Liquids on board an aeroplane

Liquids can be carried in hand luggage subject to certain restrictions. Be prepared to present at the security check all liquids you intend to take into the cabin. Pack your liquids in containers that hold no more than 100 ml, and place the liquids in a transparent and resealable one-litre plastic bag. Each passenger is allowed a single one-litre bag. Families are allowed a one-litre bag per each family member with an airline ticket.

Liquid or not?

When in doubt, think about how spreadable a substance is: if you can spread it with a knife, it qualifies as a liquid.

During the holiday season, many may wonder about Christmas treats.

Chocolates, mince pies and other baked goods may be taken on board even if they contain a spoonful of liquid filling.

Examples of liquids

  • liquid and semi-liquid mixtures
  • gels
  • pastes, lotions and creams
  • roll-on deodorants
  • all drinks 
  • soups
  • perfumes
  • shaving foams 
  • aerosols. 

Liquids also include all frozen products that were in liquid form before they were frozen solid.

Medicines and baby food allowed

Larger quantities of liquid products are allowed in the cabin if they are needed during the flight. These exceptions include liquid medicines or food and drink for a baby. Babies include children under the age of 2 years who are travelling with an ‘infant ticket’ and do not have their own seat on the aeroplane.

The following are allowed in the cabin:

  • baby food and drinks to be consumed during the flight
  • liquid medicines needed during the flight
  • other liquids that are prescribed by a physician and needed during the flight
  • liquids needed by passengers with special diets.

To ensure smooth security screening, pack your liquids and any supporting documents from your physician in a separate bag and present them at the security check. Baby food and formula should be in their original retail packaging. Please remember to obey your airline’s weight limits for carry-on luggage.

Tax-free shopping

Flights within the EU

At some airports in the EU, some of the duty-free shops are located airside, meaning an area that is before security control but where only passengers with a flight ticket are allowed. If you buy liquid products from these shops, the salesperson must pack the items in a sealed plastic bag and place the receipt inside the bag.

You must present the sealed and unopened bag at the security check. Some shops also deliver purchased items to passengers after security control.

Flights from non-EU countries to the EU

If you continue your journey on a connecting flight within or via the EU, you must go through security control between your flights. You can buy liquid products from duty-free shops outside the EU or on board an aeroplane registered in a non-EU country and bring them into the cabin on your connecting flight if the products are in a sealed plastic bag.

When buying duty-free liquids, make sure the salesperson packs them and the receipt in a sealed plastic bag. The unopened bag must be presented at the security check before your connecting flight.

Connecting flights outside the EU

Many non-EU countries also require duty-free shopping to be in a sealed bag in accordance with the recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

If you are flying to a destination outside the EU and have connecting flights, make sure that your liquid duty-free shopping and the receipt are packed at the airport in a sealed plastic bag.

Before your returning flight, it is good to remember that many non-EU countries have placed similar restrictions on liquid products brought from outside the airport as applied in the EU. Individual containers must not hold more than 100 ml, and all containers must fit in a transparent and resealable one-litre plastic bag.