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What Can You Take in Your Hand Luggage?

The holidays we take are getting shorter, whilst the costs of flying with hold luggage are creeping up continually. If you are a frequent flyer, you’ll be familiar with how it all works – and you’ll know that hand luggage is the best bet for speed and convenience. But what can you take in hand luggage?

In this article, we’re looking at the hand luggage rules you ought to know before travelling.

What can you take in hand luggage?

When there are so many hand luggage restrictions, it’s important to be clear on the rules before you get to the airport. Airlines can be fussy, and with good reason. But it is not so fun if you have something expensive or precious confiscated at the airport.

So, what can you take in hand luggage? Generally, most things are allowed. However, here are some of the hand luggage rules to look out for.

How much liquid can you take on a plane?

You are allowed to take liquids of less than 100ml onto a plane – as long as they are in the customary clear plastic bags. All liquid is subject to the same hand luggage rules – whether it is water, face cream, beer, or contact lens solution. Even things that don’t seem like liquids, like hair gel or honey, also count.

You are allowed to take empty water bottles through security. You can usually fill these up in the departure lounge. Baby food (as long as there is a baby present) is allowed, but it may be checked by security in more detail. Foods for medical purposes or special dietary requirements are exceptions to the 100ml rule – and their necessity must be proved with a doctor’s note.

Can I have a phone charger in my hand luggage?

Phone chargers, laptop chargers, and also their corresponding devices are all welcome in your hand luggage. You’ll just have to take the devices themselves out of your bag when you go through security. Hair dryers and straighteners are allowed, too.

What makeup can you take in hand luggage?

Makeup is allowed in your hand luggage. However, it has to conform to the hand luggage restrictions relating to liquids. If it’s over 100ml, you won’t be able to take it on board. If in doubt, get in touch with the airline with which you are flying.

Can you take a lighter on a plane?

According to the UK Government, the official rules limit the number of lighters that you can carry onto a plane is one per person. The same applies to a box of matches.

However, the government states that lighters cannot be put into your hand luggage. Rather, they need to be placed in a plastic bag and kept on your person throughout the duration of the flight.

This isn’t strictly enforced in practice – and will depend upon airlines and national rules across the world.

What items are prohibited in hand luggage?

Most of the items prohibited from your hand luggage are fairly obvious. Airports and airlines make it clear on signage and during check-in (also online check-in) about items that can spontaneously combust, or items that are poisonous or toxic. Obviously, explosives and firearms are not allowed.

There are some items that might surprise you. Corkscrews are not allowed, whilst scissors with blades smaller than 6cm are. Golf clubs are not allowed, whilst snooker cues are. Workmen’s power tools and chemical substances, however, are generally not permitted in carry-on luggage whatsoever.

What foods are prohibited from your hand luggage?

When travelling within the EU and the UK, you are allowed to take any food you want in your hand luggage. However, these do have to abide by the liquid laws. Whilst you may be asked by security for your bag to be searched, this is only because foodstuffs can block security scanners.

However, when travelling outside the EU, there are lots of different rules depending on your origin and your destination. For example, Australia has strict regulations – and many foods need to be declared as you enter. Check the government website of your destination to find out what applies to your journey.

We hope to have answered your question about what you can take in hand luggage, but if you’re in any doubt it’s always best to contact your airline or check out their website.

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