By Your Call Publishing | ,

Travel Article - April/May 24

Rule(s) Britannia

Are you aware of the dos and don’ts of air travel with the 2024 updates to the rules and regulations coming to fruition? Here’s a rundown before you’re on the runway…

Navigating the new normal in air travel

The landscape of international travel is ever-changing, and this year will be no exception. One of the most notable shifts is the modification of the liquid hand luggage rule. For years, passengers have been restricted to carrying no more than 100ml of liquid in their hand luggage. However, a significant change is on the horizon.

In December 2022, the UK Government announced a relaxation of this rule, allowing passengers to carry up to two litres of liquids in hand luggage by June 2024. This change – facilitated by the upgrade of security scanners – has already been implemented at London City Airport.

Yet, it's crucial to note that this amendment currently applies only to UK airports. Travellers must remain vigilant about the existing liquid restrictions at international airports until they confirm the adoption of the new rules.

New EU border controls

The European Union's new Entry/Exit System (EES), launching later this autumn, represents a significant overhaul of border control for non-EU citizens. This digital system will replace passport stamping with a process that records biometric data and personal information.

While aimed at streamlining security and data accuracy, its introduction may initially lead to longer processing times at EU borders. Historical transitions to digital border systems, like the Automated Passport Control kiosks in the USA, have shown that such changes can initially cause delays.

However, these are often short-lived as travellers and staff adapt to the new technology. To facilitate a smooth transition, travellers should anticipate potential delays, plan for extra time at airports and familiarise themselves with the EES requirements.

Adapting to tourist taxes and child e-gate policies
Tourist taxes are also seeing adjustments in various destinations. In an effort to manage tourist numbers, some locations are implementing new fees. Notably, Venice will introduce a €5 entry fee for day visitors and Amsterdam is set to increase its hotel room tax rate to 12.5%.

In addition, the UK has made a welcome change to its e-Gate policies. Children as young as 10 years old are now eligible to use e-Gates, a drop from the previous age limit of 12.

These gates, which facilitate quick passport checks, are installed at major UK airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City, Luton, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle. They are also in use at UK border controls at Eurostar terminals in Brussels and Paris, making family travel more convenient and efficient.