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Caught sneaking lighter into airport could cost you your flight

Air travellers in Delhi and other airports have been caught in the past carrying lighters in a biscuit packs, wrist watches, belt buckles, perfume bottles, and even underwear

delhi Updated: Nov 27, 2017 23:04 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi airport,CISF,Things prohibited on flights
Carrying lighters on flights is prohibited in India though many other countries do not have such a rule.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

You might end up missing your flight next time if you try to hide your lighter while at the airport.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which stops an average of 10 passengers every day with lighters hidden in their bag or body, has now decided to refer such cases to police to deter travellers.

So far, the CISF used to take a written apology from passengers but as the incidents continue unabated, it has now decided to hand over such passengers to the local police. The police will not register FIR and only maintain a diary entry of such incidents, however, the security agency is banking on the resultant delay to act as a deterrent.

“This way we are trying to deter the passengers from sneaking in lighters. If a lighter is detected in a bag, we will confiscate it and let the passenger go but if we feel that passenger is deliberately hiding it, we will refer the matter to the police,” said a CISF officer, who did not want to be named.

Last month, a passenger lit up a cigarette on a Ranchi-Delhi flight, leading to mid-air scare. Flyers appear to be going to great lengths to smuggle lighters on board. In more such recent incidents, an off-duty airline staffer was caught with a lighter hidden in his underwear while a passenger was caught with a lighter under his wrist watch.

Carrying lighters on flights is prohibited in India, but the rule may itself be outdated since nations in the west usually have no such restriction.

In India, people have tried to hide matchsticks or lighters in CD drive of their laptops or bought ones that resemble everyday items such as a cream biscuits, perfume bottles, belt buckles, shoe rings and a wine bottles.

According to airlines, the urge of some passengers to smoke is the biggest security threat and there have been many cases when passengers were found lighting up in the toilet mid-air.

Since passengers hesitate to deposit lighters, the CISF also plans to have counters at arrival halls where travellers can pick up a lighter if they gave their up at departure. Though passengers will not get the same lighter back, they can choose from the ones that other people leave behind at the airport.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 14:07 IST