Security restrictions - Gatwick Airport

Security restrictions

What can I take through security?

With a little preparation, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your journey through airport security is as quick and hassle-free as possible.

What can I take?

Security is really important in air travel, and making sure passengers only bring on board appropriate items is one of our biggest responsibilities. Knowing what’s allowed and what’s not allowed before you arrive could save you, and other passengers, time and inconvenience.

Read more information on security regulations for drinks, food, baby products, electrical items, cosmetics and toiletries, medicines and medical equipment, smoking materials, writing materials, sharp and prohibited items and miscellaneous items.

Drinks

You’re welcome to take drinks in cans, bottles, plastic containers and cartons, but these can’t be over 100ml. They also need to be carried in a transparent, re-sealable, airtight bag. The size of the bag must be no larger than 20cm x 20cm and is restricted to one per person. Remember, once through security you can buy drinks in the departure area to take on to the plane. Drinks that are open or that you are consuming prior to the Security checkpoint cannot be carried through and must be fully consumed or discarded.

Food

You can carry fruit, vegetables and all solid foods in your hand baggage. However, foods in sauces or with a high liquid content (such as sauces, pastes, soups and stews) need to go in the same transparent bag as any liquids, creams, gels and pastes.

The size of container must not exceed 100ml, regardless of the amount contained inside. Please note that jams, honey and other preserves are also subject to these restrictions.

Baby products

Only carry what you need for the trip. Wet wipes and powdered baby food are fine, but the following will be subject to additional security screening:

  • baby milk
  • baby food in liquid, gel or paste form

All baby food or food of special dietary nature will be subject to additional security screening.

When bringing pushchairs, prams or buggies, you’ll need to lift your child out during X-ray checks. You can take infants’ car seats on to the plane.

Electrical items

At some airport security checkpoints you may be asked to remove MP3 and CD players, portable DVD players and laptops from your baggage to be screened separately. Digital cameras and mobile phones can stay in your hand baggage or jacket to be X-rayed. You can also bring gas hair tongs, but remember you cannot carry any spare gas refills in either your hold or hand baggage.

Cosmetics and toiletries

You can bring solid deodorants, lipsticks, brushes, combs and toothbrushes on board. Disposable contact lenses (in sealed packaging) are also allowed, as are non-disposable lenses with a small amount of solution (less than 100ml container limit applies). Only razors where the blade is fully and permanently enclosed and razor cartridges are allowed in hand baggage.

The following products must be in containers less than 100ml, and must also go in a transparent, resealable, airtight bag (20cm x 20cm). Contents must fit completely inside the bag so it can be sealed along with any liquids, creams, gels and pastes:

  • hairspray and other aerosol items
  • creams
  • roll-on deodorants
  • sun-tanning products
  • lip gloss or lip balms
  • liquid soap
  • toothpaste
  • mascara
  • contact lens solution

Medicines and medical equipment

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.

All medicines are subject to additional security screening.

Insulin, epipen, hypodermic needles and medicines must be tested and verified by the passenger, as must children’s medicine.

Please check with your airline about your requirements before travelling, but be reassured that if you have a genuine medical condition (supported by a letter from your GP or hospital) then there should be no problem with taking such items on board the plane. However, please ensure you get the consent of the airline with whom you are travelling.

Please pack any equipment that you need responsibly to minimise the likelihood of security staff incurring puncture wounds. Please notify our security staff that your hand baggage contains your equipment when you present it at security control.

Inhalers are allowed in hand baggage, but you must pack spare canisters in your hold baggage. As for essential medical equipment, you’ll need prior approval from your airline, unless it fits within your hand baggage. Please clearly mark it ‘essential medical equipment’.

Remember, non-prescription medicines for children and adults can be purchased after you’ve gone through security.

Smoking materials

Cigarettes and other tobacco products are all allowed in hand baggage. Please note matches and lighters are not allowed in hand or checked in baggage. You may take a single butane lighter or a box of safety matches on board the aircraft but only if carried on your person. Zippo lighters are also allowed as your one lighter.

Smoking is not permitted inside the terminal building.

Writing materials

Ballpoint pens, rollerball pens, gel pens and pencils are allowed, as are fountain pens with a single open cartridge in use, but any refills cannot exceed 100ml.

Sharp and prohibited items

The following items are forbidden in hand baggage:

  • toy or replica guns (including water pistols)
  • catapults or slingshots
  • razor blades
  • sports bats, clubs or cues
  • knives and scissors with a sharp or pointed blade and/or blades longer than 6cm (round-ended, blunt scissors and knives less than 6cm are permitted)
  • tools
  • darts
  • hypodermic syringes (unless for medical reasons)
  • party poppers
  • items that could be used as a potential weapon

This is not an exhaustive list, and if in doubt please check with your airline.

The following items are forbidden anywhere on the aircraft:

  • acids
  • poisons
  • flammable liquids
  • explosives
  • matches or lighters (except on your person)
  • bleach
  • incapacitating sprays
  • ignitable gas devices
  • compressed gas

Miscellaneous

Books, puzzles, games and stickers may be taken on board. Hat boxes, sports equipment and wedding dresses all constitute an item of hand baggage.

However, these must fit within the baggage size and weight restrictions. Please check with your airline if in doubt. You can bring musical instruments in addition to your hand baggage allowance.