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Bargain Travel Europe guide to Europe on a budget for unique vacation and holiday destinations, cheap travel and discount airfare and secrets missed by travel tours.

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In 2006, rules were established for the contents of hand baggage to apply for all airline passengers throughout the European Union (EU). Passengers may only carry small quantities (max. 100 ml per container) of liquids, gels and aerosols in their hand baggage. The packaging of these products must also meet specific requirements. This applies for all passengers departing from or catching connecting flights at airports within the European Union.

In April of 2010, the EU announced the rules may be lifted by 2013 as liquid screening equipment comes available, but are still in effect for 2012, and for the US and Canada.

The rules apply for liquids such as water and other drinks, but also extend to gels, pastes, lotions, and the contents of aerosols. This includes toiletries such as toothpaste, shaving cream, hair gel, lip gloss, facial creams, mascara and liquid lip balms.

These are the rules for liquids in your hand luggage:
1. You can only bring on liquids and gels in containers of no more than 100 millilitres.
2. These containers must be carried in a transparent plastic bag.
3. There is a limit of one transparent plastic bag per person.
4. The volume of the transparent plastic bag may not be greater than 1 litre.
5. The transparent plastic bag must be re-sealable. A purpose constructed toiletries bag with a see-trough top or sides will also suffice.

You may bring a suitable plastic bag from home. At many airports free transparent plastic bags are available at the security check. There are two exceptions to the above rules: baby food needed during the flight; medicines needed during the flight. Some airport check points will want the liquids bag removed from any carry-on. Others will allow it to be inside an open carry-on that passes through the x-ray.

Duty Free Purchases

For purchases in a duty free shop at the airport: If your trip includes a transfer in a European Union country, the retailer must place your purchases in a bag. This will be sealed and must remain so until the end of your trip. This bag must be accompanied by a proof of purchase that will be checked when you transfer at the screening inspection point. In many airports, the duty free goods may be delivered to the gate for your flight to be picked up there before boarding.

If the Duty Free liquids were purchased in an airport with similar security restrictions as the one you're passing through you can take Duty Free liquid purchases on your next plane. They will get extra scrutiny, but you can probably forget about taking something through from a mid-east, far-east or north-African airport.

If you are transferring between airports in a city, you are authorized to carry these duty free articles in the cabin of
the following flight only if you retain your bag sealed, accompanied by the corresponding proof of purchase. If your purchase occurred in an airport located outside the European Union, and you are transferring to a European Union country, you will not be authorized to carry your purchases onto your next flight. They will be taken away from you.

Onboard Purchases

If your purchase occurred onboard an aircraft belonging to a European airline departing from an airport located outside a European Union country, it will be accepted when you transfer in a European Union country, as long as it is placed in a sealed bag accompanied by the proof of onboard purchase.

You are also required to separately present your coat, jacket and
larger electrical equipment, such as laptops, when passing through security control.

Carry-On Bag Limits

While larger airlines will allow one piece of carry-on luggage and one "personal item", such as a purse, briefcase or laptop, many discount airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet and airports in England such as Gatwick allow only one piece of carry-on baggage including purse or laptop that has to fit in the dimension box provided, so be prepared to consolidate any carry on items into one piece of luggage if taking a discount airline. On Ryanair the carry-on is limited to 10 kilos, or you'll get charged extra. ©Bargain Travel Europe

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