Watch what you pack before boarding flight

Between January and September, 1.13 million items which were liquids, gels and aerosols were confiscated at Changi Airport.
Between January and September, 1.13 million items which were liquids, gels and aerosols were confiscated at Changi Airport.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Hoverboards and electric scooters that pose fire risk among thousands of items seized at Changi Airport

Pack it right or risk having your items confiscated at Changi Airport.

Between January and September, travellers had to surrender 113 hoverboards and electric scooters which pose a fire risk, as well as more than 142,000 other prohibited items such as scissors and pepper spray canisters. Another 1.13 million items which were liquids, gels and aerosols such as perfumes and make-up that were not packed properly - or about 126,000 a month - were also confiscated.

The number is higher than the monthly average of about 113,000 items that were taken away for the whole of last year.

With the year-end holidays round the corner, efforts are being stepped up to ensure that travellers at Changi Airport know what they can and cannot take on flights.

A total of 1.3 million brochures have been printed and will be distributed to households in the next two weeks, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said.

A similar run was done last year but, this time, the brochures have been printed in four languages to reach a wider audience, the authority said.

  • What is allowed in hand luggage

  • • Liquids, aerosols and gels, including perfume and food items like jam, must be stored in containers of not more than 100ml each. All must fit into a transparent resealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one litre.

    • Up to two spare lithium batteries for portable electronic devices (including power banks) are allowed, with each packed individually. The batteries cannot be checked in.

For the first time, the CAAS is also working with 20 hotels to disseminate the brochures to foreign visitors.

To ensure flight and public safety, there is a need to increase awareness among the travelling public, and seek their cooperation to "pack it right for their flight", said the CAAS.

Its director for airworthiness and flight operations, Mr Tan Kah Han, said: "Over the past two years, CAAS has been stepping up our outreach efforts... Continuous education is essential to ensure that all travellers are informed of the dos and don'ts."

Recent incidents, such as the fire risk of lithium batteries in Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones and hoverboards, are some examples that show why the travelling public needs to be aware about the dangers of bringing seemingly harmless items on board an aircraft, the authority said.

Apart from lithium batteries that power cellphones, laptops and other gadgets, the focus is also on other potentially dangerous items such as make-up and perfumes.

To carry such liquids, aerosols and gels in hand luggage, the items must be kept in containers of not more than 100ml each. All the items must be placed in a transparent resealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one litre.

Marketing agent Elaine Ting, 28, said: "The rules can be quite confusing so I usually check with the airline if I'm not sure. It's better to do that than to have your things taken away."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Watch what you pack before boarding flight'. Print Edition | Subscribe