Hand luggage liquids can prove a headache when you’re preparing for a flight. Travellers are only allowed to take a maximum of 100ml onboard. This can result in jet-setters forking out for travel-sized toiletries, decanting liquids into small bottles or just going without and resorting to buying what they need while away.
Luckily the tough 100ml rule doesn’t apply to all hand luggage liquids.
There is a selection of exceptions that can be over this limit and pass through airport security without being taken off you.
This Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) explains that there are three different reasons for liquid containers over 100ml being allowed through.
The essential medicines and dietary requirements over 100ml allowed include liquid dietary foodstuffs, inhalers and cooling gel packs.
If you have these in your hand luggage “you’ll need supporting documentation from a relevant medical professional (for example a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription),” states the FCDO website.
“Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point,” the FCDO adds.
If you’re travelling with a baby you are allowed to take liquids over 100ml in certain instances.
“When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. In some cases this will be over 100ml,” says the FCDO.
Breast milk can be carried in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby, but individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml.
“Each container will need to be screened at the security point,” states the FCO. “Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids.”
Other baby liquids will need the baby to be present. These include formula milk, cow’s milk, sterilised water, soya milk, baby food and cooling gel packs.
You cannot carry frozen breast milk in hand luggage.
If you’ve purchased liquids at the airport then these can be taken through security, no matter what their size.
However, they will need to be sealed inside a security bag when you buy them.
The receipt for the items also needs to be sealed in the security bag and visible.
“You must not open the security bag until you reach your final destination,” states the FCO.
“Airport staff may need to open the items to screen the liquid at the security point.”
Some liquids are banned even if they are under 100ml.
- oxidisers and organic peroxides, including bleach and car body repair kits
- acids and alkalis (for example spillable ‘wet’ batteries)
- corrosives or bleaching agents (including mercury and chlorine)
- vehicle batteries and fuel systems
- self-defence or disabling sprays (for example mace, pepper spray)
- radioactive materials (including medicinal or commercial isotopes)
- poisons or toxic substances (for example rat poison)
- biological hazards (for example infected blood, bacteria, viruses)
- materials that could spontaneously combust (burst into flames)
- fire extinguishers
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