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SECURITY was still tight at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport yesterday, with British Midland and Air Berlin insisting that their passengers bound for the United Kingdom carry their belongings into the cabin in transparent plastic bags. But the good news was that the flights were gradually getting back to normal and there were no cancellations, unlike Thursday when 14 flights to the United Kingdom were cancelled after Heathrow airport was closed because of the terrorist plot foiled by the British security forces. Passengers at Son Sant Joan took the extra security checks in their stride, on the whole, the biggest complaints regarding the need to test baby's bottles. Some passengers complained about the inconvenience and the delays, but others welcomed the extra security.
Easyjet yesterday confirmed that all its flights between the three London airports (Gatwick, Luton and Stansted) and Spanish airports, including Palma, had been re-established. A spokesman said that service was back to normal, apart from a few delays which were caused by airport congestion.
The company advised travellers to check in three hours in advance due to the tighter security controls.
According to sources at Son Sant Joan airport only eight of the 133 flights programmed up to 2pm yesterday between the Balearics and the United Kingdom had suffered delays. The maximum delay up to 2pm was 45 minutes.
The sources said that there had been delays in six of the 67 flights to the UK from Son Sant Joan before 2pm, one out of 45 flights in Minorca and one out of 21 flights in Ibiza. There were a total of 273 flights scheduled between the Balearics and the United Kingdom yesterday, the sources said.
SITUATION
The spokesman advised travellers to the United Kingdom to contact their airlines to find out the situation regarding their flights.
He also stressed that the United States will not allow the transport of liquids or gels of any size in hand baggage, it must all go in hold luggage.
The Balearic tourist authorities said that the scare would not affect the normal development of the tourist season.
Hoteliers and travel agents were also confident that there would be no further problems.
The major tour operators said that travellers would have to get used to the need for tighter security measures at airports in the future, because of the threat of terrorism.