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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.
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:
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.
Please see the hand baggage requirements section above for information about taking liquids in your hand baggage through the security check areas. Once you enter the departures area (airside) alcohol can be purchased in quantities up to 5l.
You can take up to 5l alcoholic drinks per person in your checked baggage, provided they are in their retail packaging and max. 70% alcohol by volume. Each bottle or container can contain max. 5l.
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.
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.
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.
Please always ensure that you:
Lithium ion/metal batteries of up to 100Wh
(e.g. in mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, etc.)
|In hand baggage||
|In checked baggage||
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||
|In checked baggage||
Lithium ion/metal batteries over 160Wh
(e.g. in electric bikes, Segways, car batteries, underwater lamps, etc.)
|In hand/checked baggage||
Security-type equipment containing lithium batteries
|In checked baggage only|
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 max. 12V or max. 100Wh. You can also take max. two spare batteries.
If your wheelchair or mobility aid is battery-operated, you will need to contact us to get approval.
You can generally take electric and electronic items in your hand or checked baggage, but need to follow specific safety instructions:
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'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:
If the Wh rating of the Lithium battery / Power Bank is more than 160 Wh, 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 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.
Some sports and recreational equipment, such as guns, sharp or blunt objects like bats, also falls under the prohibited items category.
You can't take the following items in either your hand or checked baggage:
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.
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.
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:
This applies to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including e-cigars, e-pipes and other personal vaporisers:
You can take umbrellas and walking sticks (excl. hiking poles) in either your hand or checked baggage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 to get approval.
The below items are prohibited but there are some exceptions.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
You can only take Christmas crackers on flights departing the UK provided they meet the following criteria:
You cannot take any Christmas crackers on flights departing the US. Rules may vary in other countries.
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.
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.
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.
Most corrosive and toxic substances are completely forbidden, including:
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.
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.
Devices designed specifically to stun or immobilise are completely forbidden, including:
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:
However, you can take the following items in your hand or checked baggage:
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:
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.
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:
Please remember to check that these items are allowed in 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 completely forbidden.
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.