Q: What is my baggage allowance?

Q: What can I carry on board – and should it be in hold or hand baggage ?

Q: Will I be prevented from taking any hand baggage on board my flight?

Q: What are the size restrictions for hand baggage?

Q:What if my bag is bigger but can be squashed down?

Q: If I am travelling with someone can we carry one bigger bag between us?

Q: Can I take a handbag and a piece of hand baggage?

Q: What are the rules for what I can and cannot carry in hand baggage?

Q: I’m travelling with children – are the rules the same for me?

Q: I need to travel with medicines and medical equipment – are the rules the same for me?

Q: Can I carry food in my hand baggage?

Q: I’m still unclear about what I can/can’t carry in hand

Q: Can I lock my hold baggage or does it have to be left open?

Q: I’m a photographer and I’m worried about putting my film and camera through the x-ray machines. Can you help?

 

 

Q: What is my baggage allowance?
A: Baggage allowances are set by each individual airline. If you cannot find this information from your ticket or booking agent, then visit our airline database where you will find a contact number for your airline.

Back to top

Q: What can I carry on board – and should it be in hold or hand baggage ?
A: For packing tips and information on items that must not be carried on board a flight or within your hold baggage please visit our baggage restriction pages.

Back to top

Q: Will I be prevented from taking any hand baggage on board my flight?
A: A very small number of airlines have tighter restrictions on hand baggage than the DfT guidelines which we follow at Gatwick. Please confirm with your airline. Remember that hand baggage should be kept to a minimum to avoid delays at security.

Back to top

Q: What are the size restrictions for hand baggage?
A: Cabin baggage must be no larger than:
• 56cm (22”) x 45cm (17.7”) x 25cm (10”).
Size gauges are situated in all check-in areas.

Back to top

Q: What if my bag is bigger but can be squashed down?
A: If your hand baggage can comfortably fit into the size gauges around the airport you will be able to carry it through security. 

Back to top

Q: If I am travelling with someone can we carry one bigger bag between us?
A: No – all bags must be of the regulation size or less.

Back to top

Q: Can I take a handbag and a piece of hand baggage?
A: Please confirm with your airline, but we recommend hand baggage is kept to a minimum to avoid delays at security.

Back to top

Q: What are the rules for what I can and cannot carry in hand baggage?
A: Detailed rules on restricted items are on the baggage restriction pages, but in summary, you cannot carry any sharp items and there are strict rules on liquids.
For full details of what can and can't be carried through security, please read our security guidelines leaflet.
Back to top

Q: I’m travelling with children – are the rules the same for me?
A: • You are allowed an additional item  of hand baggage even when travelling with a child who has no seat assigned to them. But do check restrictions with your airline.

• Passengers can take buggies to the gate. These items will need to be x-rayed. 
• You may carry milk powder. There are no limits for powder formula. Bottled water is available in shops after security or your airline can provide water during the flight.

• Passengers can carry containers of prepared milk – and they do not have to be under 100ml nor carried in the transparent bag. However, the amount must be just sufficient for your trip and you may be asked to open and taste as many as half of the containers at security. The same rules apply for jars of babyfood.


• Passengers can buy ready-to-drink infant formula after security from Boots – and this can be ordered in advance by calling: 01293 569606 (North Terminal) and 01293 569353 (South Terminal).
 
• Passengers may carry baby car seats (for use on the plane) through security, but  should check with their airline.

Back to top

Q: I need to travel with medicines and medical equipment – are the rules the same for me?
A: • Passengers are allowed to take essential medicines sufficient for their trip. Amounts under 100ml should be placed in a transparent, relsealable plastic bag, with any other liquids. If the container is larger than 100ml it should be presented at security for x-ray inspection. There is no limit on the amount but you may be asked to verify the liquid by tasting, or provide proof such as a doctor's letter.

• Passengers may carry non-prescription tablets (eg paracetamol), but as with all other medicines they should be properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication and manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label.

• Any other medical item that you may need during your flight – including insulin and needles, asthma inhalers, Epi Pen, angina sprays etc – can be carried, but only the amount necessary for your trip. The rest should be put in your hold baggage.

• If you are concerned about the effect of the temperature in the aircraft hold on your medicine, you should  speak to your airline directly.

• Items such as blood pressure monitors can be carried in hand baggage – as long as they fit within the size limits.

• Spare contact lenses can be carried in hand baggage – but only what you need during the journey and the packets must be sealed. The rest should be in your hold baggage. And any contact lens solution must be in a 100ml container.

• Homeopathic medicines will be subject to x-ray screening. Although we appreciate your concerns, the Homeopathic Society of Great Britain cannot substantiate any impact on the medicines. However, should you be concerned please raise this with our officers at security.


Back to top

Q: Can I carry food in my hand baggage?
A: • Most solid food stuffs can be carried in hand baggage – bearing in mind the size restrictions – but you should check to see whether your destination country has any restrictions on what you can take in.
• Food in sauces or dishes that have a high liquid content will need to be in containers 100ml or less, and go into a transparent, resealable, airtight bag. Please note that only one bag per person is permitted.

Back to top

Q: I’m still unclear about what I can/can’t carry in hand
A: • Solid cosmetics including lipsticks and powders are OK. You can take atomisers/cream/roll-on deodorants etc in containers up to 100ml, but these must be in a transparent, resealable, airtight bag. Please note only one bag per person is permitted. 

• Electrical items such as MP3 and DVD players and laptops are permitted – as long as they comply with the size restrictions. Spare batteries are also allowed. However, we may ask for these items to be screened separately.


• You can carry gas hair tongs with one gas cartridge in your hand baggage – but check with your airline as some carriers may restrict these items.

• If carrying jewellery, remember that some items could be classed as ‘sharp objects’ so will not be allowed in hand baggage.
 
• House keys and car keys can be included in hand baggage – but must go through the x-ray machine.

• A musical instrument carried in its case can be taken into the cabin in addition to the hand baggage allowance – but you cannot put any other items in the instrument case. But check with your airline. Some musical accessories such as percussion mallets or wire brushes for drums will not be allowed in your hand baggage.
 
• If you are worried about special items which normally wouldn’t comply with the size restrictions– a wedding dress for example – contact your airline to discuss special arrangements.
 
• Small non-toxic gas cylinders, such as those used for artificial limbs or in lifejackets, may be carried in hand baggage, provided they comply with the size restrictions, but you should check with your airline.
 
• Sports equipment can be carried in hand baggage provided it fits within the bag size restrictions and complies with the rules on sharp objects. Fishing rods are not allowed in the cabin – and scuba diving tanks cannot be carried anywhere on the aircraft.

Back to top

Q: Can I lock my hold baggage or does it have to be left open?
A: Yes, you can still lock it – but baggage checked in the USA must either be left unlocked or locked with a special padlock approved by the US Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov). Your airline will be able to give you further details.

Back to top

Q: I’m a photographer and I’m worried about putting my film and camera through the x-ray machines. Can you help?
A: Don’t worry – our x-ray machines won’t harm your film or equipment. The British Photographers' Liaison Committee (BPLC), have given the all-clear to our hand-luggage x-ray inspection systems saying that it is safe for all normal film types (up to and including ISO 400) as well as for digital storage media.
Specialist film (ISO 800 and above) can sometimes be affected – but the effects are barely noticeable to the naked eye and do no become clearly visible until film is exposed around 32 times. But we can make special arrangements for photographers carrying professional film (ISO 800 and above) – just contact us our your airline before travel.
Professional photographers requiring more detailed information can contact the BPLC on +44 (0)20 7739 6669