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Banned and restricted items

Different bottles of liquids.

Legal restrictions and regulations about what you can or cannot take with you.

This page includes key information on banned and restricted items but some regulations may vary by country and airline. Always check local airport and airline rules before you fly, especially if you are transferring to another airline at any point in your journey. For flights departing from the US, check the website of the US Transport Security Administration (TSA).

Some items fall under more than one category so please read the below instructions carefully. If your item is not covered here or you have any questions, please contact us.

Liquids, creams and aerosols

You can take liquids in your checked baggage but most countries have restrictions on the types and quantity you may carry in your hand baggage. This includes any type of liquids, gels, creams and aerosols, such as:

  • toiletries
  • liquid medicines
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • liquid components of e-cigarettes
  • food items, such as soups, sauces, jam and jelly (see separate guidance on baby food)
collapsedshowHand baggage requirements
  • Each liquid must be in its own container of no more than 100ml (3.4oz).
  • You need to put all items in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of up to 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in) with a total capacity of up to one litre (approx. one quart).
  • You must be able to completely close the bag and fit it in your hand baggage.
  • You must take the bag of liquids out of your hand baggage to be screened separately.
  • In the UK and EU, the tasting or testing of liquids, aerosols or gels on the skin is no longer a recognised method of screening. These items are screened using special equipment and you may be asked to open them. If you're travelling outside the UK and EU, please check applicable safety requirements.
collapsedshowToiletries, medicines and aerosols
  • You can take non-radioactive medicines or toiletries (incl. aerosols), such as hair sprays, perfumes, colognes and medicines containing alcohol in your hand or checked baggage.
  • You can take non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive aerosols for sporting or home use in your checked baggage only.

The total net quantity of all the above mentioned items must not exceed 2kg or 2l, and the net quantity of each single item must not exceed 0.5kg or 0.5l. Please protect release valves on aerosols by a cap or other suitable means to prevent accidental release of the contents.

More about travelling with medicines or medical equipment.

collapsedshowAlcoholic drinks

You can take up to 5l alcoholic drinks per person in your hand or checked baggage, provided they are in their retail packaging and max. 70% alcohol by volume. Each bottle or container can contain max. 5l.

collapsedshowDuty-free and airport purchases when connecting

You can buy duty-free liquids, gels or cream products of more than 100ml from airport shops or on board, provided that they have been sealed at the point of purchase in a Security Tamper Evident Bag with the receipt inside. If you buy items on board, please ask cabin crew to do this for you.

If you want to leave the airport and return later for your connecting flight, you can take these items with you as long as you don't open the sealed bag. You will then need to go through security again who might need to open and reseal your items in a new bag. We cannot accept liability for any products opened or confiscated during transit or disembarkation.

Please check the arrangements for all the airports on your journey to be certain what you can take in your hand baggage.

Any items you buy at the airport or on board count towards your hand baggage allowance for your next flight. If you exceed this, you may need to check the items in and be charged a fee.

collapsedshowFood

You can take solid foods like sandwiches, biscuits, fruit, nuts, etc. on board but the same restrictions for liquids apply to liquid foods, e.g. drinks, soups, sauces, jam or jelly (see guidance above).

 

Baby food and milk

If you are travelling with a baby or an infant, you are allowed to carry as much baby milk/food, powdered formula and sterilised water (must be in a baby bottle) as required for your trip, even if this exceeds the usual limit on liquids. These do not need to fit in the transparent bag but you should have them ready for inspection by airport security.

 

Bringing food into other countries

The country of your destination may restrict the types of food allowed into the country, e.g. meat, fresh fruit and vegetables are forbidden by many countries.

For information on what food you can bring into the UK, visit the Directgov website.

collapsedshowInsulated packaging with liquid nitrogen

You can take insulated packaging containing refrigerated liquid nitrogen (dry shipper) in your hand or checked baggage. It needs to be fully absorbed in a porous material and only contain non-dangerous goods.



Batteries, electric and electronic devices

collapsedshowLithium ion/metal batteries

Please always ensure that you:

  • Pack all battery-powered devices to prevent accidental activation.
  • Protect spare batteries from short circuit and damage by keeping them in their original packaging (if possible), in a protective case or a strong plastic bag, or by placing electrical tape over the terminals.
  • Don't take any damaged batteries or equipment with you.

