Wow: UK Airport Liquids Ban Ending In 2024

Wow: UK Airport Liquids Ban Ending In 2024

55

Could this really happen?!?

UK plans to overhaul airport security by June 2024

The UK has announced what it’s referring to as the biggest shake-up to airport security rules in decades. With this:

  • Travelers will no longer be limited to 100ml liquid containers, but rather that limit will be increased to two liter containers
  • Travelers will no longer have to take large electronics (like tablets and laptops) out of their bags at security

How is this happening? Well, between now and June 2024, major airports in the United Kingdom will be introducing new technology at security checkpoints, intended to both improve security (staff will have more detailed images of what people are carrying) and the passenger experience (travelers won’t have to take things out of their bags anymore).

Here’s what Transport Secretary Mark Harper had to say about these changes:

The tiny toiletry has become a staple of airport security checkpoints, but that’s all set to change. I’m streamlining cabin bag rules at airports while enhancing security.  

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 2 years to be fully implemented. Until then, passengers must continue following the existing rules and check before travelling.

This new technology has been trialed at airports since 2018, and has demonstrated the effectiveness of the new screening equipment, which uses CT X-ray technology to essentially provide a 3D image of what’s in the bags of passengers. It also deploys advanced threat detection algorithms.

Bans on liquids will end in the UK in 2024

Will other countries follow the UK’s lead?

Airport liquid restrictions started to be put in place around the globe in 2006, following a terrorist threat. These rules have been intended to stop those with liquid explosives. As we’ve become accustomed to, once restrictions are put in place, they’re seemingly never lifted.

So it’s exciting to hear that the UK does plan to lead the way in lifting restrictions on liquids. I think the big question is whether other countries will follow. The same technology is being used to some extent in the United States and the Netherlands, but last I’ve heard, there are no plans to end liquid bans in either of those countries.

With that in mind, I’m curious to see how this plays out:

  • On the one hand, countries do tend to match one another when it comes to aviation security policies
  • On the other hand, it’s unlikely this new technology will be adopted consistently globally by 2024
  • The United States seems to very much take the approach of keeping the status quo unless there’s a major reason to change it, and for that reason I’m skeptical of whether we’ll see something similar in the United States
Will the United States follow?

Bottom line

The UK will be radically changing airport security policies by June 2024, thanks to new scanning technology. Specifically, passengers will no longer have to remove laptops or tablets from their bags, and liquids in containers of up to two liters will be allowed through security. At least that’s the plan as of now, though who knows what could happen in the next 18 months.

This is really exciting, so here’s to hoping we see a similar policy in more countries. My gosh, I’m going to feel so scandalous going through security with a bottle of water…

What do you make of this airport security policy change, and do you think other countries will follow?

Conversations (55)
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  1. Spam Guest

    What about allowing dogs in cabin UK? The rest of the world is way ahead. US I didn't need to take my electronics out, face broken egates or wait as long as the UK.

  2. simmonad Guest

    In 2008, I was able to take a large (2 litre) bottle through security at TLV, so I presume the technology's been around for quite some time.

    1. Max Guest

      It's for a different reason: Israel does rely on psychological profiling with their security system. If they do think that you don't pose a threat after their questioning, you are good to go.

  3. Russell Guest

    Already in use at Doha’s Hamad airport, I believe.

    https://dohahamadairport.com/press-releases/news/new-hamad-international-airport-screening-technology-accelerates-passenger

  4. Mike Guest

    UK is the worst for war on liquids.

    You can only have 1x ziploc bag and it has to seal. If it doesnt seal, then you have to throw out stuff until it sealed. Fucking insane

  5. Guri S Guest

    There is water sold on the air side of airports, clearly there are machines that are checking water and liquids sold.

    Security is mostly theatre that we have been part of. One can take 5 bottles of 100ml liquid in their ziplock allowance.

    That is 500ml of liquid. So all this theatre of putting it in small bottles does not do anything.

    About time we got rid of stupid rule that some brainiacs came up with after 9-11

    1. red_robbo Guest

      I'm afraid you're mistaken.
      If I remember correctly, the liquid ban was not a result of 9-11. It was introduced after a foiled plan by a gang of terrorists in 2006 to bring explosives on board several flights from Heathrow to the US, using soda bottles to disguise the explosive materials.
      Several of these terrorists were subsequently given life sentences.

