British Airways began inspecting passengers' electronic and electrical equipment Saturday following the announcement that explosives hidden in a radio-cassette player blew up Pan Am Flight 103.
Britain's biggest airline was acting on a Department of Transport recommendation that all airlines using British airports examine radios, computers and other electronic or electrical equipment for possible explosives.A department spokesman said the suggestion was sent to airlines Friday and is aimed mainly at battery-operated transistor radios, lap-top computers and cassette recorders in which explosives can be easily hidden, rather than smaller items such as hair dryers.
An airline spokesman said British Airways started asking passengers to take all electrical and electronic equipment out of their suitcases for a separate security check, and, when the items were cleared, to carry them aboard as hand baggage.
No major delays were reported because of the increased security.
At London's Heathrow Airport, New York-bound British Airways passenger Graham Atkinson from Surrey, south of London, was asked to unpack his suitcase to take out a small transistor radio.
"I think it is an excellent move," he said. "I go along with any steps being taken to stop the terrorists. Obviously after Lockerbie, you can't be too careful."
All 259 people on board Pan Am Flight 103 were killed and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland, died Dec. 21 when a bomb blew up the New York-bound jet.
Sheila Dawson from Wimbledon, also bound for New York, said: "I was asked if I had anything electrical in my luggage when I checked in. In fact I had packed my Walkman in my hand baggage so I was able to show them straight away.
"It's frightening to think that a bomb could be hidden in something as small as that. I agree with the new regulation and I think it should be strictly enforced."
At a Thursday news conference in Lockerbie, detective John Orr said investigators believe a radio-cassette player contained the explosives that blew up Flight 103.
Orr, who is leading the international investigation of the crash, said it appeared likely the explosives were checked in with baggage in Frankfurt before the plane went to London's Heathrow Airport for the final leg of its trip to New York. But there was not enough evidence to determine the identity of the bomber, he said.