Lithium ion/metal batteries of up to 100Wh

(e.g. in mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, etc.)

In hand baggage
  • Kept in the device

  • Max. 4 spares per person (incl. Power Banks) kept in original packaging or insulated/protected from contact with metal

  • Lithium metal batteries must not exceed 2g lithium content and lithium ion batteries must not exceed 100Wh

In checked baggage
  • Kept in the device

  • No spares

Lithium ion/metal batteries of 100-160Wh

(e.g. in video equipment, portable medical devices with a lithium content of max. 8g, etc.)
In hand baggage
  • Contact us to get approval

  • Kept in the device

  • Portable medical devices can have a lithium content of 2-8g

  • Max. 2 spares per person (incl. Power Banks) kept in original packaging or insulated/protected from contact with metal

In checked baggage
  • Contact us to get approval

  • Only kept in the device and protected from accidental activation

  • Portable medical devices can have a lithium content of 2-8g

  • No spares

Lithium ion/metal batteries over 160Wh

(e.g. in electric bikes, Segways, car batteries, underwater lamps, etc.)

In hand/checked baggage
  • Not possible to take with you

Security-type equipment containing lithium batteries

In checked baggage only

Lithiion/metal batteries of up to 100Wh

(e.g. in mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, etc.)
collapsedshowFuel cells

You can take fuel cells and spare fuel cartridges for powering portable electronic devices (e.g. cameras, mobile/cell phones, laptops and camcorders) in your hand or checked baggage.

collapsedshowNon-spillable batteries

You can take portable electronic devices containing non-spillable batteries in your hand or checked baggage. Batteries must meet IATA Special Provision A67 (information is available from the battery manufacturer or supplier) and must be max. 12V or max. 100Wh. You can also take max. two spare batteries.

collapsedshowBattery-operated wheelchairs and mobility aids

If your wheelchair or mobility aid is battery-operated, you will need to contact us to get approval.

More about batteries in wheelchairs and mobility aids

collapsedshowSecurity checks for electronic devices

You can generally take electric and electronic items in your hand or checked baggage, but need to follow specific safety instructions:

  • Airport security staff may ask you to turn on electronic or battery-powered devices, such as phones, tablets, e-books and laptops, to demonstrate they function. If you're not able to do this, you will not be able to take your device with you (see options below).
  • Please ensure that any items in your hand baggage are fully charged and switched on before you arrive at the airport. If your device is not charged or broken, please place it in your checked baggage.
  • If you are connecting, make sure that you do not deplete power in your devices during the first part of your journey as charging points at airports might be very limited and you may need an adapter.
  • You can still use your device on board.

If you're not allowed to take your device with you

If you're travelling from London Heathrow, you can choose one of the following:

  • If you want to take your device in your hand baggage, you can rebook to a later flight but will then need to ensure that it is charged ahead of your new flight. A fee might apply for changing your booking, subject to your ticket type.
  • You can leave your device with a member of our customer service team and collect it on your return, or have it sent to an address of your choice using the MailandFly-Service. You will need to complete a MailandFly form, follow the instructions on the receipt and go to MailAndFly.com to submit your contact, delivery and payment details. You will be able to claim back the postal costs by contacting Customer Relations.

If you're travelling from London Gatwick or a non-UK airport, please contact our customer services team at the airport who can advise on available options.

collapsedshowSamsung Galaxy Note7

Following the official recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and an increasing number of countries banning this device from air transportation, we have extended our ban to all British Airways operated flights.



Sports and recreational items

Some sports and recreational equipment, such as guns, sharp or blunt objects like bats, also falls under the prohibited items category.

collapsedshowSports equipment

You can't take the following items in either your hand or checked baggage:

  • Javelins and pole vaults
  • Hang gliders
  • Kayaks or canoes
  • Windsurfing boards and sails

 Find out more about allowed sports equipment in your baggage

collapsedshowHoverboards

Due to the potential fire risk associated with lithium batteries, hoverboards and other self-propelled electrically-powered vehicles (e.g. Air Wheels, Solo Wheels, etc.) are completely forbidden.

collapsedshowAvalanche rescue backpacks

Please contact us to get approval for avalanche rescue packs containing a cartridge of compressed gas (IATA Division 2.2.) or a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing no more than 200mg net as per IATA Division 1.4S.

