Hallelujah! Heathrow, Stansted and London City airports are lifting the one bag restriction from today! The era of squashing what you can into a carefully measured single piece of hand luggage or resigning yourself to checking in your bags and the inevitable lengthy scramble at the carousels at the other end is almost over. Security teams at 19 airports in the UK have been deemed capable of checking more than one bag per person, so that extra case for shoes and suntan lotion can come on board with you.
The era is almost over but not quite yet... the restrictions on carrying liquids through security is still in place so there'll be familiar long queues at security while folks frantically empty make up bags, contact lens solution and drinks at the gates.
And just to be difficult, Gatwick is still imposing the one bag rule which is going to cause plenty of headaches for any unfortunate travellers transferring from cancelled Heathrow flights or making connecting flights there from countries that allow more hand luggage at their end.
Britain imposed the one-bag restriction in August 2006 (have we really put up with for so long?) after an alleged terrorist attack was uncovered on board a flight to the USA from the UK. It was said liquid explosives were carried on board and so restrictions on liquids and hand luggage were enforced.
The lifting of the restrictions (except at Gatwick - grrrrr) is good news for those going on short breaks to escape the January and February blues. We strongly recommend you check luggage restriction details for any airport you're flying from as true to form, each airport is doing their own thing. And those queues can be awfully long, so be prepared!