After reports that terrorist may be trying to smuggle in explosive devices hidden within toothpaste tubes, travelers are citing a hassle-free trip and are getting past Russia airport security checkpoints with lotions, water bottles and tubes of toothpaste in their carry-on luggage, the Associated Press reported.
Normally, liquids in carry-on luggage must be travel size or else they are trashed, but due to heightened security measures in Russia for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, no liquids are being allowed, no matter what the size, the AP reported. The ban will run from January until April, long after the games are done.
Russian Transport Ministry spokeswoman Nataliya Nesterova said the no-liquid rule applies for anyone departing from a Russian airport, or through one, but it is the airports responsibility to implement the ban, according to the AP.
The ban on liquids traveling in the carry-on luggage is having implementation issues due to the numerous airports and travelers are passing through everyday and the transit hubs were travelers are passing through are overseen by multiple governments, the AP reported.
Six AP employees, some beginning their journey in Moscow while some were arriving from multiple locations from around the world, said they passed easily through airport security carrying toothpaste, hand lotion and water bottle in their carry-ons.
One AP journalist who departed from Singapore said airport security checked his deodorant stick and returned it, but did not even look at the toothpaste tube, the AP reported.
Matt Segal, an Australian flew from Moscow to Sochi Thursday said his trip was hassle-free, according to the AP.
"It was pretty chill. I had an empty 1-1/2 liter water bottle because I was hoping to fill it up on the plane but no one checked it," Segal told the AP. "No one has pulled it out and asked about it."
According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Sochi is just as safe as any other city which has hosted a large event such as the Olympics, according to the AP.
"I believe that warnings about Sochi, about Russia were superfluous, and the threat levels in Sochi are just like they are in Boston or London," Kozak told the AP. "I would like to reiterate that security in Sochi will be no worse than in New York, London, Washington or Boston."
An AP photographer who traveled from Boston to Frankfurt was carrying a Ziploc bag with numerous liquid items, and though he was asked to take them out in Boston, airport security in Frankfurt didn't pay mind to them and inspected his camera equipment instead, the AP reported.