You can only take one backpack per person and must ensure it cannot be activated accidentally. The airbags within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves. Once approved, you can take this item in your hand or checked baggage.

Please note additional restrictions apply if you're travelling to/from the US.

 

 

Please contact us to get approval for avalanche rescue packs containing a cartridge of compressed gas (IATA Division 2.2.) or a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing no more than 200mg net as per IATA Division 1.4S.

You can only take one backpack per person and must ensure it cannot be activated accidentally. The airbags within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves. Once approved, you can take this item in your hand or checked baggage.

Please note additional restrictions apply if you're travelling to/from the US.


collapsedshowGas cartridges in life jackets, etc.

If you'd like to take any small, non-flammable gas cartridges with you that contain carbon dioxide or another suitable non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive gas, please contact us to get approval.

You can then take the following items in your hand or checked baggage:

  • max. two small cartridges per person, fitted into a self-inflating safety device, such as a life jacket or vest
  • only one device per person
  • max. four cartridges up to 50ml water capacity for other devices



Personal and other items

collapsedshowE-cigarettes

This applies to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including e-cigars, e-pipes and other personal vaporisers:

  • National laws for using and selling e-cigarettes change frequently and some countries have banned their use altogether. Please check local regulations for your destination before you travel.
  • Place these items in your hand baggage (not in checked baggage) and protect each of them to prevent accidental activation. If there are any liquid components, you also need to follow the safety requirements for liquids.
  • You cannot use e-cigarettes or similar items on board.
collapsedshowUmbrellas and walking sticks

You can take umbrellas and walking sticks (excl. hiking poles) in either your hand or checked baggage.

Find out more about golf umbrellas

 

collapsedshowGas cartridge-powered hair curlers

You can take hair curlers containing hydrocarbon gas in your hand or checked baggage, provided that the safety cover is securely fitted over the heating element. You can only take one device per person and must not use it on board at any time. You cannot take any gas refills for such curlers in your hand or checked baggage.

collapsedshowMedical or clinical thermometers

You can take only one medical or clinical thermometer containing mercury in your hand or checked baggage when it's for personal use and in its protective case. This excludes mercurial thermometers and barometers carried by representatives of a government weather bureau or similar agency  see separate guidance.

Find out more about travelling with medicines or medical equipment

collapsedshowLamps

You can take energy-efficient lamps intended for personal or home use in your hand or checked baggage as long as they're in their retail packaging.

collapsedshowDry ice

Please contact us to get approval for dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) when used to pack non-hazardous perishables, provided the package permits the release of carbon dioxide gas. You can take max. 2.5kg per person in your hand or checked baggage. Please mark your checked baggage with 'dry ice' or 'carbon dioxide, solid' and add the net weight of dry ice or an indication that there is 2.5kg or less dry ice.

collapsedshowPermeation devices

You can take permeation devices in your checked baggage only and they must meet IATA Special Provision A41 (this information will be available from the device manufacturer or supplier).

collapsedshowInternal combustion or fuel cell engines

You can take internal combustion or fuel cell engines in your checked baggage only and they must be completely purged of fuel and fuel vapour. Please contact us for details.



Prohibited items

The below items are prohibited but there are some exceptions.

collapsedshowFirearms and ammunition

You cannot take any guns, firearms and other devices that discharge projectiles, i.e. devices capable (or appearing capable) of being used to cause serious injury by discharging a projectile, on either your person or in your hand baggage. You can only carry these items in your checked baggage and in most cases, will need to notify us in advance.

