• Ube in glass jar among banned items on planes


    Ube jam is a common dessert that Filipinos give as presents to friends and relations living abroad.

    Air travelers cannot carry the delicacy anymore, hand-carried or not, aboard airplanes, officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have ruled.

    The MIAA officials explained that the glass jar containing the jam can be used as an improvised dangerous weapon.

    When broken, the officials said, the glass jar-turned-blunt instrument can also be used to threaten and harm people on board the airplane.

    They noted that some passengers are still ignorant or are unaware that ube jam in a glass jar has long been prohibited by air carriers.

    Despite being familiar with the list of other banned items on airplanes, the MIAA officials said, passengers insist on or sneak them past airport checkers.

    Last week, an Office for Transportation Security (OTS) screener at the final security check stopped a Filipina over a glass jar of ube jam.

    The Filipina along with her foreigner friend missed their flight to Dubai.

    She later complained and accused the OTS screener of extortion, which accusation is being investigated.

    The MIAA said passengers can hand-carry ube jam or any dessert but it should be packed in plastic jar/container or vacuum-packed.

    It is requesting travel agencies to issue an advisory to their clients that glass jars are among the items banned on airplanes.

    The advisory, the MIAA said, can save passengers time, especially those rushing to the airport to catch their flights.

    Airports nationwide including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport display at departure gates a list of banned items on aircraft that include firearms and other devices that discharge projectiles; stunning devices such as acid sprays, insect and animal repellant sprays, pepper sprays and stun guns; objects with sharp points and edges; workers’ tools; blunt instruments; explosives and incendiary substances and devices; and liquid, aerosols and gels (LAGs).

    Manila is a member of the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization and strictly follows ICAO’s Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

    Meanwhile, OTS officials who are still investigating the alleged extortion case involving supervisor Sergio Padilla, said the accuser was reluctant when told to drop her jar of ube jam in the trash box.

    Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage revealed that the woman and her companion were seen queuing at the Immigration counter five minutes before the boarding gate closed as they hastily entered the final security check.

    The passenger, Carol Reynon Quebalayan, appeared agitated when informed that ube jam in the glass jar is not allowed to be hand-carried in the aircraft.

    She was later advised to proceed to the boarding gate to ask assistance from airline representatives as she can no longer go back to the check-in counter to check in the ube jam. BENJIE L. VERGARA


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