Do disposable contact lenses need to be declared as "liquids"?

  • I recently swapped over from glasses to using disposable contact lenses. I'm already planning on carrying "travel-size" contact lens solution bottles to stay under the limit for liquids.

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    What about the disposable contact lenses themselves though: they come packaged in small blister packs immersed in a saline solution (usually). Does this fall under the category of "liquids" and need to be screened separately / kept in ziplock bags for being processed as a liquid?

    For what it's worth, I'm flying from the UK to Myanmar via Qatar.

    Where are you travelling? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/16748718-post7.html and the whole thread is relevant. The TSA is more lenient towards medical necessities than the Brits (in general, screening in the UK is even more awful than in the US).

    @chx UK to Myanmar via Qatar. That thread doesn't really answer my question though - I'm not talking about contact lens solution, I'm talking about the liquid in disposable contact lens blister packs (opening them would basically spoil the lens)

    #1-#6 that thread talks about just that and a few more after.

    Why not just put them in your Ziploc bag and be done with it? If you don't, though, as I have on occasion, they'll probably not be noticed. If they are, just stick them in your bag.

    I regularly travel through UK airports with these. Usually I put them in the plastic bag - you can easily get several weeks' supply in there, they're not very big - and this has never been commented on. However, I have no idea what the official position is, hence posting as a comment not an answer!

    @chx Yep just noticed the rest of that thread!

  • JoErNanO

    JoErNanO Correct answer

    5 years ago

    The Heathrow Security FAQ page says that disposable contact lenses are considered liquids and should be placed inside the transparent bag:

    Can I carry disposable contact lenses or contact lens solution in my hand baggage?

    Yes, but the standard liquids rules apply. Each solution container or lens packet must have a capacity no greater than 100ml and must fit inside your transparent liquids bag.

    Personally I would carry a few in my hand luggage and put most in my hold luggage. I would also declare them as liquids to avoid being questioned, swabbed and re-screened, as is usually the protocol in the UK when one forgets a liquid item outside of the transparent bag.

    Interesting, I have *never* had these looked at and I hadn't thought to put them with the liquids. Maybe they don't show up well on a scanner.

    I had some confiscated at Luton after they searched my bag. However, they only confiscated half of them (misssed the other packets) and they were supposed to be searching for the metal spike that showed up on the x-ray (I could see the screen highlighting the item to be examined). the metal spike was actually a folding iPad stand and would almost certainly have been confiscated if found :-)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM