DUBAI, Aug 13: Confusion prevailed among passengers of India-bound aircraft yesterday as airlines operating to India failed to inform them of the new hand-baggage regulations announced by the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry.
India's Civil Aviation Ministry has banned any liquids or gels in the hand baggage as well as medicines or inhalers. The latter, however, can be carried on board upon presentation of proper medical prescriptions.
The move follows intensifying of security measures at all airports in India following a US intelligence warning of a possible militant attack around India's Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday.
Passengers at Dubai International Airport said yesterday they were quite confused about whether or not they were allowed to carry any hand luggage at all.
"I am flying to Mumbai on Air India but I am still not aware whether I can carry any hand luggage or not."
"I thought at least the airlines would issue some directive to travel agents or contact passengers directly."
Rajan, another agitated passenger, said "I wanted to do some last-minute shopping at the duty free shops, but I was not sure whether I'd be allowed to carry it as hand-baggage."
In some cases, the passengers were not even sure whether they could carry feeding bottles for infants, small food items, or baby napkins.
A source at the Department of Civil Aviation, Dubai, noted "There are no new rules regarding hand luggage set by the Dubai Airport Authorities.”
Jaishree Ramchandran, Air India's Marketing Manager for Dubai and Northern Emirates, said, "Even under normal circumstances, we implement stringent security measures, with our prime focus on the safety of passengers. Even the screening of cargo have always been compulsory." A source at Air Arabia said they have received an advisory from the Airports Authority of India and they are complying with new policies such as the banning of any form of gels or liquids on board.