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Help with what you can take in your hand baggage

Baggage restrictions 

Your safety and security is our number one priority.

Stringent security measures are in place at all UK airports, but there are some things you can do to make your journey through security easier:

preparation station before security

Hand baggage rules

Our general advice is to carry the very minimum of hand baggage, and make sure you arrive early at the airport and allow plenty of time for security screening. The rules for hand baggage can be summarised as follows:

  • You are allowed just one piece of hand luggage* and this must not exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Most airlines do also allow passengers to carry a handbag too, but please check with your airline to make sure
  • Your hand luggage must not contain any sharp items
  • You may only carry small amounts of liquid, gels, creams and pastes (in containers no bigger than 100ml) – and all these items must be inside one transparent re-sealable bag (maximum size: 20cm x 20cm) which will be screened separately at security. And while this means you can't carry much in the way of drinking water, once you're through security, any of our food outlets will be happy to offer you a glass of tap water.

liquid rules

You are allowed to carry greater quantities of liquids, gels, creams and pastes – but you should put these in your hold luggage. For full information of what you can and can't carry in your hand luggage see our security leaflet.

Hold baggage guidance

We advise you to put all you can in your hold baggage (that is the bags you check-in). You’ll have less to carry through the terminal and passing through security will be much quicker and easier There are several items that you are allowed to carry in hold luggage that you are not allowed to carry onboard with you in your hand luggage. These include:

  • Liquids, creams, gels and pastes in containers over 100ml
  • Scissors (less than 6cm with rounded ends are allowed in hand baggage)
  • Razor blades (razors that have the blade set into a plastic moulding are allowed in hand baggage, but other types are not)
  • Knives with blades of any length
  • Household cutlery (but small teaspoons are allowed in hand baggage)
  • Hypodermic needles (unless required for medical reasons, for which proof will be required)
  • Tools (including multi-tools and penknives)
  • Catapults
  • Walking/hiking poles
  • Toy/replica guns (metal or plastic)
  • Sporting bats
  • Darts
  • Billiard, snooker or pool cues.

You should also bear in mind the weight of your bags, checking weight allowances on your ticket or with your airline.

We’ve prepared a downloadable security guidelines leaflet which gives you full information  .

Baby milk/food and medicines

Only carry what you need for your journey. Wet wipes and powdered baby food are fine, but you’ll be asked to taste baby milk or baby food in liquid, gel or paste form. You may be asked to taste up to 50% of the containers. You can also pre-order baby milk to collect from Boots in the departure lounges.

If you're taking essential medicine then we understand that you need to bring it through security. Our advice is:

  • Medicines can’t exceed the 100ml maximum, and must be kept in a transparent, re-sealable bag. There’s no limit for powder or pills.
  • If your medical needs mean you must carry more, you’ll need approval from your airline.
  • Always carry your prescription with you, or a statement from a medical professional.

Full details about carrying baby essentials and medicines are explained in our security guidelines leaflet

Prohibited items

There are some items that you’re not allowed to take on your aircraft in either your hand baggage or your hold luggage, and these are listed below.

  • flammable liquids and solids
  • oxidisers such as bleaching powders
  • organic peroxides
  • tear gas devices or any gas cylinders
  • infectious substances such as live virus materials
  • wet-cell car batteries
  • magnetrons
  • instruments containing mercury
  • instruments containing magnets
  • fireworks
  • non-safety matches
  • firelighters, lighter fuel, paints, thinners
  • poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkiller
  • radioactive materials, acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
  • creosote, quicklime, oiled paper
  • vehicle fuel system parts which have contained fuel.

Details of all restrictions and guidelines are explained in our security guidelines leaflet