Liquid restrictions cause a world of hurt at airports. People who travel rarely are often caught out by the rule. It states that liquid containers carried in the aircraft cabin should contain a maximum of 100ml of liquid. All liquids should also be packed in a clear plastic bag so security can see what is inside.
All of this palaver came about thanks to a bunch of people who decided it would be a good idea to bomb a few aircraft. The method? Explosive liquids disguised as soft drinks brought on board the aircraft. In the end a few of the terrorists involved were convicted for conspiracy to murder.
Clear Bags Join Cabin Luggage
Since 2006 when the ban came into force, everyone has become familiar with the clear bags containing liquids. The very sudden change in rules meant airport security checkpoints became dumps for hundreds of items of liquids, creams and gels.
Happily, manufacturers have since come to the party, introducing travel size versions of all their products. You can get baby deodorant, hairspray and all sorts of things which is very handy.
You Can Still Bring Liquid In The Hold
There are no restrictions on liquids for your hold baggage. This is due to airports having scanners which are more sophisticated than the ones used for hand luggage.
Technology does exist to scan hand luggage effectively to detect chemicals that could be used to make a bomb. In actual fact, there have been several occasions where the EU and other bodies have proposed to remove the restrictions.
Keep Or Remove The Liquid Ban?
Some people argue the liquid ban should stay. Products exist to fit the 100ml restriction, it is safer and what need is there to bring large amounts of liquid on board? The ban is a very small price to pay for the safety benefits it brings.
Are the safety benefits that tangible though? One plot by one group of people once resulted in this ban. There are even suggestions the plot would not have succeeded anyway and the multiple trials of the accused suggests juries also found it hard to decide.
Scanners have progressed technology wise to the point where modern ones can detect explosive chemicals in liquids in hand baggage. These should be mandatory worldwide and often they already exist.
Certain countries have no liquid restrictions at all because of this fact. It is only when you travel from there to a country that still has restrictions in place where you are required to stick to the rule. Priority should be given to making this the same globally.
I advocate the ban being lifted. I find it quite annoying to buy a separate set of products to travel with. Amenity kits needs to be deconstructed on connecting flights to put the liquids into clear plastic bags. God help you if you’re given free booze off the flight by the crew and have to connect. Bye bye bottles of Champagne!
Thank you very much for reading! Do you think the ban should stay or should it be lifted? Please leave your thoughts below!
Featured image and EU regulations via Dublin Airport. Clear bag 1 via Brussels Airport and 2 via easyJet.