Restricted and prohibited items

Many items are restricted, controlled or completely prohibited onboard our aircraft due to international law, aircraft safety or regulations at your destination.

Looking for something else? Visit our baggage hub

Always check local country, airport and airline rules before you fly.

In the UK – Check with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In the US – Check with the Transport Security Administration (TSA).

You must contact us in advance if you need clarification of the regulations or require airline approval when planning to travel with restricted or controlled items.

Liquids, creams, powders and aerosols

You can take these items on the plane in your checked baggage, but most countries have restrictions on the types and quantity you may take into the cabin in your hand baggage.

You are strongly advised to check the hand baggage requirements below that contain important security information.

  • 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.*
  • Aerosols are allowed to be carried into the cabin but cannot be used on board.
  • In the UK and EU liquids, aerosols or gels are screened using special equipment and you may be asked to open them. Taste or skin tests of these items are no longer carried out. If you're travelling outside the UK and EU, please check applicable safety requirements.
  • If you are flying to the US, there is a limit of 350g (12 oz) on powdered items that may travel in your hand baggage, such as cosmetics, spices, powdered milk, flour, sugar, coffee or similar. Passengers who wish to travel with more than this limit must pack these items into their hold baggage.
  • If you are flying from Australia, any inorganic powders in hand baggage must be carried in containers that do not exceed 350ml (12 oz) or 350g (12 oz) per person.
  • Kenya has a strict ban on plastic bags in the country, therefore we recommend you travel with a thicker, clear, re-useable polyurethane bag that fits the 20cm x 20cm maximum dimensions and seals closed. If you use a disposable plastic bag, discard it on board the flight or at a customs check point on arrival. The airport security area will have small liquids bags available for your journey out the country.

*With the installation of advanced imaging scanners at London City Airport, you’re able to leave liquids and electronics in your hand baggage when going through security. This includes liquids and gels in containers of up to two litres, as well as laptops and tablets.

You can take the following items, for personal use, in your checked baggage:

  • Toiletry items and aerosols such as hairsprays, perfumes and colognes.
  • Non-flammable, non-toxic aerosols for home or sporting use.
  • Medicines (non-radioactive), including those containing alcohol.

How much can you take?

Under the IATA’s (International Air Transport Association) Dangerous Goods regulations, each person may carry the below weights in their baggage.

  • Weight per individual item: Max 500g (1lb)
  • Weight per person: 2kg (4 ½lbs)
  • Volume per individual item: Max 500ml (17fl. oz)
  • Volume per person: 2 litres (70fl. oz)

You must ensure the seals and lids on toiletries and medicines are secure, and spray valves on any aerosols are protected to prevent accidental release of the contents into your baggage in the aircraft hold.

If you’re travelling with essential medical supplies like dialysis fluid, that’s packed in a separate bag and checked into the hold, you're able to take more than the standard amount listed above. To do this, you’ll need an official medical letter signed and dated by your personal medical practitioner.

More about travelling with medicines or medical equipment

There's no limit on the number of alcoholic beverages you can travel with as long as their alcohol volume is below 24%.

You can bring up to five litres of alcohol with an alcohol volume between 24% and 70%. This can travel in your cabin bag if you purchased it in the airport duty-free shop, or you can pack in your checked baggage.

Drinks above 70% alcohol volume are not permitted on board our aircraft in either checked baggage or hand baggage.

Please see the hand baggage requirements section above for information about taking liquids in your hand baggage through the security check areas.

You can buy duty-free liquids, gels or cream products of more than 100ml from airport shops or on board when you have a connecting flight, 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, where airport staff 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.

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). Be aware that there are no facilities to warm or refrigerate anything that you bring onboard.

We don’t serve peanuts on board our flights, due to the number of customers with allergies, and we ask that you do not bring them into the cabin.

Infant milk and baby food

If you are travelling with an infant, you are allowed to carry as much infant milk, baby food, powdered milk formula and sterilised water, stored in a baby bottle, as required for your trip, even if this exceeds the usual limit on liquids.

These specific items do not need to fit in the transparent bag for presenting liquids as you go through search points, but you should have them ready for inspection by airport security.

Some airports, including Heathrow Airport, have a policy that permits parents to travel with up to 2 litres of liquid expressed breast milk in transparent containers, even when they're travelling without their baby.

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 UK government website.

In accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 2.3.5.10 this item does not require operator approval. 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

For your own personal use you can take up to 15 battery-operated Personal Electronic Devices (PED) that containing lithium batteries such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, cameras, music players, smart baggage tags (e.g. Apple AirTag).

