Protective measures

You’ll see changes at every step of the journey when you fly with us, with protective measures on the ground and in the air. Your safety remains at the heart of everything we do.
Find out more

Some descriptions and images may not represent our current available services as we respond to COVID-19.

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, powders 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:

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

Hand baggage requirements

Toiletries, medicines and aerosols

Alcoholic drinks

You can take up to 5 litres of alcoholic beverages between 24% - 70% alcohol volume in either hand baggage (if purchased in the airport duty free shop) or checked baggage.

Each bottle or container can contain a maximum of 5 litres.

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.

Duty-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.

Food

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.

Insulated packaging with liquid nitrogen

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. Please print a copy of this page from ba.com and carry it with the dry shipper.

Batteries, electric and electronic devices

Lithium ion/metal batteries

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 manufacturers instructions.

For Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro devices which are currently subject to a safety recall, one device per customer may be carried in cabin baggage. The device must be switched off and not recharged on-board the aircraft.

General Information

You can take with you for your own personal use, up to 15 battery operated Personal Electronic Devices that contain lithium batteries such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, cameras, music players etc.

Please always ensure that you:

Note: If the watt hour (Wh) rating is not shown on the battery or its Wh rating cannot be determined, then the battery cannot be accepted. You can use the following formula to calculate the Wh rating; Milliamp hour rating/1000 multiplied by the voltage equals Wh.

Batteries of up to 100Wh as used 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

Important note: If your hand 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
  • Kept in the device
  • No spares

Lithium Ion Batteries of 100 - 160Wh such as those used in video or portable medical equipment and portable medical devices such as a defibrillator with a Lithium Metal (non-rechargeable) content of a maximum of 8g.

British Airways give ‘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 cabin baggage
  • Devices with batteries installed can travel in cabin baggage and must be protected from accidental activation.
  • Maximum of 2 spare lithium batteries per person (incl. power banks) kept in original packaging or terminals insulated/protected from short circuit.
In checked baggage
  • Devices with batteries installed can travel in checked baggage and must be protected from accidental activation.
  • Spare batteries are forbidden in checked baggage.

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.

Batteries over 160Wh as used in car batteries, underwater lamps etc.
In hand/checked baggage
  • Not possible to take with you

Fuel 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 baggage only.

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

Battery operated wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids

If your wheelchair, scooter or mobility aid is battery-operated, you should 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

Security 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:

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

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.

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.

Sports equipment

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

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

Find out more about allowed sports equipment in your baggage

Small Vehicles Powered by Lithium Batteries

Due to the potential fire risk, all small vehicles powered by lithium batteries; such as hover boards, air wheels, solo wheels, Segways, skateboards, e-scooters, e-bikes and hover karts are strictly prohibited.

(The restriction does not apply to battery operated wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other mobility aids meant for use by a person with reduced mobility)

Avalanche rescue backpacks

British Airways give ‘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;

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

** A few airports security departments may not allow these devices in cabin baggage, you will need to check with the airport.

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.

Gas cartridges in various sporting items

Self-inflating Safety Devices

British Airways give '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;

* A few airports security departments may not allow these devices in cabin baggage, you will need to check with the airport.

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

* A few airports security departments may not allow these devices in cabin baggage, you will need to check with the airport.

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.

E-cigarettes

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

Important note: If your hand baggage is checked in or removed at the gate and placed in the hold, you must remove the e-cigarettes and carry them with you in the cabin.

Umbrellas 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

Gas 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.

Medical or clinical thermometers

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

Lamps

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.

Dry ice

British Airways give ‘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;

Permeation 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).

Internal 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 to get approval.

Prohibited items

The below items are prohibited but there are some exceptions.

Firearms and ammunition

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, and ammunition are prohibited for carriage on either your person or in your hand baggage. These items may only be carried in your checked baggage and in most cases, will require notification and approval in advance.

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

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



Notify us before you fly

You must contact us at least 72 hours before your flight to request approval and 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:



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



How to pack your firearms and 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 airports

Explosives 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:

Christmas crackers

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.



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 ‘operator approval’ for each passenger to carry a camping stove and fuel container that have contained a flammable liquid fuel (flammable gas cylinders are forbidden) subject to the following conditions;



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.

Chemical items

Most corrosive and toxic substances are completely forbidden, including:


Ink and toner cartridges



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.

Stunning devices

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

Sharp 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:

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

Tools

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:


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.

Blunt 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:

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

Security-type cases

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

Please contact us for details.

Other 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.