What liquids can I take on a plane?
Security restrictions have been in place for many years to limit the amount of liquids you can take onto planes in your hand luggage. Even so, many flyers remain confused over the amount of food, drink, cosmetics, sprays, pastes and gels they can carry aboard, and how they need to be packed.
The official restrictions are published on the government website, but this guide to taking liquids on flights should help too. It includes the special rules for baby milk and food, special diets, and items you buy once you’re through security. There’s a separate section on medication below it.
The 100ml rule for liquids
The main rule to remember is that you must not take any more than 100ml of a restricted liquid into the cabin of a plane, and those liquids should be placed into individual 100ml containers.
Any liquid that you need more than 100ml of should be packed in your hold luggage.
✔ Partially or fully liquid foods (such as soup, baby food, honey, etc)
✔ Toiletries and cosmetics
(make-up, perfume, creams, lotions, gels, mascara, lip gloss, toothpaste, etc)
✔ Sprays and aerosols (deodorant, hairspray, etc)
✔ Gels (hair gel, shower gel, etc)
✔ Contact lens solution
The 100ml limit applies not just to the actual amount of liquid, but also the bottles or containers they are held in.
ALL liquids must be taken through security in a clear polythene bag no larger than 20cm by 20cm. These are normally available for free at airport security terminals.
You can take one clear bag per person, so it’s wise not to bring too much liquid with you, even if it’s in containers of less than 100ml.
If you use a lighter, you can take one on board in the same clear plastic bag. Lighters are not allowed in luggage that’s to go in the hold.
You’re not allowed to take containers of more than 100ml through security even if they’re only partially full. The bag needs to be able to close and be sealed.
If you’ve gone through security and bought yourself a bottle of something larger than 100ml in the airport, such as alcohol, cosmetics or perfume, you’re allowed to take this on your flight provided that it remains sealed.
There are certain situations when you might need to take more than 100ml of liquid on a flight: if the liquid is medically necessary (see below); baby formula and baby food; and liquids/partial liquids for special dietary requirements.
With the exception of baby food and formula, you may need to provide evidence of why you need to take more than 100ml of liquid through security in these cases. For instance, if you need more than 100ml of a liquid for medical reasons, you’ll need a prescription (if it is a prescription medicine) and a doctor’s note.