Please always ensure that:

  • All battery-powered devices are packed to prevent accidental activation.
  • Spare batteries are protected from short circuits 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 and carried in the cabin.
  • You don't take any damaged batteries or electrical equipment with you.

Please note: If the watt hour (Wh) rating is not shown on the battery or cannot be determined, then the battery cannot be accepted onboard. You can use the following formula to calculate the Wh rating:

  • Milliamp hour rating/1000 multiplied by the voltage equals Wh.

In hand baggage

  • Must be 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.

Important note: If your cabin bag is checked in or removed at the gate and placed in the hold, you must remove all spare batteries and power banks and carry them with you in the cabin.

In checked baggage

  • Must be kept in the device.
  • The device must be completely switched off (not in sleep or hibernation mode).
  • Smart luggage tags (e.g. Apple AirTag) may remain energised provided the device contains only lithium batteries not exceeding: 
    • Lithium metal content must not exceed 0.3g of lithium
    • Lithium-ion batteries must not exceed 2.7Wh
  • Spare batteries are forbidden in checked baggage and must be carried in the cabin.

As well as portable medical devices such as a defibrillator with a Lithium Metal (non-rechargeable) content of a maximum of 8g.

British Airways give automatic ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry lithium batteries used in larger portable electronic devices subject to the following conditions

  • Maximum two devices per person with a battery installed.
  • Maximum of two spare batteries per person (incl. power banks) kept in original packaging or terminals insulated/protected from short circuit.
  • For your convenience, you must pack a copy of this page with the devices and spare batteries to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry them.
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying this item.

In hand baggage

  • Devices with batteries installed can travel in cabin baggage and must be protected from accidental activation.
  • Maximum of two spare lithium batteries per person (incl. power banks) kept in original packaging or terminals insulated/protected from short circuits.
  • Important note: If your cabin baggage is checked in or removed at the gate and placed in the hold, you must remove all spare batteries and power banks and carry them with you in the cabin.

In checked baggage

  • Devices with batteries installed can travel in checked baggage and must be protected from accidental activation.
  • The device must be completely switched off (not in sleep or hibernation mode).
  • Spare batteries are forbidden in checked baggage.

In hand/checked baggage

  • These are not possible to take with you.

Product safety recall information

If a product that contains a lithium battery is subject to a safety recall related to the battery, it must not be carried aboard an aircraft unless the recalled product/component has been replaced or repaired in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

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 baggage only.

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 12 volts or less and 100Wh or less. You can also take a maximum of two spare batteries.

If your wheelchair, mobility scooter or mobility aid is battery-operated, you must let us know in advance and register your mobility aid by logging in to your booking in Manage My Booking then choosing ‘Disability and Assistance’ from the ‘Service Requests’ section in Quick Links at the bottom of the page.

More about battery-operated wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids

You can generally take electric and electronic items in your hand or checked baggage, but you 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, 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.
  • Items not allowed on our aircraft will be held by Bagport, who operate the lost property office in London Heathrow. You will be given a Bagport reference so that you can contact them directly for details of how to retrieve your item through their MailAndFly service.

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.

Smart Baggage is a bag (rucksack, suitcase or similar) that contains a lithium battery/power bank. This device is used to recharge Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) i.e. iPhones, iPads, laptops etc. or provide electro-motive power that provides propulsion to the suitcase.

Please note: this does not include small lithium button cell batteries.

If the lithium battery/power bank cannot be readily removed from Smart Baggage by the customer, the Smart Bag will not be accepted on the flight.

If you can easily remove the lithium battery/power bank, the Smart Bag is permitted for carriage, subject to the following conditions:

  • Lithium battery/power banks up to and including 100Wh are acceptable for carriage.
  • Lithium battery/power banks of more than 100Wh up to 160Wh, please see the information in the lithium batteries section for approval.

If the Wh rating of the lithium battery/power bank is more than 160Wh, or the Wh rating cannot be determined (e.g. not marked on the battery/power bank case) the lithium battery/power bank will not be accepted on the flight.

  • If the Smart Baggage is to be checked in and will travel in the hold, the lithium battery/power bank must be removed and carried in the cabin (terminals protected against short circuit).
  • If the Smart Baggage is to be carried in the cabin, you must be able to easily remove the lithium battery/power bank, but it can remain in the bag.

If you are bringing Smart Baggage with you, please ensure that you are aware of our security requirements.

