Most airports not ending liquid 3.4 ounce carry-on limits by 2024

In the United States and at most airports around the world, carry-on liquid limits have not changed.

Try to get a bottle of water through airport security and it will go in the trash, not on your plane. It’s like a regular sized toiletry bag that you carry in your carry-on; They will only survive in small pots.

That’s because airport security agencies around the world, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the UK’s Department of Transport, require almost all liquids to be held in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces, or 100 milliliters.

But a popular Instagram video suggests that rule may not last long. Airports are “finally phasing out” liquid restrictions in 2024, the post said.

QUESTION

Will airports end 3.4-ounce liquid container limits in carry-on bags in 2024?

SOURCES

ANSWER

It's confusing.

No, most airports have not announced plans to end the 3.4-ounce liquid container limit in carry-on luggage in 2024. A few airports have begun to allow larger liquids, but these are only in Europe. The TSA said it would not change the U.S. rules.

WHAT WE FOUND

Claims that U.S. airports will eliminate the 3.4-ounce container rule by 2024 are “absolutely false,” a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman told VERIFY in an email.

Airports around the world banned the bulk liquid after British authorities foiled a terror plot in August 2006. According to NBC News, the suspects planned to “use liquid explosives disguised as drinks and other common products” to blow up several passenger planes. . At the time, airport security scanners had difficulty picking up the chemicals the terrorists were planning to use.

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The way America’s airport security personnel deal with liquids has instantly changed. According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, on the day of the terror attack, TSA banned all liquids in carry-on bags. After a few days, they allowed certain liquids again, but with a limited container size. Within months, the TSA began using the current 3-1-1 rule.

The 3-1-1 rule states that passengers must store all carry-on liquids in a container of 3.4 ounces or less and in a one-liter bag, limited to one per passenger. The TSA allows exceptions for certain medications, baby food, and breast milk. Today, airports around the world have similar regulations regarding liquids in carry-on bags.

In recent years, airports around the world have begun experimenting with and implementing screening technologies that allow liquids to be more easily scanned at security checkpoints.

These CT scanners, short for computed tomography scanners, can create rotating 3D images instead of the 2D images that security scanners produce. When creating these images, CT scanners use advanced algorithms to detect explosives and other threats, even liquids, according to the TSA.

“CT technology allows for better detection of threats,” TSA said. “Like existing CT technology used in checked baggage, the machines provide a very clear image of the bag’s contents so computers can automatically detect explosives, including liquids.”

But that doesn’t mean airports around the world are changing their carry-on liquid restrictions. Several European airports have done so or may soon do so.

In 2021, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport announced that it would become the first major airport to equip all of its security checkpoints with fully functional CT scanners. The technology was first tested in 2015 and was said to allow liquids and electronics to be stored in passenger bags.

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The airport will allow passengers to carry large bottles of liquid in their carry-on bags with permission from CT scanners and security personnel, but is still warning them not to do so.

“Travellers are advised to pack liquids (and gels) in their carry-on luggage and only reseal containers of up to 100ml in transparent bags in hand luggage,” Amsterdam Schiphol reported. “Bottles/containers larger than 100 ml are allowed only if approved by CT scan and security personnel. Moreover, most other airports still have restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage, which could cause problems on return flights or transfers.”

Several other EU airports allow passengers to carry larger containers of liquids on board. One such airport is Milan Linate, one of two airports in Milan, Italy. Another airport to lift liquid restrictions is Shannon International Airport in the Republic of Ireland, which is the fifth busiest airport on the island.

Other European airports may choose to deploy scanners that allow larger bottles of liquid to be checked, and it is up to each airport to decide whether to use the new technology or change its carry-on policy, a European Commission spokesman confirmed. guaranteed on liquid. However, airports that do not have the equipment must continue to apply the restrictions.

Some British airports may lift restrictions on liquids. In late November, the BBC and The Times reported that the UK government was considering introducing these scanners, as well as a decision to end liquid restrictions at all major airports by the end of 2024. It was reported that an announcement should be made before Christmas, but as of December 14, no announcement or official decision had been made.

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“The good news is we have the technology. The good news is the technology is working,” CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg told VERIFY. “The question is: What’s the realistic deadline for getting it installed?”

In the United States, the TSA is currently working to introduce scanners at airports across the country. In March 2022, the TSA announced an order to install 900 scanners at airports by the end of the year. In October, he announced that a smaller version of the new scanner was being used at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas and could be used at compact airports with limited space.

But despite the increasing use of this technology, the TSA is keeping its policy on liquids — at least for now.

“Going forward, it is our goal to keep laptops and 3-1-1 fluid in bags during checkpoint screening,” TSA wrote on its CT scanner page.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction to understand what is true and what is false. Consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts, and YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Explore more »

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