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U.K. Airports Set To Ease Restrictions on Laptops and Liquids

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Daniel Ross

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Traveling throughout the U.K. with carry-on luggage is about to get a whole lot easier.

According to several sources, passengers passing through all airports in the U.K. will once again be permitted to carry liquids of any size in their carry-on luggage beginning in 2024 thanks to the implementation of scanners with enhanced technology.

But there’s more — you’ll also no longer be required to remove your laptop before your luggage goes through the security scanners.

Let’s take a look at the details of this exciting announcement.

U.K. To Relax Airport Security Scanner Policy

This exciting development comes as the U.K. Department for Transport (DfT) has requested that all U.K. airports replace their current airport scanners with more advanced 3D screening equipment by the summer of 2024 at the latest.

The new scanners, which are similar to those used in hospitals to perform CT scans, are currently being tested at London’s Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) Airports.

“We are slowly rolling them out,” said John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive at London Heathrow. “We have just started the expansion of the security area in Terminal 3 which will have more CT scanners and have a deadline of mid-2024 from the DfT. By then the normal passenger experience will be that liquids stay in bags.”

This will undoubtedly have a positive impact on passenger experience at airports across the U.K.

There will be less reason to pull bags for extra screening, which in turn should significantly reduce wait times in security queues.

Passengers waiting to pass through security at Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

While U.K. travelers have dealt with these restrictions for almost 2 decades, unsuspecting travelers from the U.S. and elsewhere in the world will no longer have to part ways with any expensive liquid items that they packed in their carry-on luggage that are in fact prohibited under the current rules.

Hot Tip: Planning a trip to the British capital? Learn about the best ways to fly to London using your points and miles!

Similar airport scanners are already in use in airports around the world including Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), but the U.K. has been more hesitant to relax its policies, likely due to the fact that the island nation was the target of a foiled terror attack which was designed to use explosives disguised as drinks. This contributed to the implementation of these policies in the first place back in 2006.

Final Thoughts

By Summer 2024, traveling through airports in the U.K. should become much easier thanks to the introduction of new 3D security scanners that will allow travelers to pack liquids of all sizes and keep laptops in their carry-on luggage when passing through security checkpoints.

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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