If your flight is operated by one of our partner airlines, please contact that airline to ensure you are aware of their Smart Baggage restrictions.

Sports and recreational items

Some sports and recreational equipment, such as sporting guns, sharp or blunt objects like bats, are also in the restricted and prohibited items category further down the page.

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

  • Javelins and pole vaults
  • Hang gliders
  • Canoes or kayaks and paddles over 190 cm in length
  • Windsurfing boards and sails

These items may be sent as cargo with our partner IAG Cargo.

Find out more about allowed sports equipment in your baggage.

 

Due to the potential fire risk, all small electric leisure vehicles powered by lithium batteries are strictly prohibited on board, either in the cabin or as checked baggage.

This includes, but is not limited to, hover boards, air wheels, solo wheels, Segways, e-skateboards, electric scooters or e-scooters, e-bikes and hover karts.

If you bring one to the airport with you, it will not be accepted for travel, and you will need to arrange and pay for it to be disposed of or taken away.

The restriction does not apply to battery-operated wheelchairs, seated mobility scooters and other mobility aids for use by a person with reduced mobility.

British Airways give automatic ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry one avalanche rescue pack containing cartridges of compressed gas* (IATA Division 2.2 non-flammable, non-toxic gas) subject to the following conditions;

  • You can only take one rescue pack per person containing cartridges which must remain in the device. 
  • Spare cartridges are NOT permitted.
  • The airbags within the rescue pack must be fitted with pressure relief valves.
  • The device may be equipped with pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing no more than 200mg net explosive of per IATA Division 1.4S (no significant hazard).
  • You must pack it in a way that ensures it cannot be accidentally activated.
  • This item should travel in your checked baggage as some airports do not allow them in the cabin.
  • For your convenience, you must pack a copy of this page with the device to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry the rescue pack.
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying this item.

* For battery operated avalanche rescue backpacks, please see the section for lithium batteries.

Please note: Additional restrictions apply if you're travelling to/from the US. The current FAA advice states: ‘These devices typically contain a cylinder of compressed nonflammable gas. Some models also contain a small explosive charge (squib) to release the cylinder contents. Although these are allowed in checked baggage by international (ICAO/IATA) regulations, these devices are not allowed in baggage in the U.S. unless the gas cylinder is empty and there is no explosive charge.'

Self-inflating safety devices

British Airways give automatic 'operator approval' for each passenger to carry two self-inflating safety devices such as a life jacket or vest, or a motorcycle jacket, or an equestrian jacket subject to the following conditions:

  • Limited to compressed gas (IATA Division 2.2 non-flammable, non-toxic gas) for inflation purposes.
  • You can only take two self-inflating devices per person containing up to two small cartridges per device.
  • You are permitted up to two small spare cartridges packed with the device.
  • You must pack it in a way that ensures it cannot be accidentally activated.
  • This item should travel in your checked baggage as some airports do not allow them in the cabin.
  • For your convenience you must pack a copy of this page with the device to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry the self-inflating safety device.
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying these items.

Please note: Additional restrictions apply if you're travelling from the US. Even if an item is permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Other devices containing gas cartridges

British Airways give automatic ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry small gas cartridges (for bicycle pumps, wine dispenser etc.) subject to the following conditions:

  • You can take four ‘small’ cartridges per person.
  • The water capacity of each cartridge must not exceed 50ml (a carbon dioxide cartridge with 50ml capacity of water is equivalent to a 28g cartridge).
  • Limited to compressed gas (IATA Division 2.2 non-flammable, non-toxic gas) for inflation purposes.
  • You must pack the cartridges so that they cannot be accidentally activated.
  • This item should travel in your checked baggage as some airports do not allow them in the cabin.
  • For your convenience, you must pack a copy of this page with the cartridges to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry the device/cartridges. 
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying this item.

Please note: Additional restrictions apply if you're travelling from the US. Even if an item is permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Other restricted items

Smoking, including the use of personal vaporisers such as vapes, e-cigarettes, e-pipes or any other smoking tool or device, is completely prohibited on board our aircraft, as well as in many airports around the world.

For safety, any smoking/vaping device must be placed in your hand baggage and carried in the cabin. They must also be packaged to prevent accidental activation.

If there are any liquid components to vaporisers, you need to follow aviation security requirements for liquids.

Important note: If you check in your larger cabin bag, or it is removed at the gate to be placed in the hold, you must remove vapes, e-cigarettes or any other smoking devices and carry them with you in the cabin in your smaller hand bag, or on your person for safety.

