NEW European Union rules forced air travellers to pack perfume, toothpaste and other liquids into small plastic bags in their hand luggage before going through security checkpoints at Europe's airports yesterday. The situation in Palma was normal, as Monday is the slackest day of the week, although there were some queues. And bars and restaurants reported a drop in the sale of bottled drinks. A team of nine people was on hand to explain the new regulations to passengers, and the rules were also listed on clearly visible posters in the check-in area. Queues were longer than usual at terminals in Frankfurt and Paris as passengers got to grips with the new regulations, though most travellers seemed reassured by the tougher measures. “It's a bit cumbersome ... but I have a good feeling that things will be much safer now,” said Alketa Vaso, 34, on her way to Chicago from Germany. The rules limit the amount of liquids people may take on board planes and reflect efforts to standardise measures put in place in Europe after London authorities said in August they had foiled a plot to bomb flights bound for the United States. Passengers flying out of Britain on the other hand will now be able to carry more items onto aircraft, as Britain has agreed to partly lift its ban on liquids in hand baggage on flights under the new rules. Most travellers in Frankfurt were well-prepared for the new security regulations, which will apply throughout the 25-nation European Union, as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Paris's Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports mobilised 500 extra people to cope with the changes and ordered over a million plastic bags, a spokeswoman for Aeroports de Paris said. “Some early morning flights experienced takeoff delays of less than 30 minutes but as of mid-morning the situation was back to normal,” she added. Before the main security point at Frankfurt, airport staff examined each passenger's plastic bag during the early morning rush to check its contents kept to the specified rules. Toothpaste, shampoo and shower gels in small hotel-size packages tended to make it through. But a tube of Gillette shaving gel, a large tub of Clarins face cream and bottles of fizzy drinks were among items headed for the rubbish bin. As from yesterday, passengers at Europe's airports can bring on board one re-sealable transparent plastic bag with a maximum size of 1 litre to store liquids. The liquids have to fit in individual containers of 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) or less.

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