British intellgience says they have stopped a plot involving bombing flights bound for the U.S. today. British authorities have arrested over twenty people connected to the plot. Apparently the bombs would be carried in "hand luggage," leading airports to cancel flights and start screening passengers by hand. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security has raised the aviation sector's threat level for flights between the US and UK; further, "Due to the nature of the threat revealed by this investigation, we are prohibiting any liquids, including beverages, hair gels, and lotions from being carried on the airplane."
The NY Times reports that parents with babies' milk in bottles had to taste the milk in front of screeners - not to mention finding some cranky people on line:
Joanne Weslund, 68, a retired schoolteacher from Hubbardston, Mass., was critical of the way the situation had been handled by the airlines.
"It's been terrible," she said. "We are waiting in Disney-like lines. The only thing B.A. has said is it's a security breach. We are told we can bring nothing on the plane, only passport and cash. If there is a threat, people should not be on planes, but how they handled this is atrocious."
A customer service agent for British Airways told passengers, "The only thing we know for sure is Christmas Day falls on Dec. 25."
Ah, the stiff British upper lip that almost requires a code to understand. But we do know that it must be a stressful and even scary experience in airports this morning.