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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Air travel hand baggage rules

There are heightened security measures in place at all UK airports, with strict rules on what you can and can't carry in your hand baggage.

It's important to know these rules so you can pack accordingly and avoid delays at airport security.

How many items of hand baggage can you take on board?

At most UK airports you can now take more than one item of hand baggage on board with you - the rules were relaxed slightly in January 2008.

The airports affected are:

* Aberdeen, Benbecula, Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, City of Derry
* Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Farnborough, Filton, Gatwick
* George Best Belfast City Airport, Glasgow, Gloucestershire, Guernesy
* Hawarden, Heathrow, Humberside, Inverness, Islay, Isle of Man
* Kent International, Kirkwall, London City, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich
* Plymouth, Prestwick, Southampton, Southend, Stansted, Stornaway, Sumburgh
* Warton, Wick

However, some airlines have their own restrictions on the number of items of hand baggage that you can take into the aircraft cabin with you. Please check with your airline before flying.

How big can hand baggage be?

The maximum size for an item of hand baggage is 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. But again, some airlines will have their own restrictions, so it's best to check with them first.

Items over the maximum size will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin and must be checked in with your hold baggage, except for the following:

*Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs
*You can take pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs on board the plane, but they will need to be security screened.
*Large musical instruments
*Some airlines may let you carry a musical instrument as a second piece of hand baggage, but it will need to be security screened.You may also have to make special arrangements such as buying an extra seat. If you plan to travel with a large musical instrument it's best to confirm the details with the airline at the time of booking.

What can you carry in your hand baggage?


Wherever possible you should pack liquids in your hold baggage. This is is because there are restrictions on the amount of liquid you can take into the aircraft cabin in your hand baggage.

The following are all considered liquids:

* all drinks, including water, soup and syrups
* cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lipstick
* sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorant
* pastes, including toothpaste
* gels, including hair and shower gel
* contact lens solution
* any other solutions and items of similar consistency
* lighters

If you need certain liquids during the flight, you can take them into the cabin but only in limited quantities, as follows:

* you can carry small quantities of liquids in containers that can hold no more than 100ml
* containers that can hold more than 100ml are not allowed, even if they are only part full
* the containers must be carried in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which can hold no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
* the contents must fit comfortably inside the plastic bag so it can can be sealed
* each passenger can carry only one of these bags


Lighters are considered to be liquids and can be put inside the plastic bag or screened separately, as long as they would fit in the bag. You should not put a lighter inside your hand baggage but keep it on your person throughout the flight. Lighters are not allowed in hold baggage.
Essential medicines, including inhalers

You are allowed to carry essential medicines on board the aircraft.You may be asked to verify your medicine at security. This could mean tasting it or applying it to your skin.

If you need to carry essential medicines in containers of more than 100ml, you will need some supporting documentation from a relevant medical professional (a letter from your doctor, for example) and prior approval from the airline. This applies to all medicines - from cough mixture to insulin.

Remember, just carry what you need for the journey in your hand baggage. Extra supplies and/or larger containers can go in your hold baggage.
Baby food and bottles

You can take liquid baby food or sterilised water onto the aircraft in your hand baggage.You are allowed to take enough for the journey - in some cases this may be over 100ml. The adult carrying the baby food or water may be asked to verify it by tasting.
Goods bought at the airport

You can take anything you buy after passing through security into the aircraft cabin with you. This includes bottled water, wines and spirits, fragrances and cosmetics of any size.

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