UK airport launches new present wrapping service after Brits are caught out by little-known Christmas rule


TRAVELLERS at London Luton Airport had their heads turned after finding themselves in a re-enactment of the iconic Love Actually gift-wrapping scene – complete with ‘Rowan Atkinson’.

In the 2003 film, the much-loved moment saw overzealous salesman, Rufus, played by Atkinson, give a masterclass in elaborate gift-wrapping for Alan Rickman’s character, Harry, who was buying a necklace for another woman – as his wife shopped nearby.


Luton Airport has launched a very fun festive serviceCredit: SWNS

The scene included the necklace being put into a ribbon tied box before it went into a clear bag with scented roses and lavender and a cinnamon stick, and finally a Christmas box with a sprig of holly.

In a nod to the comic exchange, the airport has hired lookalike, Nigel Dixon, to give travellers the same service as the airport makes a tongue-in-cheek plea for passengers to travel with gifts unwrapped this Christmas.

The airport revealed thousands of wrapped presents are screened, opened and searched as part of airport security checks every year.

Based on the beloved scene, the free service on offer includes gift wrap paper, tags, ribbons and lots of funny, festive extras – from dried flowers to cinnamon sticks.

Running on 21st December, the wrapping service is being launched after research, commissioned by London Luton Airport, found 22 per cent of travellers are unaware of additional screening requirements at airports for wrapped presents.

While two-fifths (38 per cent) of travellers have never come across airport guidance advising against packing gift-wrapped presents.

Snow globes, crackers, marzipan, mincemeat and brandy butter are the most confiscated festive items, according to the airport.

And almost a third (30 per cent) of passengers surveyed via OnePoll are unaware of airport security advice against packing these festive items in their luggage.

Clare Armstrong, head of guest experience at London Luton Airport, said: “Given the high number of wrapped presents we see in security each year, we realised many of our passengers are unaware of the possibility that they may need to be opened for inspection.

“So, the idea for our gift wrap service was born to create a fun experience for passengers while minimising any unwanted delays or stress when travelling this festive season.

“We’re always looking for ways to help passengers have the most simple and friendly experience at the airport and pre-empt any challenges they might face – particularly the week before Christmas when we will welcome over 300,000 departing passengers to the terminal.”

Travellers can take advantage on December 21


Travellers can take advantage on December 21Credit: SWNS


1. No globes – As the liquid content isn’t stipulated on these items, you cannot take in hand luggage. Pack securely in checked luggage instead.

2. Crack down on crackers – While not universally banned as a travel item, different airlines have different policies on bringing crackers on board. Be sure to check your airline’s policy before you fly.

3. Contra-brandy butter – You might not think it, but brandy butter is classed as a liquid and subject to confiscation if over the 100ml limit – same goes for mincemeat and chutneys – so it is best to keep all your edibles and spreadables in checked luggage or safe at home to avoid disappointment.

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