes.com/carriers. Other helpful sites:

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TSA: www.tsa.gov.

Federal Aviation Administration: www.faa.gov.

LAX: www.lawa.org.

Heathrow Airport: www.heathrowairport.com.

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British Airport Authority: www.baa.co.uk.

U.K. Department for Transport: www.dft.gov.uk.


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