One of the perks of having friends travel abroad is the tasty treats they bring back to Beijing. This year, however, after the 2009 Christmas bomb attempt in Detroit (story here),
airports have tightened security. Flying to Beijing with a stopover in Los Angeles, my friend was prohibited from carrying food. Sadly, this means no Guatemalan specialties for me, including my favorite lime tortilla chips (photo to the left from flickr).
According to the New York Times (full article here), these new restrictions are “designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere,” but “passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps.” In addition, based on my friend’s experience, food from the US to other countries is not permitted, even in check-in luggage. Previously, air passengers were allowed to stow away food in check-in luggage but not carry-on.
With Chinese New Year fast approaching, world travelers should be aware of new airline restrictions before they pack, or your presents (like mine) may be swiped at the airport.