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      Thursday 01 Oct 2009

      George Best Belfast City Airport has become the first airport in Northern Ireland to supply transparent bags free of charge to passengers passing through security, as part of its continuing programme to improve the customer experience.
      The ongoing security arrangements require passengers that are carrying liquids in containers up to 100ml in their hand luggage to present these in a re-sealable transparent bag when passing through the security search.

      The decision to provide the bags for free was made following customer research.

      Stephen moreland, who is charged with continually improving the customer experience at the airport said,

      ““We have always taken the time to ensure we know and understand our passengers and pay attention to their expectations on how we can enhance the customer experience at the airport.

      “While many passengers accepted the reasoning behind the security arrangements regarding liquids, many felt unhappy at having to pay for the re-sealable bags.”

      The airport’s decision to provide bags for free is just one element of the ongoing programme to improve the customer experience which includes a £6 million private investment in a terminal enhancement, due for completion early next year.

      “The security search facilities are currently being expanded to significantly reduce queuing at peak times and we are increasing the retail offering by 60% airside to include locally themed restaurants and a larger departure lounge,” continued Stephen Moreland.

      “Front of house, the completed parking arrangements have been welcomed by customers and the new covered walkway is also the result of the airport listening to its customers and responding accordingly.”

      Head of Transport at the Consumer Council, Aodhan O'Donnell said:

      "The Consumer Council welcomes George Best Belfast City Airport's decision to provide free plastic bags to those travelling with items of 100mls or more in their hand luggage. While it may not mean huge cost savings for passengers who only travel a few times a year, in terms of convenience and customer satisfaction it will make a positive difference.

      "The Consumer council recommends that people retain their free, re-sealable plastic bags and reuse them; not only is it better for the environment but if passengers arrive at the airport with their items already in a clear plastic bag, it should also help speed up the process of getting through security."

      The bags will be available for passengers when passing through the security search.