Hand Luggage
FAQ

FAQ Hand Luggage

Questions and Answers concerning Hand Luggage

Detailed information

1. Liquids, Aerosols, and Gels in Carry-On Luggage

What is the legal basis for the restrictions on liquids, aerosols, and gels in carry-on luggage?
The restrictions on carry-on luggage are based on EU Directive (EC) 300/2008 in conjunction with EU Directive (EC) 185/2010.
Please note that the new rules only apply to passengers departing or transferring at airports in the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland. We therefore advise you to get information before flying, for example from an embassy or consulate if you will be flying from another country. You’ll find a complete list of foreign embassies and consulates in Germany at www.auswaertiges-amt.de. Please keep in mind that the staff of duty free shops etc. may not be familiar with all current regulations.

Which liquids and quantities may I take in my carry-on luggage?
The general rule is that no liquids, aerosols, or gels are allowed in carry-on luggage. There are exceptions, however. The following exceptions apply to passengers who originate or transfer at an airport in the EU, Norway, Iceland, or Switzerland:

- Required: a one-liter bag
Containers holding liquids may not be larger than 100 ml, otherwise you may not carry them in your hand luggage. All such containers must be placed in a transparent, reclosable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than one liter (for example, an ordinary freezer bag with zipper). The bag may contain any number of containers as long as it is still possible to completely close it. Please remember: Each passenger may only take one such bag on board the plane.

We recommend that you carry as little hand luggage as possible and arrive at the airport early.

Example for a one-liter bag:

 

- Medications, dietary foods, baby food
There are now no longer any restrictions on quantities of medications and medically necessary special foods (e.g. baby food or dietary foods) that are needed during the trip and/or are difficult or impossible to obtain at your destination. These articles may be carried outside the transparent one-liter bag but must also be presented separately at the security checkpoint. In cases of doubt, the security personnel may request you to provide proof (e.g. a medical certificate) of your needs to carry the products in your hand luggage.
Please note that there are no restrictions on the amount of baby food you can take on board. This means that you are free to carry as much as you will need for the duration of the flight, provided that your child is traveling with you and is no older than three years old. Please also keep in mind that food and beverages must be appropriate for babies—no soft drinks, caffeinated beverages or the like.

- Duty-free merchandise belong in a special sealed, tamper-evident bag (STEB)
Duty-free items purchased in shops after you pass through the boarding pass check or on board an aircraft may be carried through the security check if they are enclosed in a transparent special bag (known as a STEB) that has been sealed by the sales clerk. This bag must contain a receipt that indicates the date and place of purchase and can be read from the outside. This ensures that you can change planes at other EU airports without any hassle when carrying duty-free merchandise. It’s also important to keep the bag closed and sealed until you reach your final destination. This applies to security checks at Frankfurt Airport and all other airports in the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland.
There is no limit on the number of duty free bags that you may carry on board. Please observe the applicable customs and import regulations.
At the airport security checkpoint, please present all items separately: carried liquids, aerosols, and gels (in a one-liter bag), medical and dietary liquids and foods (including baby food), and duty-free items in one or more sealed STEBs. This will speed up the check.

Example for a special sealed, tamper-evident bag (STEB):

 

What is a STEB?
STEB is the acronym for “security tamper-evident bag”. A STEB is a special tamper-proof bag in which your duty-free merchandise is placed when you buy it. The sales receipt must also be placed inside the bag so that it can be read from the outside. You can recognize these bags by their red borders.

What does LAG mean?
LAG stands for “liquids, aerosols and gels” and roughly describes the substances that may not be carried in hand luggage under any circumstances or only with certain restrictions. The other prohibited substances include pastes, lotions, foams, creams, jams, soft cheeses, etc.

What happens when I need to take medicines or special food in liquid form?
There are now no longer any restrictions on quantities of medications and medically necessary special foods (e.g. baby food or dietary foods) that are needed during the trip and/or are difficult or impossible to obtain at your destination. These articles may be carried outside the transparent one-liter bag but must also be separately presented at the security checkpoint. In cases of doubt, the security personnel may request you to provide proof (e.g. a medical certificate) of your needs to carry the products in your hand luggage.

