Carry-on Hand Luggage Restrictions to be lifted

As travel agents we often get asked a lot about the tedious liquid, aerosol & gel restrictions on hand luggage which were implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) a couple of years back when the UK managed to foil a bomb plot using liquid explosives on aircraft. Well, according to Raymond Benjamin, secretary of the ICAO, with new technology capable of detecting these explosives, this could be a thing of the past by 2012 if the technology is rolled out globally. But for now, here are a few guidelines until that happens:

Hand Luggage RestrictionsInternational Hand Luggage Restrictions

Lets try make this simple: you may only take on board, in your hand luggage, any containers, containing liquids, aerosols or gels with a capacity of 100ml or less each, all of which must be placed inside a 1l clear resealable bag (no bigger).

It doesn’t matter if you only have a drop of liquid in a 150ml bottle, that container will not be allowed on board; it may not exceed 100ml in capacity (not contents). It doesn’t matter that one container will be 50ml and another 150ml, each container may not exceed 100ml. All these containers must also fit into one 1l clear resealable bag (eg Ziploc bag).

The ICAO refers to “LAGs” which stands for Liquids, Aerosols & Gels so the above guidelines also refer to all three. Ladies, that means leaving your bulk bronzers and gents that jumbo tube of wet-look gel out of your hand luggage. The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) publishes handy info regarding this as well.

Now, don’t worry, not all cosmetic hope is lost, those beautifying lotions can go in your hold luggage for safe-keeping, provided they comply with the individual country’s customs laws.

Domestic Hand Luggage Restrictions

While the domestic hand luggage restrictions should be the same as for international flights, many of us who’ve tested the system a little will have found that for domestic flights within South Africa, security are not hugely phased by anyone carrying on containers over the 100ml liquid capacity. You can risk it if you like, but the security may still throw out your liquids if they deem fit – but quite honestly, we’ve not heard of that happening to anyone in a while.

Hope this helps a bit, feel free to ask questions!

Image from msmail on Flickr

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Our Readers Comments

  1. I want to take a box of crystal champagne glasses in my hand luggage travelling SAA domestic and Lufthansa and Swiss international. Will this be allowed please?

    • Hi Marian,

      For this you need to check with the airlines you will be travelling with.

      Sometimes airlines have different carry on baggage policies of what one can take on-board.

      I hope this would be possible as this is very valuable and would not be nice should it be lost or broken.

  2. I’m flying to Las Vagas for my son’s wedding. I will be there 1 week. Can carry my medications with me that I take everyday. Also, do the airlines allow small bottles of liquor. I talking about the mimi bottles?

    • Hi Dianne,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to contact the airline you are travelling with direct. You will probably need a prescription from your doctor to show the airline and ground security staff when they do their checks that this medication is for you and this is why you are travelling with it.

      However please make contact with the airline and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  3. Are you allowed to purchase a bottle of alcohol and carry at the airport shop from Johannesburg to george

  4. Good day,

    I am flying from PE to CT tomorrow, I need to take a container with malva pudding with, will that be allowed in my hand luggage?

    • Hi Aletta,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I think this should be fine 😀 you welcome to contact the airline direct and they should also be able to clarify this.

  5. Can I take hairdryer on domestic flight in hand luggage.

    • Hi Sharen,

      You should be able to take a hair dryer onboard. I traveled Emirates not to long ago and took my hair straighter onboard.

      I do suggest you contact the airline you are traveling with as each airline could have different rules.

  6. So does this mean I can take a bottle (750ml) of wine with me in my hand luggage on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town?

    • Hi there, officially you are not allowed more than 100ml in your hand luggage, but usually on Domestic flights they are not that fussy – good luck and let us know what happens 🙂

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