Passenger rights

01 EU security rules at airports

Packing of liquids

To protect you against the threat of liquid explosives, the European Union (EU) has adopted security rules that restrict the amount of liquids that you can take through security checkpoints. They apply to all passengers departing from airports in the EU whatever their destination.

This means that at security checkpoints you and your unchecked baggage must be checked for liquids in addition to other prohibited articles. However, the rules do not limit the liquids that you can buy at shops located beyond the point where you show your boarding pass or on-board an aircraft.

The rules apply at all airports in the EU and in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland until further notice.

Passengers are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in their unchecked baggage. These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters each. Passengers must pack these containers in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger.

Liquids include:

  • water and other drinks, soups, syrups;
  • creams, lotions and oils;
  • perfumes;
  • sprays;
  • gels, including hair and shower gels;
  • contents of pressurized containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants;
  • pastes, including toothpaste;
  • liquid-solid mixtures;
  • any other item of similar consistency.

Security screening

At the airport all passengers  have to pass through security before entering the gate area. Passengers must come well prepared for security screening to go smoothly:

  • show a valid digital or printed boarding pass;
  • empty pockets of mobile phone, watch, keys and coins before passing through;
  • small items can be placed in cabin baggage or jacket pocket
  • to place items such as coat, laptop and plastic bags with liquids on a conveyor belt for X-ray scanning.

Duty free liquids

As of 31 January 2014, duty free liquids purchased at any Schengen or non-Schengen airport or on board any airline may be carried as cabin baggage, provided the following conditions apply:

  • The duty free liquid and receipt must be sealed at the time of purchase inside a security bag with a red border.
  • The security bag is not opened until arrival at the passenger’s final destination.
  • For security screening at transit airports, the duty free purchase will be taken out of your hand luggage and screened separately (similarly to what is done with laptops).
  • The security officer may need to open the security bag for screening. In case the passenger has a connecting flight at another airport, he/she shall alert the security officer so the duty free liquids can be re-sealed in a new security bag.

Please note, this procedure may result in longer queues at security control points. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to reach the gate for boarding!

This is the summary for your information of the main elements of the relevant EU legislation; it is not the actual legal text.