What Can I take on a Plane in my Hand Luggage?

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There are many guidelines in place about what can and cannot be taken onto a plane and each airline may have their own specifics that need to be checked before departure. However, the UK government has issued some basic guidelines to help travellers plan their packing.

Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports

One of the biggest pointers is to restrict the amount of liquids you carry in your hand luggage. This is anything from drinks to semi-liquid foods such as jam, toiletries, sprays, pastes and even contact lens solution.

What Can I take on a Plane in my Hand Luggage?

If you need to take any of these items onto the plane with you, the container must hold no more than 100ml and be put into a transparent, resealable plastic bag. The content must fit inside this bag so that the bag can be sealed and it must use the resealable closure, not a knot or a tie. Each person is limited to one plastic bag per person.

When you are taking children on a flight, there are certain exceptions for them and items that can be stored in the kids’ luggage. These include containers of baby food or milk, anything needed for special dietary requirements and containers larger than 100ml if they are for essential medical purposes.

Liquids include:

  • 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

You may also take liquids that have been bought in the airport if they are sealed in a security bag when bought and the receipt for the item is inside the bag, clearly visible.

E-cigarettes are banned completely from hold luggage. Matches and lighters are not allowed in hand or checked in baggage. You can take a single lighter onto a plane in the same type of bag as liquids and it must be kept on your person during the flight, not put into hold or hand luggage. Bear in mind that some airlines will have tight restrictions.

So for example if you do invest in children’s luggage for your young child make sure that they are going to let you take it on the place. After all, you don’t want to pack anything in it that you might need for your journey and then find you can’t get to it.

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