The UK airports ditching the 100ml liquid hand luggage limit

One UK airport has ditched the rule on liquids in hand luggage, another will do so before Easter while the rest are set to follow by June 2024

Airport employee carries a plastic bag with liquid containers
(Image credit: Daniel Berehulak)

One airport in the North of England has become the first in the country to remove the 100ml limit on liquids held within hand luggage.

There is no shortage of things to consider before heading off on holiday, from arranging travel insurance to ensuring that you don’t overpay for car hire.

These considerations include our luggage, and more specifically what we are able to keep in our hand luggage. However, the good news for travellers is that the limits around liquids in hand luggage, from drinks to suncream, are already being ditched at certain airports.

So which airports have scrapped the 100ml limit on liquids, and what does the future hold for other airports across the country?

The airports ditching the 100ml liquid rule

Teesside Airport, in the North East, has become the first airport in the UK to ditch the 100ml liquid rule.

It’s down to the installation of new scanning equipment, which allows security staff to scan liquids held within the luggage. They are provided with 3D imaging of the liquids, so that they can better judge what’s contained and whether it presents a security risk.

The installation of two of these scanners at Teesside Airport means that travellers can now carry as much as two litres in their luggage. In addition, the scanners mean that travellers can also keep electronic items like laptops within their hand luggage, rather than removing them for the security checks, while cosmetics and creams no longer need to be placed in separate bags.

The idea is that these scanners will make the process of going through security faster and more efficient.

It has beaten London’s City Airport to the punch, which had previously committed to having the scanners in place ‒ and therefore no 100ml rule ‒ in time for the Easter holidays. City Airport already has two of these new scanners in place, with plans to install another two by the end of the month.

When are other airports removing the 100ml liquid rule?

While Teesside and City Airport are the first UK airports to remove the 100ml liquid limits, it won’t be long until this is uniform across the country.

Last year the Department for Transport announced that the installation of the new scanners would become compulsory, with airports given until June 2024 to upgrade their scanning and security processes. 

As part of this, the limit on only taking 100ml of liquids would be removed, with the new limit of up to two litres introduced.

Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, said: “By 2024, major airports across the UK will have the latest security tech installed, reducing queuing times, improving the passenger experience, and most importantly detecting potential threats.  

“Of course, this won’t happen straight away – this is going to take two years to be fully implemented. Until then, passengers must continue following the existing rules and check before travelling.”

The catch to the removal of the 100ml liquid rule

It’s worth noting though that there is a potential catch when it comes to the removal of the 100ml limit on liquids in hand luggage.

Because you not only need to check the requirements from the airport you’re heading off on holiday from, but also the airport you’ll be departing from for the journey home.

If they do not have these scanners in place ‒ and the vast majority of airports across the continent do not ‒ then you won’t be able to keep those larger liquids in your hand luggage.

As a result, you may need to keep those liquids in your checked-in luggage, or else decant them into 100ml containers to keep them in your hand luggage, which might be easier said than done.

John Fitzsimons
Contributing editor

John Fitzsimons has been writing about finance since 2007, and is a former editor of Mortgage Solutions and loveMONEY. Since going freelance in 2016 he has written for publications including The Sunday Times, The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Mail and Forbes, and is committed to helping readers make more informed decisions about their money.