As security at airports increases, and queues inevitably grow longer, it is important to carefully check what you can carry in your cabin baggage as well as what can be packed away in your checked-baggage. With more and more airlines charging for the checked-baggage it is no surprise that the typical aircraft passenger is now trying to cram all their holiday or business essentials into their hand luggage. Whilst the Department of Transport has removed restrictions on the quantity of hand luggage a passenger can carry on-board, there is no standard policy followed by the airline industry and each carrier is likely to have its own policy; so it is important to check with the airline (or travel agent) before travelling. Most airlines will have clear information on their website.
Once you have established how much hand baggage you can take onboard the aircraft the next task is to check what is and what is not permitted.
Restrictions apply to a number of items as follows:
There are restrictions on quantities of liquids, gels and pastes that can be carried in hand baggage. There is a maximum size per item of 100ml and all items must be contained within a maximum 1-litre capacity transparent re-sealable plastic bag which must be removed from hand-baggage and x-rayed separately at security. Bags can be purchased widely now and a number of travel accessory stores now offer reusable clear bags with containers for liquids and gels. If you wait until you get to the airport to buy one you will no doubt be charged the extortionate price of about 50p per bag.
The following are treated as liquids for security purposes:
Water and other drinks, creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, lipsticks, sprays, gels, including hair and shower gels, contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants, pastes, including toothpaste, liquid-solid mixtures, mascara and any other item of a similar consistency.
If in doubt – pack the items in your suitcase for check-in as hold luggage.
Medicines and Baby Foods
Travellers are allowed to carry medicines and special dietary requirements above the 100ml limit providing that they can produce documents to prove the products are essential and will be required during the flight. The same applies to baby milk/food and it is likely that you will be asked to taste anything over the 100ml limit. Most basic items can be bought from retail outlets after security-control at most major airports.
Laptops and other small electrical items are permitted but will have to be removed from hand luggage and screened separately, and you may be requested to switch the item on to prove that it works – so it’s always best to ensure the battery is charged to avoid a delay whilst the item is plugged into an electrical supply.
There are obviously a host of other items that are not permitted in your hand-baggge but these may vary from country to country so it is always worth checking with the relevant govenrment body. For the UK check the Department of Transport's website for information on the current dangerous and restricted items list: