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

There are restrictions 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.

Contact the airline

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.

Airport security staff won’t let anything through that they consider dangerous - even if the lists below say the item is allowed in your luggage.

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. 

For full details of the rules on liquids, see the page below:

Contact your airline or departure airport if you have any questions.

Dangerous or restricted items

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 (check with airline)
Small scissors (with blades no longer than 6cm) yes yes
Large scissors (with blades longer than 6cm) no yes (check with airline)
Round-ended/ blunt scissors (of any length) yes yes
Fixed-cartridge razor blades (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
Non-safety matches no no
Fireworks, flares and other pyrotechnics, including party poppers and toy caps no no
Cigarette lighter no (but you can put a lighter in a plastic liquids bag and keep it on your person) no
Contact lens solution yes (up to 100ml) yes

Musical instruments

Contact your airline before you book if you want to travel with a large musical instrument. You may need to make special arrangements, such as buying an extra seat.

Musical instruments will be screened separately.

Mobility aids

Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are usually allowed in the cabin, but will need to be security screened first.

For battery-powered wheelchairs or mobility aids, check with your airline first.

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.

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
Travel iron yes yes
Electric razor/shaver yes yes

Cameras

You can usually take camera equipment in your hand and hold luggage. There might be restrictions on specialist equipment, for example professional video cameras.

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

Check the restrictions on certain types of batteries or contact your airline if you’re not sure what you can carry.

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 nunchuks) no yes
Diving equipment check with airline before you travel check with airline before you travel

Work tools

Item Allowed in hand baggage? Allowed in hold baggage?
Tool with a blade or shaft longer than 6cm (screwdriver, chisel and so on) 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

You’re allowed to carry essential medicines of more than 100ml in your hand luggage, including liquid dietary foodstuffs and inhalers. You'll need supporting documents from a relevant medical professional (for example, 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 documents 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  yes
Medical equipment (for example, CPAP and TENS machines) yes yes
Tablets and capsules yes yes
Essential liquid medicines yes  yes
Hypodermic syringes yes yes
Inhalers yes yes
Oxygen cylinders

check with airline before you travel

check with airline before you travel

For detailed information on carrying liquids in your hand baggage, see the Air travel hand baggage rules page.

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.

You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby. You can’t carry frozen breast milk in hand luggage.

Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml. Each container will need to be screened at the security point. 

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 yes, in containers up to 2,000ml yes
Frozen breast milk no yes
Formula milk, cow's milk yes (baby must be present) yes
Sterilised water for the baby yes (baby must be present) yes
Soya milk for babies yes (baby must be present) yes
Baby food yes (baby must be present) yes
Cooling gel packs yes yes

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 (for example, spillable 'wet' batteries) no no
Corrosives or bleaching agents, including mercury and chlorine no no
Vehicle batteries and vehicle fuel systems no no

Self Defence/ disabling sprays (for example, mace or pepper spray)

no no
Radioactive materials, including medicinal or commercial isotopes no no
Poisons and toxic substances (for example, rat poison) no no
Infectious substances or biological hazards (for example, infected blood, bacteria, viruses) no no
Materials 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 and so on) no check with airline before you travel
Blasting caps no no
Detonators and fuses no no
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  no no
Hand grenades no no
Gun cigarette lighters no no

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