National laws for using and selling smoking/vaping devices change frequently and some countries have banned their use and import altogether. Please check your destination’s local regulations before you travel.

You can take small foldable umbrellas and walking sticks (excluding hiking poles and other items with sharp ends) in your hand  baggage.

Items with sharp ends, such as hiking poles, must be packed in your checked baggage.

You can take hair-styling devices 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 these devices in your hand or checked baggage.

You can take only one medical or clinical thermometer containing mercury in your 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

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.

British Airways give automatic ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry up to 2.5kgs of dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) when used to pack non-hazardous perishables subject to the following conditions:

  • You can take a maximum of 2.5kg dry ice per person in your cabin or checked baggage.
  • If you pack the dry ice in your checked baggage, you must mark or label the bag with the words '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 in the bag/package.
  • The package must permit the release of carbon dioxide gas to allow venting.
  • For your convenience, you must pack a copy of this page with the dry ice to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry the dry ice.  
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying this item.

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).

You need to have approval in advance if you want to take internal combustion or fuel cell engines on board. They can only be carried in your checked baggage and must be completely purged of fuel and fuel vapour. 

Contact the British Airways Safety Team

If you require additional information regarding your item, or you require approval to bring your item on a flight, please contact our Safety Team. Please allow two UK working days for a reply and remember to supply us with your booking reference.

Email our safety team

Prohibited or controlled items

The items below are prohibited but there are some exceptions.

The following are prohibited for carriage on either your person or in your hand baggage:

Guns, firearms and other devices that discharge projectiles and devices capable, or appearing capable, of being used to cause serious injury by discharging a projectile, including:

  • Firearms of all types, such as pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns
  • Toy guns, 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
  • Bows, cross bows and arrows
  • Harpoon guns and spear guns
  • Slingshots and catapults

You can travel with the following types of firearms as checked baggage under very specific conditions:

  • 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 & magazines
  • Compressed air and CO2 guns, such as pistols, pellet guns, rifles and ball-bearing guns
  • Signal flare pistols and starter pistols

These items may only be carried in your checked baggage and require notification and approval from British Airways in advance. You must contact us at least 72 hours before you fly to request approval and to comply with any government embargoes and any government or airport restrictions. If you don’t contact us, your equipment won’t be allowed onboard.

You 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.

If you are travelling to Brazil, only firearms being used for shooting competitions can be taken into the country. Firearms for hunting are not permitted. Passengers must apply for a permit to import the firearm at least 30 days before their travel date.

The following items are not classified as firearms or ammunition and you can pack them in your checked baggage without having to notify us:

  • Laser pistols
  • Toy guns
  • 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 request approval; if you fail to notify us, you will not be able to travel with your equipment.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • The airports that you are flying from and to
  • The number 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.

Limits and charges

  • Some airports are restricted on their permissions to handle specific types of firearm – contact us to check
  • 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 £125 charge each way, payable at check-in, 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 together 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 and Croatia).
  • Be aware that any bag packed with personal items as well as your firearm and/or ammunition must not contain liquids in containers over 100ml or other items prohibited in hand baggage, as it has to go through the hand baggage security checks.
  • If you're travelling to/from South Africa, Italy, or from Romania, check in your firearms and ammunition in individual locked cases, separate from any checked bag with your personal belongings. In this instance, you will not be charged an extra baggage fee for the separate ammunition case if you exceed your free baggage allowance.
  • When travelling from Croatia, firearms must be packed in a locked case, separate from ammunition and personal items that can be packed together in another locked case. In this instance, you will not be charged an extra bag fee for one of these cases if you go over your free checked baggage allowance. You will still need to pay the required firearm/ammunition fee for each case containing a firearm or ammunition and extra bag charges for any further bags that exceed your free checked bag 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.

You must declare that you are travelling with firearms and/or ammunition at the check-in desk.

Connecting between different terminals at an airport

If you are connecting between different terminals at a UK airport, please allow at least three hours between flights.

Connecting between different airports

British Airways does not offer a connecting service for travelling with firearms between UK airports.

If you're connecting between different UK airports, you must ensure that you have the appropriate licences/permissions to be in possession of a firearm in the UK and you must make your own arrangements for the transfer of your firearms to your connecting flight. Please allow more than the recommended minimum connection time.

