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. Check the rules for liquids before you travel.

If possible, pack liquids in your hold baggage (luggage that you check in).

The rules for taking liquids through security in your hand luggage have changed for some UK airports. Check with the airport before you travel.

Liquid restrictions outside the UK

Countries outside the UK 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.

Frozen items

You cannot usually carry frozen items in your hand luggage, for example liquid, food or ice packs. 

There are some exceptions - check the rules for: