I'm surprised that I haven't found this question on the Travel.SE already.

I know there are restrictions on carrying liquid on commercial flights, less than 100ml. Does this also apply to checked luggage, or just hand baggage?

I'll be travelling between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Can I fly with toiletries, drinks etc. in the hold?

  • You must have noticed all the big bottles of duty-free booze for sale in airport shops? :) Oct 30, 2015 at 11:02
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    Yes, my understanding is that those flammable liquids are fine because they're bought after going through customs and having your shampoo confiscated.
    – AJFaraday
    Oct 30, 2015 at 11:05
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    You're quite right. Silly me. Oct 30, 2015 at 11:06
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    So one is what you can take on the plane, the other is what you can take to your destination?
    – AJFaraday
    Oct 30, 2015 at 11:44
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    @AJFaraday yes, and the restrictions are almost never the same,
    – CMaster
    Oct 30, 2015 at 11:50

4 Answers 4


You can tell what you are allowed to take on your plane by looking at your airline's restricted items list (they all tend to be much the same, as they are based off aviation rules).

For example, British Airway's list can be found here. Observe that liquids all have a tick mark for checked baggage.

It may also be worth checking that the airport doesn't also have additional rules, if they publish any at all.

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    It is howerever worth to notice that what you are allowed to bring in checked or carry on luggage is usually not decided by the airline, but by the local regulations in the country you are flying from. Oct 30, 2015 at 1:15
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Yes, the airline can add further restrictions, but they can't allow stuff the local law doesn't allow. It's also worth noting that if you're flying from the U.K. to the U.S. and you have a connection in the U.S., you'll also need to make sure you're not carrying anything that's not allowed in carry-on baggage in the U.S., since you'll have to clear security again after clearing customs when you first enter the U.S. International connections in other places also often require clearing transfer security. This is the case at ICN and HKG, for example.
    – reirab
    Oct 30, 2015 at 15:46
  • @reirab How would the airline know? With very few exceptions (.g. El Al have their own security screening for both passengers and luggage), security checks are performed by the airport or a government agency. One thing is that it would be nearly impossible to the security staff to know all airline-proprietary security regulations, another thing is that at least in most locations where I'm flying, the staff at the security check (person and hand luggage) don't even know which airline I'm intending to fly with. Oct 30, 2015 at 16:03
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    @CMaster More importantly, checked luggage is usually checked-in by the airline.
    – reirab
    Oct 30, 2015 at 16:20
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo All checked luggage is checked by x-ray, and some is secondarily screened (at random, or in connection with x-ray check) by hand, at least in the US. While that screening may be carried out by a TSA agent, it is in many cases that I've seen done at the ticketing counter. The airline could easily observe the screening (and has every right to, it's their airplane and their staff after all).
    – Joe
    Oct 30, 2015 at 16:34

Yes, you can carry liquids in checked luggage. Toiletries and drinks are fine. It's a good idea to put such things in a waterproof bag, because when your shampoo bottle bursts inside your luggage it makes an awful mess.


Sometimes people who are traveling light check baggage specifically because they have liquids they can't carry on. There's almost always shampoo and conditioner in my luggage, it's never been the slightest issue.


Depends on the liquid. Some things are absolutely forbidden from flying. Some may be forbidden or restricted by airline rules. Commercial toiletries should be OK.

Drinks and foodstuffs can fly, but will have to convince Customs that they pose no hazard of bringing in a pest or disease. Cooked foods and alcoholic beverages should be fine (though there may be a taraff on alcohol if it exceeds a certain amount?), raw foods aren't.

  • The second part doesn't apply when flying domestically or within common customs areas. However, the airline may object to transporting, e.g., unchilled raw meat.
    – DCTLib
    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:10
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    True, but the question was UKUS. I've had a sniffer dog -- cute little cocker spaniel -- sit down by my bag because I was bringing back a few boxes of penguin cookies and some brands of tea we don't get on this side of the Puddle. Not a problem, but the dog smelled food and did its job perfectly. If I'd had fresh fruit or something of that sort, they'd have been concerned. (I do like watching a well-trained working dog.)
    – keshlam
    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:39
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    Quote: "Drinks and foodstuffs can fly..." ... only if thrown with enough force to overcome gravity....
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 30, 2015 at 13:33
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    @CGCampbell. that is not flying. Its falling (maybe) with style. Oct 30, 2015 at 13:48
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    Without propulsion, that is called gliding. Not flying. differencebetween.info/difference-between-flying-and-gliding Oct 30, 2015 at 16:29

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