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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August, 2003, 00:45 GMT 01:45 UK
Airlines warn over high jinks
You might be going nowhere if you are naughty
Airlines are warning holidaymakers they may be prevented from flying if they hold badly damaged passports, make jokes about security, or steal from airport shops.

Millions of people will be travelling over the August bank holiday - one of the busiest weekends of the year.

But airlines say a minority of passengers are making difficulties for themselves and others.

Thomas Cook Airlines - one of the biggest holiday carriers - says it has seen a surprising number of illegible passports.

Some have been through washing machines, had nail varnish spilt on them or been chewed by the dog, leaving passengers unable to travel.

Several passengers who have made jokes about guns or bombs - and then repeated them on being asked what they have said - have also been banned from flying this summer.

Last month an Iraqi sea captain was charged after allegedly joking at Teesside airport that he had two bombs in his briefcase.

And East Midlands airport in Leicestershire has also complained about joke threats being made, leading to security alerts.

Thomas Cook says it has also seen a recent rise in the number of people who have stolen from airport shops and then been arrested at the departure gate, delaying others while their baggage is unloaded.

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