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Liquids bag at an airport scanner
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These UK airports are NOT scrapping the 100ml liquids rule this summer

Spoiler: it’s most of them

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

Legend says that in the ’90s, you could do what you wanted in a plane. Smoke, sit with the pilot, bring onboard a bottle of water you bought outside of the terminal. Nowadays, flying is a nightmarish experience made worse at every stage, particularly security. Since 2006 when someone tried to sneak a liquid bomb onto a plane disguised as a soft drink, no liquid more than 100ml has been allowed past airport security. But this is soon to change. 

New technology means that security can better detect explosives and other dangerous substances within your bag, so that air travel is safer and your experience is less of a headache. The new scanners, in short, use a bunch of clever tech to generate a 3D X-ray of your bag that staff can investigate in depth.

That clever equipment has already been put in place at Teeside and London City airports – and it was supposed to be rolled out across the UK by this summer. But some major airports are now warning that they won’t be able to meet the government’s June 2024 deadline. 

London Gatwick and Heathrow are among those who say they are aiming to fully phase these scanners into use by early 2025, citing costs and the time needed to train staff on the tech as reasons for the delays.

Some airports also need to build entirely new infrastructure for the devices, which are heavier than those used at present. Edinburgh, Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands are all changing theirs one by one, meaning that until they are all replaced no one will be taking advantage of the new rules.

For now, it’s safe to assume that unless you hear otherwise, you’ll need to stick with that little clear bag. Only one more year of having your favourite foundation thrown into the bin by a ruthless security guard, then freedom. So close.

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