Air passengers can only take liquids with them in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters each. These containers should be packed in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger. Passengers are only allowed bringing liquids in small quantities or if these are really needed during the journey for example medicines or baby food. All other liquids have to be packed in the checked baggage.

These rules apply to all passengers departing from airports in the EU whatever their destination. At security checkpoints, you and your hand luggage must be checked for liquids in addition to other prohibited articles.

However, the new rules do not limit the liquids that you can buy at shops located beyond the point where you show your boarding pass or on board an aircraft operated by an EU airline. The new rules apply from Monday, 6 November 2006 at all airports in the EU and in Norway, Iceland and
Switzerland until further notice.

So what are considered liquids?

Liquids include :

  • water and other drinks, soups, syrups
  • creams, lotions and oils
  • perfumes
  • sprays
  • gels, including hair and shower gels
  • contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants
  • pastes, including toothpaste
  • liquid-solid mixtures
  • mascara
  • any other item of similar consistency

When you are packing

You are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage. These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each. You must pack these containers in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger.

Airport security

To help screeners detect liquids, you must :

  • present all liquids carried to the screeners at security checkpoints for examination;
  • take off your jacket and/or coat, belt etc. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened;
  • remove laptop computers and other large electrical devices from your hand luggage. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened.

You can still

  • pack liquids in bags that you check in – the new rules only affect hand luggage;
  • carry in your hand luggage medicines and dietary requirements, including baby foods, for use during the trip. You may be asked for proof that they are needed;
  • buy liquids such as drinks and perfumes either in an EU airport shop when located beyond the:
    • point where you show your boarding pass or on board an aircraft operated by an EU airline.
    • If they are sold in a special sealed bag, do not open it before you are screened – otherwise the contents may be confiscated at the checkpoint. (If you transfer at an EU airport, do not open the bag before screening at your airport of transfer, or at the last one if you transfer more than once).

All these liquids are additional to the quantities in the resealable plastic bag mentioned above.

If you have any doubts, please ask your airline or travel agent in advance of travel.

Duty free liquids purchased from any airport or airline may be carried as hand luggage as long as the item and the receipt remain sealed inside the security bag (with a red border) provided at the time of purchase. You may not open the security bag until arrival at your final destination. However, security officers may need to open the bag and the bottles for screening. If this happens, and you have a connecting flight at another airport, tell the security officer so the liquids can be re-sealed in a new security bag.

Any sharp objects that might be used as weapons are not allowed in the aircraft cabin. These could be everyday objects such as corkscrews knives and scissors of a certain size, which should be packed in your hold luggage.

Limits on the size of cabin baggage and the number of items you are allowed to take on board are set by the airlines so check with your airline before you travel.

Explosives and inflammable items - fireworks or aerosol spray paint for example, and other inflammable and toxic substances such as acids - are prohibited on flights. They may not be carried in either cabin or checked baggage.

No weapons of any kind are allowed on board the aircraft.

Source: European Commission Mobility & Transport

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