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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 devices and electrical items

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 yes
Laptop yes yes
Tablet devices yes yes
MP3 player yes yes
Hairdryer or hair straighteners yes yes
Camera and camera equipment yes yes
Travel iron yes yes
Electric razor/shaver yes yes

Flying to and from the UK

Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.

Batteries for your device

There are restrictions on lithium cells and batteries for items such as laptops, cameras and mobile phones.

Gas-powered hair curlers

You can take hair curlers containing a gas cartridge in checked or hand luggage as long as the safety cover is fitted at all times. You must not take separate gas cartridges on board.

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 nuchucks no yes
Diving equipment yes yes
Diving cyclinders, provided that the cylinders are below 280 kPa (2.8 bar or 40 psi), can be carried. It may, however, be difficult for check-in staff to verify this and you may be asked to empty the cylinder. Once emptied, the cylinder valve should be closed to prevent moisture entering the cylinder. yes yes
Diving cyclinders that are above 280 kPa (2.8 bar or 40 psi) cannot be carried. no no

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

Essential medicines and medical equipment

Essential medicines, including inhalers and liquid dietary foodstuffs

You’re allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand luggage, but you need supporting documentation from a relevant medical professional (e.g. a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription). The same applies for gel packs.

Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point.

Essential medical equipment

You can take medical equipment with you if it’s essential for your journey.

The equipment is screened separately and you must show documentation from a qualified medical professional, such as a letter from your doctor.

Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Cooling gel packs yes (if screened successfully) yes
Medical equipment (e.g CPAP and TENS machines) yes yes
Tablets and capsules yes yes
Essential liquid medicines yes (over 100ml if screened successfully) yes
Hypodermic syringes yes yes
Inhalers yes yes
Oxygen cylinders Contact your airline Contact your airline

For detailed information on carrying liquids in your hand baggage follow the link below.

Baby food and baby milk

When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. In some cases this will be over 100ml.

Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point.

Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Breast milk, formula milk or cow's milk yes yes
Sterilised water for the baby yes (must be in a baby bottle) yes
Soya milk for babies yes yes
Baby food 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 etcetera) 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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