  6. Alan Diamond

    On a recent flight from Malta I was removing my liquids from my bag and had forgotten I had a medium size bottle of conditioner. I handed it to the agent assuming he would confiscate it. He said it was over the limit but he x-rayed it by itself and handed it back to me and said it was fine. What a nice guy and someone using some common sense.

  7. RF Diamond

    Long overdue. 2 liter toiletries for everyone!

  8. iamhere Guest

    It is only relevant if most or many airports follow suit.

    1. [email protected] Guest

      Not really... if you fly to the UK with hand baggage only, it will mean that you can pick up a bottle of wine (or similar) from somewhere other than duty free (Berry Bros, perhaps?!) and take it home with no issues. What other airports do doesn't impact upon that.

  9. Derek Guest

    Glad to see this security theater nonsense becoming more reasonable. Although I'm sure there are some people who will be upset that their bottom dollar is being hurt by this.

  10. Dan Guest

    Domestic flights in Japan has been doing this for years. No need to empty your 500ml bottles. I’ve never tried with 750ml or 2l bottles but you can take your liquid filled 500ml bottles.

  11. Mike C Diamond

    Australia ended the 100ml rule for domestic travel years ago but retained it for international departures. That may have changed since I last travelled abroad in the before times.

    I've recently taken two domestic trips after not travelling since January. On the second trip, at two of the three airports (CBR and MEL but not ADL) computers could remain in bags. I asked when it had changed and they said it was about 12 months...

    Australia ended the 100ml rule for domestic travel years ago but retained it for international departures. That may have changed since I last travelled abroad in the before times.

    I've recently taken two domestic trips after not travelling since January. On the second trip, at two of the three airports (CBR and MEL but not ADL) computers could remain in bags. I asked when it had changed and they said it was about 12 months ago. I hadn't seen signs on the first of my trips and had taken my laptop out as usual, and none of the security staff commented (so I wasn't yelled at!).

    One change was that we had to take any aerosols out of our bags and place them separately in the tray. Their size wasn't an issue. On the first time, the security person put my bag on top of my aerosol so it looked to the machine as if it was still in the bag, cue slightly annoyed checker until he saw what had happened.

    In MEL I had to take my belt off and hold it in my hand going through the body scanner. I could see why, as on a previous occasion I'd been stopped for them to check that a return from my wrist was actually a watch.

  12. JC Edwards Guest

    The banning of liquids in quantities bigger than 100 ml from flights could have lasted much less time than the nearly 17 years since 2006. Security is, after all, a very profitable business and an effective political tool.
    I would never question the intelligence that in 2006 uncovered a plot to use liquid bombs to bring down airplanes.

  13. flying100 Member

    Seeing what the US does for example in Israel, where there's no restrictions on liquid at all, the US is the only country I know, that requires passengers pass additional security checks before boarding, where they take away all liquids. The US is nowhere near dropping the restrictions on anything.

    Cant wait to travel in UK, with full bottles of water, and milk, given that I'm Jewish and cant currently have a milky coffee (without...

    Seeing what the US does for example in Israel, where there's no restrictions on liquid at all, the US is the only country I know, that requires passengers pass additional security checks before boarding, where they take away all liquids. The US is nowhere near dropping the restrictions on anything.

    Cant wait to travel in UK, with full bottles of water, and milk, given that I'm Jewish and cant currently have a milky coffee (without schlepping a few tiny bottles) in airport, because I need kosher milk.

    The one that will lose, are the shops that sell water bottles in airports, (like Boots and WHS in UK).

    Hope others will follow suit, given that the restrictions started in the UK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_transatlantic_aircraft_plot.

  14. Max Guest

    Same is happening in Germany, I think it was Munich airport that not so long ago did announce that they will get the new scanners for the liquids.

  15. Kevin Guest

    The liquid detectors at Heathrow are amazing. If you have a teardrop on your carry-on handle, you'll get flagged for manual inspection.

