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Liquid rule leads to flight delays
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Several dozen passengers missed their flights at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Saturday, the first day of a ban on carrying liquid containers in hand luggage on domestic flights.

Airport staff said most passengers were delayed because they did not seem familiar with the new rule by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, Beijing News reported .

"To ensure passenger security, it took at least two minutes to check each person, which led to the delay," an unnamed security official was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

A passenger surnamed Deng said he missed his flight, CA1235 to Xi'an at 8 am, as he had to wait 80 minutes in a long queue which resulted from stricter security checks.

"It used to take me only 10 minutes to pass through security," Deng said.

All the passengers were provided alternate flights and the airport promised to have more security personnel on hand to speed up the checks.

According to the new rule, all liquids must be declared and checked. Liquid cosmetics must be held in containers with a capacity of no more than 100 ml.

The containers should be placed in a transparent, resealable bag with a maximum capacity of 1 liter. Each passenger will be allowed to carry only one bag.

Exceptions will be made for baby milk and baby food as well as medication with prescriptions.

The CAAC formulated the new rules in the wake of a foiled terrorist attempt on a Beijing-bound passenger plane on March 7.

The administration also urged airline companies to reduce flight delays in preparation for the Beijing Games.

Airlines based in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities that will serve the Games have been asked to keep at least one or two aircraft on standby to deal with emergencies.

Airlines against which there are repeated complaints of poor service will not be allowed to expand their business for two years, according to Xinhua News Agency.

(China Daily, March 17, 2008)

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