Photo Gallery The Pesky Liquid Ban

The ban on liquids on airlines is annoying, tiresome and -- apparently -- useless. Armed with new data and mountains of complaints, EU parliamentarians are now trying to scrap the liquid checks.
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The ban on liquids larger than 100 milliliters on products that haven't been purchased at the airport has been a huge boost to the duty-free industry. Germany's duty-free market leader, Gebr. Heinemann, saw its sales rise by 15 percent over the past two years.

Foto: AP
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The ban also means that tons of expensive bottles of champagne, wine and other luxury products must be left behind at airports. At the Frankfurt International Airport in Germany, officials put seized liquids into containers that are later taken to the city's trash incinerator facility.

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Some, though, are unwilling to part with their purchases. Here, a Russian airline passenger drinks a bottle of champagne before boarding a flight in San Francisco.

Foto: AP
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People are still bringing their liquids with them, too, showing inverted learning curves. "We haven't seen any progress among passengers in terms of their awareness of liquid-related issues," says Leif Erichsen of the Association of German Commercial Airports.

Foto: AP / The Denver Post
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In Germany alone, the organization estimates that products valued at "between €100 million and €150 million" ($126-190 million) must be surrendered each year.

Foto: AP
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Liquids were banned on flights around the world after the foiling of a terrorist plot in August 2006 at London's Heathrow Airport to blow up commercial aircraft by mixing explosive liquids once on board the planes.

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Intially, the case caused mass chaos at the world's airports reminiscent of 9/11. Ultimately, the suspects were tried, but prosecutors failed to convince the court that the defendants actually intended to go through the plan. Now a number of EU parliamentarians want to overturn the ban on liquids.

Foto: DPA