Airport Check-in: 2 carry-ons OK in U.K. mostly

With government approval, London Heathrow on Monday is lifting its one-bag limit on carry-on items. Passengers will be allowed two carry-ons at Heathrow and at 21 other U.K airports, including London Stansted and the Edinburgh and Glasgow airports in Scotland, the BBC reported Sunday on its website.

The one-carry-on limit, imposed in August 2006 after authorities foiled a terrorism plot, will remain in place for now for many passengers at London Gatwick, but those using the South Terminal to connect will be allowed two carry-ons, the BBC reported.

A handful of smaller U.K. airports have yet to prove to government security officials that they can perform security inspections of more carry-on items without cutting corners. Muddling the situation is the fact that airlines have the option to keep the one-carry-on limit, so U.K. travelers may want to check with their airlines.

Kansas City: So easy, a chimpanzee can do it

Insurance giant Geico has its cavemen, and now Kansas City International has its chimpanzee. To promote the airport's ease of use, KCI has developed a 60-second spot showing Kenzie the chimp planning a trip on the KCI website, driving himself to the airport, parking, shuttling to the terminal and checking in at the gate. In the two days of filming the KCI spot, Kenzie, an experienced actor, reacted to verbal cues from a trainer and received food as a reward.

The spot, which is the work of Kuhn & Wittenborn Advertising and production company T2, will air primarily on CNN's airport channel. It may be viewed at the KCI website, flykci.com.

Oakland: Store has gadgets to try

A new store at Oakland airport gives travelers a chance to test the latest electronics gear before buying.

Techshowcase had its grand opening last month and is the first of at least 16 expected to open at airports during the next 18 months. A second store is scheduled to open in February at Miami airport's Terminal G, says Ilene Berman, co-CEO of Airport Wireless, which developed and operates the stores.

"It's like an interactive technology museum," Berman says. "We want to give passengers an opportunity to spend their time wisely."

The stores display electronics products of major brands, including Sony, Motorola, Nokia and BlackBerry. The Oakland store sells about 500 products ranging in price from $2.99 for a pack of batteries to $649 for a cellphone. Larger stores at other airports may sell up to 1,500 products.

Houston: Terminal gets $25M in improvements

Houston Airport System is investing $25 million to upgrade Terminal D, which is the international terminal at Bush Intercontinental. Already the agency that operates Houston's airports has built 20 new ticketing check-in positions and a baggage check station for Emirates Airlines, which last month launched Houston-Dubai non-stop service.

Other big changes on tap for Terminal D: new moving sidewalks, a high-capacity automated explosives-screening system, an expanded baggage system, new passenger loading bridges and a new roof. Several new restaurants and shops also are expected to open in Terminal D over the next two years.

Within the past year or so China, Korean, EVA Air Cargo, City Star Airlines and AirBridge Cargo airlines all have launched service. Singapore Air and Qatar Airways will begin service this year.

Phoenix: Close-in garage spaces now cost $25 a day

Overnight parkers at Phoenix Sky Harbor terminal garages will now pay $25 a day, up from $20.

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