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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Travelling: Need advice?
Beach scene
Worldwide tourism is in a state of flux
Sarah Toyne

Travel procedures have been in flux over the last three weeks - and are likely to be for the foreseeable future.

If you are planning to travel abroad, there are now many things to worry about.

New security arrangements, problems with travel insurance and changing travel advice are making what should be a hassle-free experience a moveable feast.

BBC News Online is updating travel advice for you and will help equip you with the knowledge to reflect how the changing international situation will affect you and your travels.

I am going abroad, but am concerned. Where can I get up-to-date information?

If you are travelling abroad and are concerned about your personal safety, your first port of call should be the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The FCO's website lists clear and practical travel advice on its website for each country.

If you have further questions, you can call the Travel Advice Unit on 020 7008 0232/0233.

Those concerned about friends and relatives who are UK citizens in Pakistan can call 0870 121 5151

Will my holiday be cancelled?

Under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations, which implemented EC regulations in the UK, if a package holiday provider cannot provide travel, you will be compensated or given the option of an alternative deal.

However, tour operators do not normally react until the FCO has advised against travelling to a particular country.

If you have simply changed your mind, you are very unlikely to get a full refund even if you have travel insurance.

If you do not want to travel, you will incur the normal cancellation charges, which will be outlined in the booking conditions.

What about security arrangements?

All airlines are advising passengers to arrive early for their flights, as security at British airports has increased following the American attacks.

Police
Bobbies on the airport "beat"

Check with your airline to ensure you arrive in good time to check in at the airport.

In addition to the normal searches, you can expect a search at the departure gate and extra checks on cabin baggage.

Security measures vary depending on which airline you are travelling with - some have banned hand luggage altogether.

Contact your airline for guidance if you are concerned.

The Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) issued a revised directive to UK airports following last week's attacks.

As a consequence, these items are now prohibited from hand luggage:

  • Toys or replica guns (plastic or metal)
  • catapults
  • household cutlery
  • knifes with blades of any length
  • paper knifes
  • razor blades
  • tradesmen's tools
  • darts
  • scissors
  • hypodermic syringes
  • knitting needles
  • sporting bats
  • snooker cues.

Airline contact numbers
Air Canada: 0870 5247226
Air India: 020 8745 1000
American Airlines: 0845 778 9789
British Airways: 08457 799 977
British Midland: 0870 607 0555
Continental: 01293 827 411
El Al: 020 8862 7000
KLM/North West: 0870 507 4074
Qantas: 0845 774 7767
Singapore Airlines: 020 8745 4151
Virgin: 01293 747 747


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16 Sep 01 | UK
14 Sep 01 | Business
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