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Heathrow Airport Security Information

Enhanced security measures mean that checking in can take longer than it used to. It is advised that you arrive at the airport in plenty of time:

Hand Luggage

Passengers are requested to be patient while additional security measures are in place, allow extra time for their journey and be prepared for possible delays.

How Many?

Passengers are now permitted to carry more than one item of hand luggage through security. You will, however, need to check with your airline before arrival at the airport. Some airlines will only allow you to carry one item of hand baggage, and the weight and size allowances differ between airlines.

How Much?

Cabin baggage must be no bigger, including wheels, handles and any side pockets, than:

Check with your airline as some have further restrictions on the size of bags.

What's Allowed?



Some liquids (e.g. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams and other liquid-based items) are now allowed through airport security check points. The following restrictions apply to the quantity of liquids:

Liquids that can not be placed inside the re-sealable bag must be packed into the hold luggage and checked in. Liquids of any amount can still be carried in luggage checked into the aircraft hold.

Please note 'Liquids' include:


Essential medicines are permitted in larger quantities above the 100ml limit but will be subject to authentication. Exceptions to the 100ml rule may also be made for those carrying baby food and milk, but you may be asked to taste the liquid when you go through security.

Duty Free and Departure Lounge Purchases

Duty Free

You may take on board liquid items of any size that are purchased after the security check in the departure lounge. Most duty free or similar purchases will be given to you in a special sealed bag - do not open this bag until you have reached your final destination. You should also retain your proof of purchase throughout your journey as you may be required to show it at a transfer point. It would be wise to check the rules regarding Duty Free with the airport you are transferring at to avoid any unnecessary delays to your journey.

**Please note restrictions apply to duty free purchases made on return journeys where passengers change flights at an EU airport. These are explained in detail on the Department for Transport's website.

These are the requirements set down by the Department for Transport. Airlines and Airports may have additional measures in place. Passengers are strongly advised to check the website of their carrier or airport before travelling.

Christmas Presents

Wrapped Christmas presents are not exempt from the current aviation security measures, and are subject to searching and screening measures by airport security staff when flying from the UK. It is possible that passengers may be asked to unwrap any presents by security staff at the airport before their journey. Therefore, passengers should travel with any presents unwrapped.

Presents in liquid form (e.g. perfume, toiletries or alcohol) can be carried in cabin baggage but this is subject to the current measures. It would therefore be advisable to place such presents - unwrapped - in hold baggage. Liquids of any amount can still be stored in hold baggage.

Restricted Items

You should always check the exact hand luggage restrictions with your airline prior to packing. Widely restricted items include:

Prohibited Items

Scissors with blades over 6cm from fulcrumRazor blades
Knives with blades over 6cmHousehold cutlery
Party poppersHypodermic needles (unless required for medical reasons)
Toy or replica guns (inc. water pistols)Sporting bats and clubs
Billiard, snooker or pool cuesDarts

If items are confiscated at security control, you will not be compensated and, with the exception of unusual circumstances, the confiscated items will not be returned.

Syringes that are needed for diabetics and other medical reasons will only be allowed in hand luggage if you can prove the medical necessity. You may wish to phone the airline in advance to find out what they require as proof of your medical condition.

Banned Items

In addition to the restrictions on what is allowed in hand luggage, there are a number of items that must not be taken on board an aircraft, either as hand luggage or in the hold. Do not pack the following anywhere in your carry on or check in luggage:

Prohibited Items

Flammable liquids and solidsOxidisers
Organic peroxidesGas cylinders
Infectious substancesWet car cell batteries
Instruments containing magnetsInstruments containing mercury
Non-safety matches, fire lighters, lighter fuelPaints, thinners
Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkillerAcids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
Creosote, quicklime, oiled paperRadioactive materials