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Dangerous and restricted items: what you cannot take on board a flight

The UK has strict security measures in place to keep dangerous items from being taken on board a flight. Find out what you can and can't take in your hand baggage (bags you carry on to the aircraft) and checked-in (or hold) baggage.  

Know what you can take on your flight

The rules for what you're allowed to carry on board your flight are strict, particularly on hand luggage. Contact your airline if you have questions about how much hand luggage you can take or its size and shape.

Check the rules on liquids in your hand luggage

You're allowed to take liquids in your hold luggage, but there are strict rules in place about carrying liquids in your hand luggage. 'Liquids' includes gels, sprays (aerosols) and pastes. For full details of the rules on liquids, see 'Air travel hand baggage rules'.

Contact your airline or departure airport if you have any questions

Airport security staff may confiscate anything they consider dangerous - even if the lists below say the item is allowed in your luggage

Dangerous or restricted items

You can't take any objects in your hand baggage that could cause injury to yourself and other passengers. You may be able to take some of these items in your hold baggage (the luggage you check in) instead.

If an item is not allowed in your hand baggage, you can't take it, at any time, into:

  • the shopping areas of the airport (called 'airside')
  • the cabin of the plane

Use the tables below for guidance on what you can and can't take aboard when you fly. Other restrictions may be in place, so contact your airline or departure airport directly if you have any questions about what you can take.

Personal items

 Items Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Corkscrew  no  yes
Spoon

yes

 yes
Knife (with a sharp or pointed blade and/or a blade longer than 6cm)  no   yes 
Small scissors (with blades no longer than 6cm)  yes  yes
Large scissors (with blades longer than 6cm)  no  yes
Round-ended/blunt scissors (of any length)  yes  yes
Fixed-cartridge razor blade (disposable razor)  yes  yes
Nail clippers/nail file  yes  yes
Tweezers  yes  yes
Knitting needles  yes  yes
Sewing needle  yes  yes
Umbrella  yes  yes
Walking stick/cane, walking aid  yes  yes
Pushchair  yes  yes
Wheelchair  yes  yes
Safety matches  yes  no
'Strike anywhere' matches (non-safety matches)  no  no
Fireworks, flares and other pyrotechnics, including party poppers and toy caps  no  no
Cigarette lighter

 no

(but you may carry a single lighter on your person)

 no
Contact lens solution

 yes

(but no more than 100ml)

 yes

For detailed information on what you can carry in your hand baggage, see 'Air travel hand baggage rules'.

Electronic items and electrical goods

Note that you can't use electronic devices at certain times during a flight. The flight crew will advise you or you can find more information on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) website – follow the link below this table.

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Mobile phone

 yes

(but you must not use your mobile once the aircraft doors have closed)

 yes
Laptop  yes  yes
MP3/CD/tape player  yes  yes
Camcorder  yes  yes
Pager  yes  yes
PDA/Blackberry  yes  yes
Hairdryer or hair straighteners  yes  yes
Camera and camera equipment  yes  yes
Travel iron  yes  yes
Electric razor/shaver  yes  yes

Sporting equipment

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Sports parachute  yes  yes
Bat, racquet or sports stick  no  yes
Snooker, pool or billiard cue  no  yes
Golf clubs  no  yes
Darts  no  yes
Walking/hiking poles  no  yes
Ice skates  no  yes
Fishing rod  no  yes
Catapult  no  yes
Firearms (including replica firearms)  no check with airline before you travel
Harpoon or spear gun  no  yes
Crossbow  no  yes
Martial arts equipment, including knuckledusters,   clubs, coshes, rice flails and nunchuks  no  yes
Diving equipment (note that oxygen cylinders for diving are not allowed either in hand baggage or hold baggage)  yes  yes

Work tools

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Tool with a blade or shaft longer than 6cm (screwdriver, chisel etc.)  no  yes
Drill and drill bits  no  yes
Stanley knife  no  yes
Saw (includes portable power saw)  no  yes
Screwdriver  no  yes
Hammer  no  yes
Pliers  no  yes
Wrench or spanner  no  yes
Bolt gun or nail gun  no  yes
Crowbar  no  yes
Blowtorch  no  yes

Medication and medical equipment

You may be asked to prove that any medication or medical equipment is necessary for the duration of your trip. You can do this by showing a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor. Only take in your hand baggage what you need for the trip.

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Cooling gel packs

 yes

(but you will need approval from the airline or airport)

 yes
Medical equipment (CPAP and TENS machines, etc.)  yes  yes
Tablets and capsules

 yes

(there is no restriction on the number of tablets or capsules you can carry)

 yes
Essential liquid medicines

 yes

(but you will need approval from the airline or airport to carry over 100ml)

 yes

Hypodermic syringes  yes  yes
Inhalers  yes  yes 
Oxygen cylinders

 yes

(but always check with your airline first)

 no

For detailed information on what you can carry in your hand baggage, see 'Air travel hand baggage rules'.

Baby food and baby milk

You are allowed to take enough baby food or milk for the journey in your cabin baggage. In some cases this may be over 100ml. The adult carrying the baby food or milk may be asked to taste it.

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Breast milk, formula milk or cow's milk

 yes

(but only if baby is  travelling with the parent)

 yes
Powdered milk

 yes

(with no restriction on the amount that can be carried)

 yes
Sterilised water

 yes

(but must be in a baby's bottle)

 yes
Soya milk for babies  yes  yes
Baby food of various consistencies  yes  yes

For detailed information on what you can carry in your hand baggage, see 'Air travel hand baggage rules'.

Chemicals and toxic substances

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Oxidisers and organic peroxides, including bleach and car body repair kits  no  no
Acids and alkalis (spillable 'wet' batteries etc.)  no  no
Corrosives or bleaching agents, including mercury and chlorine  no  no
Vehicle batteries and vehicle fuel systems  no  no
Defensive/disabling sprays including mace, pepper spray and tear gas  no  no
Radioactive materials, including medicinal or commercial isotopes  no  no
Poisons and toxic substances, including rat poison  no  no
Infectious substances or biological hazards (infected blood, bacteria, viruses etc.)  no  no
Material that could spontaneously ignite or combust (burst into flames)  no  no
Fire extinguishers  no  no

Ammunition

 Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Guns or firearms of any kind (includes air rifles, starting pistols etc.)  no  check with airline before you travel
Blasting caps  no  no
Detonators and fuses  no  no
Replica or imitation explosive devices, including replica and model guns  no  no
Mines, grenades and other explosive military stores  no  no
Fireworks and other pyrotechnics  no  no
Smoke canisters  no  no
Smoke cartridges  no  no
Dynamite  no  no
Gunpowder  no  no
Plastic explosive, including black powder and percussion caps  no  no
Flares in any form  no  no
Hand grenades  no  no
Gun cigarette lighters  no  no

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