09 Feb UK Airline and Airport Security Regulations – Exactly What Liquids Can You Carry in Hand Luggage?
The current regulations around Airline Cabin Baggage have been in place since 6th November 2006, but we are still seeing many questions over just what liquids can be brought into the cabin as hand luggage. The rules here are very precise, and cover drinks, medicines, make-up, toiletries, and even baby milk. The regulations are summarised here for simplicity, to help you avoid difficulties or delays at Airport Security.
What is the Definition of a Liquid?
In terms of Airport Security Rules, a liquid includes all of the following:
- All drinks, including water, soup, syrups
- Creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara etc
- Sprays and pressurized containers including shaving foam and spray deodorants
- Pastes, including toothpastes
- Gels, including hair and shower gel
- Any other solutions and items of similar consistency
How Much Can I Take?
Obviously you can take as much as you like in the cargo hold, but in your hand luggage you are limited to containers holding no more than 100ml (note that a 200ml container half full is not permitted). All containers of liquid must be placed into a single, see-through and re-sealable plastic bag.
Travellers are encouraged not to take items in hand luggage which are capable of holding liquids (for example, bottles, flasks, tubes, cans, plastic containers, etc). This should help avoid unnecessary delays.
So What’s This About a Plastic Bag?
The plastic bag allows the liquids being carried by a passenger to be easily checked by airport security. The rules which must be followed are:
- The bag must be the transparent, re-sealable type
- The capacity of the bag must be no more than 1 litre (approximately 20cm by 20cm)
- The contents must sit comfortably in the bag and the bag must be sealed
- The re-sealable bag of liquids should be prepared before arriving at the airport
- Each passenger may carry only one such bag of liquids
- The one item of cabin baggage which can be taken through the airport search point is in addition to the bag of liquids
What About Essential Medicines?
Prescription medicines in liquid form which are essential for the journey (such as a diabetic kit) can be taken in hand luggage, but be prepared to prove their authenticity.
What About Baby Milk and Baby Food?
Baby milk and liquid baby food may be taken in hand luggage, and are not subject to the 100 ml limit, but the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by an accompanying passenger.
What About Duty Free / Departure Lounge Purchases?
You may take as hand luggage any Duty Free items you purchase in the shops in the departure lounge, or ‘airside’. These will be given to you in a special sealed bag which should not be opened until you reach your final destination, and you should keep your proof of purchase.
Note that there are additional considerations for duty free purchases for your return flight if you will be
changing flight at an EU airport.
Limited liquids are now permitted as hand luggage, but if you want to avoid delays and difficulties at the airport then you should ensure you understand the above rules and prepare your bag of liquids before you get to the airport.