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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Flights backlog eases
Stranded passengers
The wait is nearly over for many passengers
Transatlantic flights from airports around the UK are beginning to get back to normal levels after the disruption caused by last week's terrorist attacks in the US.

A spokeswoman at Heathrow airport said American Airlines and United Airlines were running a near normal service.

British Airways is running 27 US flights on Sunday and its four usual flights to Canada.

Regulations banning low-level flights over central London have also been lifted allowing aircraft using Heathrow and London City airports to resume their normal flight paths.

BA is now operating at 70% of its usual service from Heathrow and more than 80% from Gatwick.

Passengers waiting at airport
Some passengers have been stranded for days

At Gatwick around 35 flights in total are expected to depart for the US on Sunday.

Virgin Atlantic is also now running a near normal transatlantic service while British Midland resumed flights to Chicago and Washington from Manchester Airport on Saturday.

Security delays

In spite of the resumption of flights many passengers are still waiting to travel.

Airlines are aiming to give priority, on compassionate grounds, to those trying to get back to the States to find out about loved ones caught up in the tragic events in New York and Washington.

Forbidden cabin items
Replica guns
Household cutlery
Letter openers
Razor blades
Tradesmen's tools
Knitting needles
Sports rackets
Cricket bats
Golf clubs
Snooker cues
Corkscrews with blades

And extra security measures mean those passengers who have been allocated to a flight face a longer than normal wait to check in.

There are also tighter than normal restrictions on items which can be carried in hand luggage with even small sharp objects such as razors and nail scissors being banned from the aircraft cabin.

The list includes toy or replica guns (plastic or metal), as well as household cutlery and knives with blades of any length.

Also banned are letter openers, tradesmen's tools, darts, knitting needles and sports goods such as rackets, cricket bats and golf clubs.

Passengers found with these items will be asked to place them in their hold luggage or have them confiscated if they have only hand luggage.

The BBC's Sue Littlemore
"Passengers seem pleased not irritated"
The BBC's Susanna Reid
reports from Heathrow Airport in London
See also:

15 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe reviews aircraft safety
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