The only items you can pack in your checked baggage without having to notify us are:

  • bows, cross bows and arrows
  • harpoon guns and spear guns
  • slingshots and catapults



Notify us before you fly

You must contact us at least 72 hours before your flight to ensure compliance with government embargoes and restrictions for the below items - if you fail to notify us, you will not be able to travel with your equipment:

  • firearms of all types, such as pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns
  • replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons
  • component parts of firearms, excluding telescopic sights
  • compressed air and CO2 guns, such as pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball-bearing guns
  • signal flare pistols and starter pistols

You can only carry these items in your checked baggage and will need to provide the appropriate licences and documentation for your firearms and ammunition, e.g. export/import licences and authorisation from local and national authorities. 

You’ll need to specify:

  • the quantity of firearms you wish to transport
  • the type (handgun, rifle, shotgun)
  • the make/model and calibre
  • the quantity (in weight) and calibre of ammunition



Travelling on other airlines

If you are planning to make a booking on ba.com that includes a flight operated by another airline, please contact us before booking to check if the other airline is able to carry your firearm. For example, you can't take any firearms, including sporting rifles, on flights operated by Comair.



Limits and charges

  • There is a limit of 5kg (11lb) of ammunition (cartridges for weapons) per person (IATA Division 1.4S; UN numbers 0012 and 0014). This is for that person’s own use only and excludes ammunition with explosive or incendiary projectiles.
  • Each bag or case containing firearms or ammunition is subject to a £50 charge at check-in each way plus applicable local service fees to cover the cost of our specialist firearms and ammunition handling partner.
  • If you take more or heavier bags than your checked baggage allowance, you will need to pay an extra charge.



How to pack your firearms and ammunition

  • Pack your firearms and ammunition in an appropriate carriage case, or if this is not possible, securely inside your checked bag with your personal belongings (except to/from South Africa and Italy, and from Romania – see next point).
  • If you're travelling to/from South Africa or Italy, or from Romania, check in your firearms and ammunition in separate locked cases, aside from the checked bag with your personal belongings. In this instance, you will not be charged an extra baggage fee if you exceed your free baggage allowance.
  • If you're travelling to/from the US, visit the TSA website for full details on transporting firearms and ammunition.
  • You cannot combine ammunition allowances for more than one person into one or more bags.
  • Ammunition needs to be in either its original packaging or a suitable container that prevents movement between shells or cartridges (loose ammunition is not permitted).
  • Make sure that firearms are unloaded and each firearm is accompanied by the appropriate certificate.
  • Do not use 'explosives' labels on bags with ammunition.



Arrive earlier for check-in

You must arrive at a check-in desk at least two hours before your flight to allow sufficient time to process the paperwork prior to clearing security. If you're travelling with 10 or more firearms or boxes of ammunition you must allow at least three hours.



Connecting between different airports

  • If you are connecting between different terminals at a UK airport, please allow at least three hours between flights.
  • If you're connecting between different airports, please allow more than the recommended minimum connection time.
collapsedshowExplosives and flammable substances and devices

Explosives and flammable substances and devices that can be used (or appear capable of being used) to cause serious injury or to pose a threat to the safety of an aircraft, are completely forbidden, including:

  • ammunition (unless we've approved carriage - see guidance for guns, firearms and ammunition)
  • blasting caps
  • detonators and fuses
  • replica or imitation explosive devices
  • mines, grenades and other explosive military stores
  • fireworks and other pyrotechnics, e.g. Chinese lanterns, party poppers/sparklers, etc. (see guidance for Christmas crackers below)
  • smoke-generating canisters or cartridges
  • dynamite, gunpowder and plastic explosives
  • petrol
  • lighter fuel, lighter refills, 'Strike anywhere' matches, 'Blue flame' or 'Cigar' lighters (see guidance for cigarette lighters and safety matches below)
  • paints (excl. water-based artist paints or artists' oil paints), solvents, varnish, etc.
  • liquid oxygen systems (see guidance for oxygen cylinders required for medical use)



Christmas crackers

You can only take Christmas crackers on flights departing the UK provided they meet the following criteria:

  • The crackers must be commercially manufactured (homemade crackers are not permitted)
  • For personal use only
  • Max. two boxes per person in the manufacturer's original packaging and packed in your checked baggage (not in hand baggage)

You cannot take any Christmas crackers on flights departing the US. Rules may vary in other countries.



