Liquid restrictions cause a world of hurt at airports. People who travel rarely are often caught out by the rule. It states that liquid containers carried in the aircraft cabin should contain a maximum of 100ml of liquid. All liquids should also be packed in a clear plastic bag so security can see what is inside.
All of this palaver came about thanks to a bunch of people who decided it would be a good idea to bomb a few aircraft. The method? Explosive liquids disguised as soft drinks brought on board the aircraft. In the end a few of the terrorists involved were convicted for conspiracy to murder.
Clear Bags Join Cabin Luggage
Since 2006 when the ban came into force, everyone has become familiar with the clear bags containing liquids. The very sudden change in rules meant airport security checkpoints became dumps for hundreds of items of liquids, creams and gels.
Happily, manufacturers have since come to the party, introducing travel size versions of all their products. You can get baby deodorant, hairspray and all sorts of things which is very handy.
You Can Still Bring Liquid In The Hold
There are no restrictions on liquids for your hold baggage. This is due to airports having scanners which are more sophisticated than the ones used for hand luggage.
Technology does exist to scan hand luggage effectively to detect chemicals that could be used to make a bomb. In actual fact, there have been several occasions where the EU and other bodies have proposed to remove the restrictions.
Keep Or Remove The Liquid Ban?
Some people argue the liquid ban should stay. Products exist to fit the 100ml restriction, it is safer and what need is there to bring large amounts of liquid on board? The ban is a very small price to pay for the safety benefits it brings.
Are the safety benefits that tangible though? One plot by one group of people once resulted in this ban. There are even suggestions the plot would not have succeeded anyway and the multiple trials of the accused suggests juries also found it hard to decide.
Scanners have progressed technology wise to the point where modern ones can detect explosive chemicals in liquids in hand baggage. These should be mandatory worldwide and often they already exist.
Certain countries have no liquid restrictions at all because of this fact. It is only when you travel from there to a country that still has restrictions in place where you are required to stick to the rule. Priority should be given to making this the same globally.
I advocate the ban being lifted. I find it quite annoying to buy a separate set of products to travel with. Amenity kits needs to be deconstructed on connecting flights to put the liquids into clear plastic bags. God help you if you’re given free booze off the flight by the crew and have to connect. Bye bye bottles of Champagne!
Thank you very much for reading! Do you think the ban should stay or should it be lifted? Please leave your thoughts below!
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Featured image and EU regulations via Dublin Airport. Clear bag 1 via Brussels Airport and 2 via easyJet.
If they really wanted to couldn’t they take 1 litre of liquids in 100ml bottles and then buy a larger bottle of water on the other side of security and hey presto, they have 1 litre of dangerous liquid again?
I’ve never understood why that wasn’t an obvious risk to security forces. My only thought was that maybe there is more to it than we’ve ever been told.
I always thought the same thing, so there must be something more to it. That being said, the whole thing has to be pretty difficult as it would have happened before the 2006 plot if you ask me. There must be a reason why it’s not feasible.
Hopefully the ban will be lifted everywhere soon. Thanks for the comment!
I don’t mind the liquid rule too much but they need to remove the restriction on aerosols of any type. They need to move toothpaste from a liquid to a paste and non-liquid. They should allow more than 1 – Quart sized bag. Airports should be forced to offer “normal” priced soda, water, coffee, etc. post security which many do a good job of (I’m not talking about you you MCI or CLT $$$$). US airlines in HKG should not have secondary screening at the gate to restrict liquids on USA bound flights. It’s too late in the process to… Read more »
^^ re: “US airlines in HKG should not have secondary screening at the gate to restrict liquids on USA bound flights. It’s too late in the process to allow you to buy water, etc. for those 15+ hour flights to DFW, etc. I’m kind of specific I guess.” Heh, I think quite a few people get tripped up by this rule. I don’t think people have any problems following rules, as long as it’s clear and consistent. It’s neither. It’s only clear once you make it to the “gate”. It’s also not consistent since secondary screening with liquid restriction isn’t… Read more »
I agree with you on consistency in the rules. It changes so much. The USA need shoes to be removed – no other country I have been to requires that. However, if flying on a flight to the USA, you need your shoes scanned. It’s hard to keep abreast of it all!
I agree completely with you on being able to bring multiple bags. It used to cause me all sorts of trouble but now I just pack my shaving cream, toothpaste and deodorant. I’ve shaved my head so I don’t need any hair product anymore which is a blessing and the body wash, shampoo and conditioner are usually provided in some form in the hotel. Interesting thoughts on the firearms, that is quite interesting. It reminds me of the time I was in a hotel in Varna Bulgaria and a sign asked to check all firearms in with Reception as they… Read more »
yeh, its not like the terrs could not carry binary explosive liquids by 2 persons
Often thought the same myself! Thanks for the comment!
Even enough gas in a few bic lighters to do some real damage if released in a toilet and ignited.
That’s true but I guess you’d really pull aside someone with 200 lighters in their bag 🙂
3 lighters gas load in the toilet would be enough to ruin the structure of most aircraft
Imaging the damage that could be caused by shorting out a large laptop lithium-ion battery
Indeed, it is probably why all those devices have now been banished to the hold for flights from certain Middle Eastern airports.
relevant to this line of thought is the punctured lith-ion battery