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The U.K. Is Removing Its Restrictions For 100ml Liquids In Hand Luggage: Will U.S. Be Next?

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Travelers going through U.K airports will soon no longer be required to limit their liquids to 100ml, as the U.K. has decided to remove its restrictions by 2024, according to The Times. As more people choose to carry-on luggage than check their bags, travelers have faced inconvenient restrictions to downsize their toiletries like face creams, deodorants, shampoos, and more when saving costs on carry-on luggage for trips.

Passenger Puts Liquids Into Bag At Airport Security Check

These items over 100mls have either been forfeited for travel-sized alternatives or separated from their original containers and placed into airport-friendly containers. No matter what your process is, carry-on baggage comes with some planning.

According to The Times, U.K. airports will allow passengers to carry liquids of any size in their hand luggage, and passengers will no longer need to remove their laptops for security. Currently, in the U.K, liquids must be less than 100ml and be placed in a clear plastic bag and removed separately for security.

Woman closing trasparent bag with travel kit for transporting cosmetics on airplane

Why Are Airports Considering Removing The 100ml Restriction?

This move is a result of new technology that will drastically reduce queues and decrease the use of plastic that is required at certain airports. The technology is currently being tested at selected airports around the world, and the U.K. is using the technology at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The country hopes to roll out the new technology at other major U.K. by mid-2024.

The new CT scanner technology produces a 3D scan in high resolution, which allows security to look for contents at every angle, as opposed to the current 2D image of older machines. Shannon Airport in Ireland was one of the first airports to remove restrictions on 100ml liquids with the technology and has said the move has “halved the time our passengers spend going through security screening,” according to The Times.

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Man in uniform standing at counter at checking point and watching at monitor with x-ray of luggage.

“From a security point of view, they're able to make very accurate decisions about what the materials are in your bag: Is it a likely threat material or is it benign? That's better security, better decisions,” said the head of checkpoint solutions at Smiths Detection, Kevin Riordan.

One of the biggest causes of long wait times at airport security is people removing these items from their bags or forgetting to remove them and having bags manually searched. This move will significantly reduce the time it takes passengers to move through security.

Travelers in long lines at Denver International Airport going thru the Transportation Security Administrations 800

Will The U.S. Be Next?

The U.S. has already been testing CT scanners since 2018 at airports across the country, including Los Angeles International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International, Oakland International, San Diego International, Nevada’s Harry Reid International, and Chicago O’Hare International.

In March this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it was spending over $780 million on hundreds of CT scanners that would allow you to leave your laptops, liquids, and other devices in your carry-on bag.

The TSA installed 38 scanners this summer in locations across the U.S. and has plans for the full 938 scanners to be installed over the next few years, with the goal of these scanners to create a smoother airport process.

A TSA agent searches luggage at an airport

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement in March 2022 that the scanners “provide our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passenger carry-on items and also improves the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process.”

There is currently no set date on when the U.S. will follow suit and implement the no-liquid restriction, but the U.S. will be under pressure as other countries roll out the technology and more airports lift the ban.

Unidentified people lined up for security and passport control at Fort-Lauderdale

Meanwhile, certain U.S. airports have decided to relax airport restrictions in other ways. More than 20 years after September 11, six airports have decided to allow visitors to accompany ticket travelers to their gates, even if they don’t have a ticket.

Ticketed-only passengers was a rule that was first introduced following September 11, and even though the process is not simple (companions must produce a government-issued identification and pass a background check), it is still a step in the direction of relaxing certain restrictions that were first implemented as a temporary measure.

Man Puts Mobile Phone Into Tray For Airport Security Check

Why Was There A Liquid Ban?

The 100ml rule was implemented at the time as a temporary measure following a transatlantic terror plot in 2006, where terrorists had planned to bring down seven flights departing from Heathrow with liquid explosives that had been disguised as soft drinks.

The new CT technology will use advanced algorithms to detect explosives, including liquid explosives and other threat items. According to Security Magazine, “the system applies algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a transportation security officer. This technology creates a clear image of a bag’s contents, allowing the system to automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt”.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Jack Barton

Saturday 26th of November 2022

What will they do with all the OCD security officers - they’ll have little to fuss about! I go through as crew and they treat us worse than passengers.

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Saturday 26th of November 2022

They will reduce the personnel for cost savings and the lines will be back again :)


Saturday 26th of November 2022

The whole terrorist narrative is a bunch of bunk. Yeah a group of "terrorists" wanted to use liquid explosives disguised as soft-drink cans to blow up planes. If there really were people who wanted to blow something up and kill innocent people, they could do it on the ground. The whole narrative is an intel-agency made-up, just-so story that uses mentally-unstable patsies to make the stories more convincing. The shoe-bomber was witnessed being escorted by federal agents, bypassing security, on to the plane. I hope people realize that the terrorist narrative was created by the people who own and control everything in our world as a way to justify putting in rules to do more of the same. They want to control our movements in typical communist control-freak style. The average person is so gullible.


Friday 25th of November 2022

Throw all the dangerous water bottles in the same bin right next to a chokepoint full of people, yeah sure this had anything to do with safety and that liquid bomb plot was totally not made up at all. Sure. Sure


Friday 25th of November 2022

Such a small yet HUGE victory. Such a silly restriction that made no sense in respect to "safety".