Cigarette lighters and safety matches

You can carry one small packet of safety matches or a small cigarette lighter that does not contain unabsorbed liquid fuel (other than liquefied gas) on your person but not in your hand or checked baggage. These items need to be for personal use.

Lighter fuel, lighter refills, 'Strike anywhere' matches, 'Blue flame' or 'Cigar' lighters are forbidden.



Camping stoves and fuel containers

Please contact us to get approval for camping stoves and fuel containers that have contained a flammable liquid fuel. Once approved, you can only take these items in your checked baggage with an empty fuel tank and/or fuel container.



Specimens with small quantities of flammable liquid

You can take non-infectious specimens packed with small quantities of flammable liquid in your hand or checked baggage provided they meet IATA Special Provision A180. Please contact us for details.

collapsedshowChemical items

Most corrosive and toxic substances are completely forbidden, including:

  • acids, bleaches and peroxide
  • phosphorous items
  • fertilisers, weed killers and insecticides



Ink and toner cartridges

  • On flights to or from the UK, ink and toner cartridges weighing more than 500g are only allowed in checked baggage.
  • On flights to or from the US, ink and toner cartridges weighing more than 453g (16oz) are completely forbidden.



Mercurial thermometers and barometers

If you're a representative of a government weather bureau or similar agency and need to carry mercurial thermometers or barometers, please contact us to get approval. You can then take these items in your hand baggage only. This excludes medical and clinical thermometers where separate guidance applies.



Chemical agent monitoring equipment

 

 

If you're a staff member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on official travel and need to carry chemical agent monitoring equipment, please contact us to get approval. You can then take it in your hand or checked baggage.

 

 

collapsedshowStunning devices

Devices designed specifically to stun or immobilise are completely forbidden, including:

  • devices for shocking, such as stun guns and stun batons
  • electro-shock weapons containing dangerous goods, such as explosives, compressed gases, lithium batteries, etc. (e.g. Tasers)
  • animal stunners and animal killers
  • disabling and incapacitating chemicals, gases and sprays, such as mace, pepper sprays, capsicum sprays, tear gas, acid sprays and animal repellent sprays
collapsedshowSharp objects

You can only take objects with a sharp point/edge which can be used to cause serious injury in your checked baggage (not on your person or in your hand baggage). Examples include:

  • items designed for chopping, such as axes, hatchets and cleavers
  • ice axes and ice picks
  • razor blades
  • box cutters
  • knives with blades of more than 6cm
  • scissors with blades of more than 6cm as measured from the fulcrum
  • martial arts equipment with a sharp point or sharp edge
  • swords and sabres 

However, you can take the following items in your hand or checked baggage:

  • knitting needles and crochet hooks
  • tweezers
  • disposable and cartridge razors (not loose blades)
collapsedshowTools

You can only take workmen's tools that can be used to either cause serious injury or threaten the safety of an aircraft in your checked baggage (not on your person or in your hand baggage). Examples include:

  • crowbars
  • drills and drill bits, including cordless portable power drills
  • tools with a blade or shaft of more than 6cm that can be used as a weapon, such as screwdrivers and chisels
  • saws, including cordless portable power saws
  • blowtorches
  • bolt guns and nail guns



Heat-producing items

Please contact us to get approval for any heat-producing items, such as underwater torches (diving lamps) and soldering irons. You can then take these items in your hand or checked baggage.

collapsedshowBlunt instruments

You can only take objects, which can be used to cause serious injury when used to hit, in your checked baggage (not on your person or in your hand baggage). Examples include:

  • baseball and softball bats
  • clubs and batons, such as billy clubs, blackjacks and night sticks
  • martial arts equipment

 Please remember to check that these items are allowed in the country of your destination.

collapsedshowSecurity-type cases

 

Security-type attaché cases, cash boxes, cash bags, etc. incorporating dangerous goods, such as lithium batteries and/or pyrotechnic material are completely forbidden.

 

collapsedshowOther prohibited items

 

To ensure the safety and security of our customers and our crew, we won't allow you to carry any other article, which the aerodrome manager or aircraft operator have reason to believe might be used or adapted for causing injury or incapacitation of a person, or endanger an aircraft.