Contact us

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, including sky lanterns, party poppers and sparklers and Christmas crackers.
  • Smoke-generating canisters or cartridges
  • Dynamite, gunpowder and plastic explosives
  • Petrol, solid fuel fire lighters, fuel blocks for camping stoves, cylinders containing flammable gas.
  • Lighter fuel, lighter refills, 'Strike anywhere' matches, 'Blue flame' or 'Cigar' lighters. See guidance for cigarette lighters and safety matches below.
  • Paints, excluding products like water-based artist paints or artists' oil paints, solvents and varnish.
  • Liquid oxygen systems (see guidance for oxygen cylinders required for medical use)

Christmas crackers

Festive crackers cannot be carried in your hand baggage as they contain a restricted substance. They must be packed into your checked baggage and put in the hold. They are also prohibited on all flights to and from the USA.

You can only take Christmas crackers on flights departing the UK if:

  • Your crackers are commercially manufactured and in their original unopened packaging. Homemade crackers are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • You’re travelling with a maximum of two boxes per person, with a total of 12 crackers per box, for personal use only.
  • Your crackers are packed in your checked baggage and carried in the hold. For flights departing from the USA, check the latest TSA guidelines. Rules vary in other countries.

Party poppers, sparklers and sky lanterns

Party poppers and sparklers are not allowed on any British Airways’ aircraft in either hand baggage or checked hold baggage as they are classed as fireworks.

Sky lanterns, sometimes known as Chinese lanterns, are not allowed onto any British Airways’ aircraft in either your hand baggage or checked hold baggage as they contain a chemical pad that could ignite. They are banned in many 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

British Airways give automatic ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry a camping stove and an empty flammable liquid fuel container in their checked baggage, subject to the following conditions:

  • Flammable gas cylinders are forbidden.
  • The fuel tank and/or fuel container must be completely drained of all liquid fuel and action has been taken to nullify the danger.
    • The empty fuel tank and/or fuel container must be allowed to drain for one hour. 
    • The fuel tank and/or fuel container must be left uncapped for six hours to allow any residual fuel to evaporate. If the tank smells of fuel, it cannot travel.
    • Alternative methods such as adding cooking oil to the fuel tank and/or fuel container to elevate the flashpoint of any residual fuel and then emptying the tank are also acceptable.
    • The empty fuel tank and/or fuel container must have the cap securely fastened and be wrapped in an absorbent material such as paper towel and placed in a polythene or equivalent bag. The top of the bag must be sealed or gathered and closed with an elastic band or twine.
  • For your convenience, you must pack a copy of this page with the fuel tank and/or fuel container to identify that you have our ‘operator approval’ to carry the camping stove.
  • You do NOT need to contact the airline or inform staff at the airport that you are carrying this item.

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.

Contact the British Airways Safety Team

If you require additional information regarding your item, or you require approval to bring your item on a flight, please contact our Safety Team. Please allow two UK working days for a reply and remember to supply us with your booking reference.

Email our safety team

Most corrosive and toxic chemical substances are completely forbidden onboard, including:

  • Acids, bleaches and peroxide
  • Phosphorous items
  • Fertilisers, weed killers and insecticides

Ink and toner cartridges

  • On flights to or from the UK, not including a US airport, ink and toner cartridges weighing more than 500g (18oz) are only allowed in checked baggage, in the hold, in their original packaging.
  • 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 (OPCW) 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.

Contact the British Airways Safety Team

If you require additional information regarding your item, or you require approval to bring your item on a flight, please contact our Safety Team. Please allow two UK working days for a reply and remember to supply us with your booking reference.

Email our safety team

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.

Any item with a sharp point or cutting edge that could cause serious injury must be packed safely in your checked baggage in the hold. These items are not permitted in the cabin either on your person or in your hand/cabin baggage. Examples include:

  • Items designed for chopping, such as axes, hatchets and cleavers
  • Ice axes and ice picks
  • Loose razor blades
  • Box cutters
  • Knives with blades of more than 6cm
  • Traditional ceremonial knives such as the Scottish Skean Dhu (Sgian Dubh), the Sikh Kirpan or the Gurkha Kukris
  • 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)

You can only take trade 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.

Contact the British Airways Safety Team

If you require additional information regarding your item, or you require approval to bring your item on a flight, please contact our Safety Team. Please allow two UK working days for a reply and remember to supply us with your booking reference.

Email our safety team

Objects that can cause serious injury when used to hit can only be taken in your checked baggage. These are not permitted 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 check that these items are allowed to be brought into the country of your destination.

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

Contact the British Airways Safety Team

If you require additional information regarding your item, or you require approval to bring your item on a flight, please contact our Safety Team. Please allow two UK working days for a reply and remember to supply us with your booking reference.

Email our safety team

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