How should I prepare for the checks at the airport?
It is best to put liquids, aerosols, and gels in your suitcases and reduce your carry-on luggage to the absolutely essential. Liquid containers carried on board may not be larger than 100 ml, and they must be placed in a transparent, reclosable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of one liter. The bag may contain any number of containers as long as it can be closed completely.
At the airport security checkpoint, please present all carried liquids, aerosols, and gels (in a one-liter bag), medical and dietary liquids and foods (including baby food), and duty-free items in one or more sealed STEBs separately from your other hand luggage.

What should I do during the check?
At the airport security checkpoint, please present all carried liquids, aerosols, and gels (in a one-liter bag), medical and dietary liquids and foods (including baby food), and duty-free items in one or more sealed STEBs separately from your other hand luggage.
During the checks, it may be necessary to remove packages (e.g. boxes, cellophane wrappers, etc.) and in exceptional cases to open containers with liquids, aerosols, or gels.
All prohibited liquids will be confiscated at the security checkpoints, since they may not be carried on board the aircraft.

Should I get to the airport earlier?
All staff naturally try hard to make check-in and the security checks as pleasant as possible for you. In order to have enough time for the check-in procedures, please be at the check-in counter at least two or three hours prior departure time (depending on your destination).

1. Questions About the One-Liter Bag

What kind of plastic bags are allowed for carrying liquids, aerosols, and gels?
You may use any plastic bag (for example, a freezer bag) as long as it is transparent and reclosable (e.g. with a zipper) and does not contain more than one liter. The bag must have an integrated closure, which can be a zipper, Velcro strip, clamp, or tie string. Suitable additional materials for closing the bag, such as a cord or clip, are also permitted.

Why does the one-liter bag has to be reclosable?
Since the security personnel at Frankfurt Airport must check the contents of the plastic bags they have to open and reclose it afterwards.

What happens if I arrive at the airport without a one-liter bag?
Suitable plastic bags may be purchased at all news and book shops at the airport. You can also buy two bags for 1 €  from a vending machine near the security checkpoint. However, we recommend obtaining the bag in advance and arriving at the airport with your hand luggage already packed.

How is the one-liter bag checked?
The bag must be put on the belt of the scanner separately from your other carry-on luggage.

What hasn’t changed?
The rules only concern liquids carried in your hand luggage. You can still pack liquids as usual in your checked luggage, as long as you comply with your airline’s rules and the regulations on prohibited hazardous items in aviation.

3. Shopping After the Boarding Pass Check

Can I still shop in Duty Free and Travel Value shops or other airport stores after passing the boarding pass check?
Duty-free items purchased in shops after you pass through the boarding pass check or on board an aircraft may be carried through the security check if they are enclosed in a transparent special bag (known as an STEB) that has been sealed by the sales clerk. This bag must contain a receipt indicating the date and place of purchase which can be read from the outside. This ensures that you can change planes at other EU airports without any hassle when carrying duty-free merchandise. The bag must remain closed and sealed until you reach your final destination. This applies to the security checks at Frankfurt Airport and all other airports in the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland.
There is no limit on the number of duty free bags that you may carry on board. Please observe the applicable customs and import regulations.

Can I carry duty-free items on board an aircraft?
Duty-free items purchased on board an aircraft may be carried through the security check if they are enclosed in a transparent special bag (known as an STEB) that has been sealed by the sales clerk. This bag must contain a receipt indicating the date and place of purchase which can be read from the outside. This ensures that you can change planes at other EU airports without any hassle when carrying duty-free merchandise. The bag must remain closed and sealed until you reach your final destination. This applies to the security checks at Frankfurt Airport and all other airports in the EU, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland.
There is no limit on the number of duty free bags that you may carry on board. Please observe the applicable customs and import regulations.

What should I be ready for when transferring at an airport in a non-EU country?
If you are carrying duty-free merchandise purchased at an EU airport when transferring at an airport outside the EU, you may be prevented from carrying it on board. The rules on liquids, aerosols, and gels there may also differ from those of the EU.
We therefore advise you to get information before flying, for example from an embassy or consulate of the country where you are heading. You’ll find a complete list of foreign embassies and consulates in Germany at www.auswaertiges-amt.de. Please keep in mind that the staff of duty free shops etc. may not be familiar with all current regulations.

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