Birmingham Airport liquid rules spark confusion fears as passengers still only allowed 100ml in hand luggage

Third category of aviation security for passengers flying from UK airports: liquids remain in baggage but in bottles not over 100ml

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 05 June 2024 10:53 BST
UK airports scrapping security rules on liquids and laptops thanks to new 3D scanners

Airline passengers flying from UK airports this summer face even more confusion – with a major airport combining both the old and new rules for carrying liquids.

Birmingham was one of very few UK airports that met the government deadline for installing new security scanners by 1 June. The assumption was that following the £60m investment, outbound passengers would no longer need to comply with the old limit of 100ml on liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) in cabin baggage. Instead, they could take up to two litres through security.

Security confusion: Birmingham airport has new scanners installed but says old liquids rules apply
Security confusion: Birmingham airport has new scanners installed but says old liquids rules apply (Birmingham Airport)

But officials at the West Midlands hub now say the former limits still apply, albeit with the LAGs allowed to be inside passengers’ hand luggage rather than being separately screened.

The move by Birmingham airport introduces a third category of aviation security for passengers flying from UK airports: liquids can remain in baggage but must comply with the 100ml limit.

The airport says: “In due course this new equipment will allow liquids of up to two litres to be taken through in cabin baggage, however some restrictions temporarily remain in place.

“Until further notice, passengers are advised that they can only carry liquids up to 100ml, albeit it can stay in hand luggage and no longer needs to be in a plastic bag.”

The new rules state:

  • Customers can only take liquids, pastes and gels up to 100ml in their hand luggage.
  • The quantity of individual items at 100ml is unlimited.
  • Liquids should not be in plastic bags, just loose in hand luggage.
  • Liquids, pastes, and gels stay in hand luggage during the security search area, do not remove them.
  • No liquids, pastes or gels over 100ml are allowed through security.
  • No bottles/cans of water, carbonated or soft drinks over 100ml can be carried through in hand luggage.

In addition, all electrical items including laptops and tablets can remain in cabin baggage.

Al Titterington, the airport’s terminal operations director, said: “Once we receive the regulatory approval that will allow two litres to be carried as hand luggage through Birmingham airport, we will then be able to transform the customer experience with this world-class security screening equipment.

“The airport looks forward being able to announce when it receives its regulatory approval for the carriage of two litres, until this time customers should prepare as above.”

Many passengers departing from Birmingham airport have complained about the length of queues for security in the past days and weeks. Some have missed flights.

A spokesperson for the airport told The Independent: “There can be a number of reasons why customers miss flights, which are not necessarily attributable to the airport.

“Customers can contact us via our website in case of any concerns or queries and our agents will investigate alongside our partner airlines.”

The Independent has asked the Department for Transport (DfT), which regulates aviation security, for a comment.

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