  16. Grey Diamond

    It has been this way at AMS for ages. Surprised you seem not to know this. It was particularly convenient this year with the long security queues, as I didn't have to wait for the airline counters to open to check the bags, and could still bring my large aerosol sun cream containers.

  17. Larry Guest

    UK travelers will still have the 100ml rule to follow for onward travel in the US unless changed.

  18. Tom I Guest

    I just transferred through LHR yesterday. While watching people fumble around taking out laptops, tablets, and liquids I was thinking how stupid this has become after all of these years. Really hope the US can follow suit but not holding my breath.

    1. Icarus Guest

      And yet still, so many people seem to be unprepared at security fumbling around inconveniencing those who are

    2. vbscript2 Guest

      Most frequent flyers in the U.S. already have PreCheck which hasn't required taking out laptops, tablets, or liquids in nearly a decade (nor taking off belts, jackets, etc.) Clearing security in the U.S. almost always takes me less than 5 minutes, usually more like 2 (including the lines, that is.) I'm often in the lounge within 5 minutes of entering the terminal, even when checking bags.

  19. Bgriff Guest

    It's funny because in my experience the UK is extremely strict with the liquids rule ... mine get carefully inspected, and carefully held to just the one plastic bag, every time I fly through there. Whereas the US is pretty strict about the 100mL part of the rule, but I routinely go through security (or PreCheck at least) in the US with 2 or 3 bags of 100mL containers in the same suitcase without any issue.

    1. JWags Guest

      Yea, if you don't have plastic bags that are totally closed it can be an issue.

      Meanwhile, in the US for precheck, I haven't kept liquids in a plastic bag for years. Just zipped in a dopp kit in my bag.

  20. James S Guest

    Im assuming these are the same large rounded machines you see at TSA precheck where you can leave your stuff inside your bag?

  21. Todd Gold

    America: We have facial recognition software that allows us to expedite passenger screening.

    Also America: Take your shoes off.

    SMH

    1. vbscript2 Guest

      Also America: We've had PreCheck that hasn't required removing shoes (or jackets, belts, laptops, liquids, tablets, etc.) since around 10 years ago.

  22. SwimBikeFly Guest

    The Brits are stupid. Just charge people $95 every 5 years for the right to bypass most security. Pretty simple stuff.

    1. Icarus Guest

      No one bypasses security. And Brits don’t pay. Ironic the US calls itself the land of the free, but nothing is.

    2. SwimBikeFly Guest

      Durrrrrr

      If you pay for pre-check you bypass most of the security theater.

  23. Will I’m sjc Guest

    This was originally announced by UK Government in 2019 with a target implementation date of Dec 2022. Clearly Covid got in the way but it’s interesting to see how Rishi is getting good press again for what is a story that is old and delayed. No coincidence either this has been announced on the same day that the UK nurses go on strike.

    Anyway the US has this tech as others have said. SFO...

    This was originally announced by UK Government in 2019 with a target implementation date of Dec 2022. Clearly Covid got in the way but it’s interesting to see how Rishi is getting good press again for what is a story that is old and delayed. No coincidence either this has been announced on the same day that the UK nurses go on strike.

    Anyway the US has this tech as others have said. SFO uses it (terminal A international springs to mind) and SEA has it also at some wcheck points.

    TBF this is a big deal for the Uk where passengers still have to put their liquids in a clear see through bag. Can’t recall the last time that part of the rule has been enforced in the us.

  24. tom Guest

    Ireland is due to abolish this in 2023. Shannon got rid of it back in March 2022 and given that SNN has US CBP, there is no reason other than $$$ that the US would not do likewise

    1. Elijah Guest

      CBP doesn’t do aviation security screenings. The Preclearance facility at Shannon is completely irrelevant

    2. OhioExile Guest

      Not quite true; since these passengers connect without being reprocessed through security to US domestic flights, TSA screening is required to an equivalent level as Aviation Security screening in the US. This frequently means additional screening is required for precleared flights, though it is a TSA requirement and not a CBP one.

  25. skimegheath Gold

    I flew to Frankfurt last month. I was yelled at for taking anything out this included laptop and liquids. Still had the 100mm limit though.

  26. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The US has some of the machines that can do this and knows that what the UK is doing is possible - but they would have to actually increase the funding of DHS in order to make this happen.

