Is the 100ml Liquid Rule for Cabin Luggage Changing in 2024?

Get ready to bid farewell to the era of squeezing your toiletries into tiny bottles! The 100ml liquid rule for cabin luggage is undergoing a revolutionary change set to take effect throughout 2024 and 2025.

Why? Well, it’s all thanks to the introduction of special 3D scanners across the UK’s airports. Here’s everything you need to know about the new 100ml liquid rule for cabin luggage – and why it’s all currently on hold.

Liquid Rule for Cabin Luggage

What Are the Current Restrictions on Liquids?

Currently, most airports worldwide enforce a limit on the amount of liquid you can carry in your cabin luggage. Typically, UK guidelines give a limit of 100ml of liquid per container – and the amount of containers you can bring depends on how many you can cram into a 20cm x 20cm airport-issue clear plastic bag.

Why Are These Restrictions in Place?

The liquid restrictions date back to 2006, when the Met Police foiled a terrorist plot involving liquid explosives concealed in 500ml soft drinks bottles. The UK and US swiftly banned all liquids from hand luggage, except for baby food and milk.

The restrictions eased a little in late 2006, with smaller amounts of liquids in 100ml containers placed within clear sealable bags allowed in hand luggage, that had to be removed from luggage during security checks.

Here's the baggage allowance and luggage limits for flight bookings with Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air, British Airways, Jet2 and TUI in 2023.

How Does The New Scanner Work?

By using new CT X-ray technology, airport security will be able to create 3D images of the contents of passengers’ bags to detect any security threats. Like before, bags are placed on a conveyor belt and passed through scanning machines – but this time with your liquids and laptop kept in the bag.

This new technology means manual hand luggage checks at airport security won’t be needed any more, so you won’t have to remove liquids or electrical devices like laptops from your hand luggage, making for a quicker and smoother journey through the airport.

Chelsea with Travel Liquids

What Will the New Liquid Allowance Rule Be?

As part of the introduction of this new 3D technology, the 100ml liquid rule will be scrapped. Instead, the limit will be extended to two litres per passenger for cabin luggage.

Once the 100ml liquid rule is gone, you’ll be able to bring liquids in a container of any capacity – you won’t have to distribute liquids in 100ml containers like before. However, some banned substances will remain banned regardless of their capacity; this includes things like flammable solids and liquids, alcohol over 70% volume and aerosol paint cans.

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When Might the 100ml Liquid Rule Change?

The UK government set a deadline of June 2024 for UK airports to introduce the new 3D scanning technology.

However, many airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, London Stansted and Manchester airports have stated that they are behind schedule and so whilst they may have some scanners installed by June, they don’t expect them all to be ready to go until 2025.

Therefore, whilst you may come across a new scanner when flying out the UK this year, you can’t bank on being able to use one at these airports. Sob!

When Will UK Airports Introduce 3D Scanners?

While the UK government has set a clear deadline, the actual timeline for the full implementation of 3D scanners across all UK airports varies.

Major UK airports like London City Airport, Teesside International Airport, Aberdeen Airport, Birmingham Airport, Newcastle Airport are already operating the new technology. Several major UK airports are still in the trial phase, including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton, so if you’re flying from these airports you might just find you’re saved the bother of removing your liquids (and electronics) at security – but it’s not a given.


When the 3D scanners are expected to be introduced

Aberdeen Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

Birmingham Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

Bristol Airport

Due on 14th June but now delayed

Cardiff Airport

June 2025

East Midlands Airport

Sometime in 2025

Edinburgh Airport

June 2025

Glasgow Airport

June 2025

Leeds Bradford Airport

Mid 2024

London City Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

London Gatwick Airport

Early 2025

London Heathrow Airport

Sometime in 2025

London Luton Airport

June 2024

London Stansted Airport

June 2025

Manchester Airport

June 2025

Newcastle Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

Southend Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

Teesside Airport

Already in place – but only 100ml liquids allowed

My Airport Has New Scanners - Why Can I Still Only Take 100ml Liquids?

If you are one of the six airports listed above that have the scanners in place, you may be a little flummoxed to why you still need to keep your liquids to a limit.

This is because on 9th June 2024, the 100ml liquids allowance was temporarily reintroduced at Newcastle, Leeds Bradford, London City, Aberdeen, Southend and Teesside Airports. Birmingham, whilst it does have the new scanners in place, had not yet scrapped the 100ml liquid rules so there was effectively no change for them.

Why Has the Government Reintroduced 100ml Liquid Limits?

The Department of Transport has said that this reintroduction would “enable further improvements to be made to the new checkpoint systems” and that it wasn’t in reaction to any particular threat. 

When Will the 100ml Liquid Limits Be Scrapped Again?

We don’t know yet, but it has been confirmed that it is a temporary measure and that we will be told when the rules will be dropped once again. 

What International Airports Have Already Introduced 3D Scanners?

Ireland has already lifted the ban and introduced the 3D scanners in some of their airports like Shannon and Donegal. 

On a global scale, similar technology is also being used in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and US airports like Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, Georgia, and O’Hare in Chicago.

Bear in mind that while a few airports have made the changes, most of the world’s airports are lagging behind when it comes to the new 3D scanners. So, although you may not have to bother whipping out your liquids on one end of your journey, you might well have to do it on the other.

Looking for inspiration? Here's our top 10 best travel destinations in 2024 as chosen by the Cheap Holiday Expert team.

Keep Updated With Airport Liquid Rules for Cabin Luggage

Hold on to those teeny containers a bit longer – the 100ml liquid rule is on its way out, but it’s doing a slow dance across the UK. Also, it’s good to keep in mind that once the rule is lifted your destination country might not be on the same page just yet. But, brace yourself because the day is coming when you can pack as much tanning lotion as you fancy!

We will keep this article updated with the latest information on the 100ml liquid rule for cabin luggage.

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