Long delays and high-alert security reigned at Italian airports after a major terrorist plot was foiled to blow up planes travelling between UK and USA.

Lengthy delays and last-minute cancellations of flights to London and other destinations have left thousands of Italians stranded in local and international airports at the height of the mid-August holiday exodus.

Italian airports have stepped up anti-terrorism security measures but, according to the Italian news agency ANSA, Italys minister of the interior is not considering a ban on hand luggage at the moment and although security has been tightened there are no specific alarm signals for Italy at present.

British Airways has asked passsengers flying from Italian airports to postpone or abandon flights into the United Kingdom if possibile.