    Even apart from determining the types of liquids in a bag, the machines are much, much faster than traditional security screening devices. The time savings alone could reduce manpower and help pay for machines.

    The UK...

    The US has some of the machines that can do this and knows that what the UK is doing is possible - but they would have to actually increase the funding of DHS in order to make this happen.

    Even apart from determining the types of liquids in a bag, the machines are much, much faster than traditional security screening devices. The time savings alone could reduce manpower and help pay for machines.

    The UK uses e-gates for citizens of certain countries, including its own and those from the US - but we Americans have to stand in line after using Global Entry to show our receipt to a live human and then pass by another CBP officer at the exit in many airports.

    1. Donna Diamond

      My International flights on AA this past year using Global Entry through DFW we’re facial recognition with no receipt. No lines, just waved through.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      wow... I have yet to see that. I still get facial recognition on the machines but w/ a paper receipt. Thanks for what might be coming nationwide.

    3. Tom I Guest

      Same at LAX. You never even show your passport. Entire process is done in less than 10 seconds. Its awesome

    4. grichard Guest

      This was also my experience at ORD last month.

    5. vbscript2 Guest

      Global Entry is much faster than the e-gates in my experience. I cleared immigration at JFK in maybe 30 seconds last month with Global Entry vs. around 10-15 minutes at CDG with the e-gates.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I am consistently out of airports with Global Entry - even when I have to present a paper receipt - in no more than 10 minutes.
      I also agree that the E gates can be finnicky and I can do Global Entry faster.
      I am simply glad that CBP is going to a full facial recognition process without the need to be seen by a human.

    7. GBOAC Diamond

      We arrived in IAH from Peru a month ago with GE. First stop was a facial recognition kiosk that spit of piece of paper and directed us to a CBP person who checked our passport. This was an extra step compared our experience at SFO in the spring where the kiosk took care of everything.

  27. Hillshum Guest

    The requisite tech is already present in some US airports and I will image will continue to roll out, although we're certainly much more than two years away. PHX, SLC, and MIA (at least the checkpoint for international arrivals) come to mind.

  28. Tim Guest

    I feel like this is only fascinating to Westeners since I‘ve been able to take 500ml bottles of water with me on the plane for years when traveling from AUH, SIN, TYO,… Seems like Asia has had this technology for years xD

    1. Tigris23 Guest

      When traveling in Asia this past summer (and in the last few years as far I can recall), we have always been required to empty our water bottles (even 24oz ones)

    2. Hillshum Guest

      Well 24oz is more than 500ml...

    3. skimegheath Gold

      That's odd. I lived in Singapore and always had to empty my water bottle. Even sunscreen was confiscated (I was being hopeful it would go through).

    4. Icarus Guest

      There are restrictions taking them through security from landslide. Not an issue if you buy liquids and gels airside.

  29. James Guest

    Maybe Switzerland? Geneva has had two controls options since 2018. One line with a machine where you don't need to take liquids and electronics out, and a classic line. The latter is usually the fastest though.

  30. Flo Guest

    How many years has it been with the liquid ban? Feels like my entire adult life. Kudos to the politician willing to make this move.

    1. Jacob McCarthy Member

      Shannon and Kerry in Ireland already have lifted their restrictions as well. Dublin hopefully in 2023.

  31. Dylan Guest

    At Amsterdam Schiphol you already do not need to remove electronic devices from your hand luggage, and toiletries can remain in the bags without much fuss. Will be great to get rid of those silly plastic ziplock bags.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Todd Gold

America: We have facial recognition software that allows us to expedite passenger screening. Also America: Take your shoes off. SMH

2
red_robbo Guest

I'm afraid you're mistaken. If I remember correctly, the liquid ban was not a result of 9-11. It was introduced after a foiled plan by a gang of terrorists in 2006 to bring explosives on board several flights from Heathrow to the US, using soda bottles to disguise the explosive materials. Several of these terrorists were subsequently given life sentences.

0
Max Guest

It's for a different reason: Israel does rely on psychological profiling with their security system. If they do think that you don't pose a threat after their questioning, you are good to go.

0
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