Airport Liquid Limit

For frequent corporate travelers, navigating airport security checkpoints is a routine part of their journey. One such crucial aspect is the airport liquid limit. While most travelers know the basic rules and regulations, some details can be easily overlooked. 

Understanding the liquid limit at the airport and the airport security liquid limit can save you time, prevent unnecessary hassles, and ensure a smooth transition through security. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of liquid limit at airport, providing corporate travelers with the essential information they need.

What is the Airport Liquid Limit?

The liquid limit refers to the maximum quantity of liquids, gels, and aerosols you can carry in your carry-on luggage when passing through airport security. These restrictions are in place for security reasons and aim to prevent transporting hazardous materials that could threaten passengers and aircraft.

Why are there Airport Liquid Limits?

Airport security measures are designed to keep passengers and flight crews safe. By limiting the quantity of liquids that can be brought onto a plane, authorities reduce the risk of potential threats, such as explosives or flammable substances, being smuggled on board.

What Qualifies as a Liquid?

It’s important to understand what items are classified as liquids for airport security purposes. Common examples include:

  • Bottled water and other beverages: This includes water, soda, juice, and other drinks.
  • Toiletries: Items like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and liquid soap.
  • Cosmetics: Liquid foundations, lip gloss, and mascara.
  • Medications: Liquid medications, such as cough syrup or liquid antibiotics.

What are the Restrictions for Airport Liquid?

The airport security liquid limit stipulates the maximum container size for liquids, gels, and aerosols. The limit is usually 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) per container. These containers must fit into a single quart-sized, resealable plastic bag.

Navigating Airport Security with Liquid Limits: Tips for Corporate Travelers

a. Pack Strategically: To ensure a smooth screening process, pack your liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers that do not exceed the 3.4-ounce limit. Consider purchasing travel-sized toiletries or transferring your products into smaller, travel-friendly containers.

b. Use a Quart-Sized Bag: Invest in a durable, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag to store your liquid items. This ensures that all liquid limit at airport are readily visible to security personnel and reduces the chances of delays during screening.

c. Know Your Exemptions: Some items in the airport liquid limit, such as baby formula, breast milk, and medications, are exempt from the airport security liquid limit. However, you may be required to undergo additional screening.

d. Remove the Bag for Screening: When approaching the security checkpoint, remove your quart-sized bag containing liquids from your carry-on luggage and place it in a bin. This allows security personnel to inspect it separately.

Understanding the 3-1-1 Rule

The 3-1-1 rule is a helpful guideline for corporate travelers to remember when packing liquids for their carry-on luggage:

3: Each container must hold 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less.

1: All containers must fit into a single, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag.

1: Each passenger is allowed one bag of liquids.

Adhering to the 3-1-1 rule will help streamline the airport security process and reduce the likelihood of any delays or issues.

Variations in Liquid Limits

While the 3.4-ounce (100-milliliter) limit is a widely accepted airport liquid limit, by most airports around the world, it’s essential to stay informed about any variations in liquid limit at airport. Some airports may have stricter rules, so corporate travelers should check the regulations of their departure and arrival airports before packing.

Corporate Travelers’ Essentials

  1. Travel-Friendly Toiletries

For corporate travelers, staying fresh and presentable during a business trip is crucial. To make your journey hassle-free, consider investing in travel-sized toiletries that comply with the airport security liquid limit. Many reputable brands offer mini versions of their products, ensuring you can maintain your grooming routine without any worries.

  1. Travel-Sized First Aid Kit

Safety should always be a priority, especially for corporate travelers. A compact travel-sized first aid kit can be a lifesaver in emergencies. Ensure that your kit’s liquid medications or ointments comply with the airport security liquid limit.

Technology and Global Airport Liquid Limits

Can CT Scanners Help Relax the Liquid Limits at Airport?

CT scanners have the potential to improve the overall airport security experience for travelers by providing more detailed and accurate images of carry-on items. Here’s how the scanners at airports can contribute to security while potentially easing some concerns related to the liquid limits:

Enhanced Imaging Technology:

CT scanners use advanced imaging technology to create 3D images of objects inside carry-on bags. Unlike traditional X-ray machines, CT scanners provide security personnel with clearer and more detailed images of the contents of bags.

Reduced False Alarms:

Traditional X-ray machines can sometimes produce false alarms when screening airport liquid limits, and gels, leading to additional checks and delays for travelers. CT scanners are better at distinguishing between harmless items and potential threats.

By reducing false alarms, CT scanners can potentially make the security screening process more efficient and less stressful for passengers.

Which Countries Are the Pioneers on the Technological Front? 

United States

Numerous major airports, such as Los Angeles’ LAX and New York’s JFK, have been equipped with CT scanners for several years; the TSA is now extending the use of this technology to smaller airports as well. Airports like Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas and TF Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, are among those slated to receive this advanced screening technology.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been deploying CT scanners in airports throughout the United States since 2021. As of April 2023, approximately 634 CT units have been put in place, and an additional 1200 units are in the pipeline for installation.

Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the existing regulations regarding the maximum amount of liquids allowed in carry-on luggage are still being enforced at this time.


In the United Kingdom, the government has implemented the new airport limit of 2 liters at Teesside International Airport. Moreover, officials also revealed plans to raise the limit on liquids in hand luggage from 100 milliliters to 2 liters at other UK airports. This decision comes in the wake of successful trials conducted at London Gatwick, Heathrow, and Birmingham airports.


Munich Airport has introduced five CT scanners spanning Terminals 1 and 2, while Nuremberg Airport has recently introduced its first scanner in the current year. Both airports in Bavaria have outlined their intentions to fully transition to these advanced systems by the year 2026. However, it’s important to note that the existing airport liquid limit, remains in effect for the time being.

Czech Republic

Exciting developments are on the horizon at Václav Havel Airport Prague, particularly in Terminal 2. Plans are underway to introduce CT scanners that could signal the end of the 100ml liquid restrictions as soon as 2024. Subsequently, the rollout of these scanners is anticipated to extend to Terminal 1 later. These innovations promise to enhance the airport experience for travelers by offering greater convenience in carrying liquids in their hand luggage.

Final Thoughts on Liquid Limit at Airport 

Navigating airport security can be a breeze for corporate travelers who understand the intricacies of the airport liquid limit. By adhering to the 3-1-1 rule, packing strategically, and staying informed about variations in liquid limits, you can ensure a smooth and efficient airport experience. 

However, with technological advances,  airport security liquid limit regulations will keep changing. As a traveler, you must always stay on top of these changes. Don’t worry, the ITILTE corporate travel management solution can help. With our real-time trip alerts, you cannot miss important updates. Moreover, our 24/7 support via calls, chat, and email will help you keep stress at bay while on the road.

To learn more, book a free demo now.