Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports
There are restrictions on what items you can take in your hand luggage and hold luggage when boarding a plane in the UK.
There are different rules if you’re taking goods to sell or temporarily abroad for business reasons, for example sales samples, professional equipment or musical instruments for a performance.
Airport security staff will not let anything through that they consider dangerous - even if it’s normally allowed in hand luggage.
Hand luggage allowances
Check with your airline how many and what size bags you can take on the plane with you.
Check the rules for electronic items and devices you’re allowed to take on a flight before you travel - there are different rules depending on which country you are travelling to or from.
Taking liquids through security
There are restrictions on the amount of liquids you can take in your hand luggage. If possible, pack liquids in your hold baggage (luggage that you check in).
- all drinks, including water
- liquid or semi-liquid foods, for example soup, jam, honey and syrups
- cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lip gloss
- sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants
- pastes, including toothpaste
- gels, including hair and shower gel
- contact lens solution
- any other solutions and items of similar consistency
If you do take liquids in your hand luggage:
- containers must hold no more than 100ml
- containers must be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
- contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
- the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top
- you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
- you must show the bag at the airport security point
Liquids in containers larger than 100ml generally cannot go through security even if the container is only part full. There are some exemptions.
You can take liquid containers larger than 100ml through security if they:
- are for essential medical purposes
- are for special dietary requirements
- contain baby food or baby milk
You can also take liquids bought at an airport or on a plane (such as duty free) through security if:
- the items are sealed inside a security bag when you buy them
- the receipt for the items is sealed in the security bag and visible
You must not open the security bag until you reach your final destination. Airport staff may need to open the items to screen the liquid at the security point.
Liquid restrictions outside the EU
Countries outside the EU might have different rules on carrying liquids as a transit or transfer passenger. You should check these rules with the relevant airlines and airports before travelling.
You can only carry 1 lighter on board. You should put it inside a resealable plastic bag (like the ones used for liquids), which you must keep on you throughout the flight. You cannot:
- put it in your hold luggage
- put it in your hand luggage after screening
Food and powders
Food items and powders in your hand luggage can obstruct images on x-ray machines. Your bags may need to be checked again manually by security. You can put these items in your hold luggage to minimise delays.