Categories: Traveling

A Guide To Air Travel Hand Luggage Rules

In recent years there have been a number of changes at our airports, mainly concerning increased security measures. Nowadays there are strict rules in place about what you can and can’t carry in your luggage.

Luggage size and type
Unlike hold baggage where you have to check it in, hand baggage is luggage that you can carry and have on the plane with you.

Until 29th April 2010, there was a maximum size and weight of hand luggage set in place by the Department for Transport. Nowadays the guidelines are set individually by each airline operator so it’s best to find out directly from them what the rules and restrictions are. Generally speaking though, hand luggage limits are usually:

Weight: anywhere from 5kg to 15kg

Size: anything from 45cm x 35cm x 20cm (100cm) to as big as 55cm x 40cm x 23cm (118cm)

What you can take onboard with you
NB: The below list is for air travel in general and does not refer to specific airlines, so it’s always advisable to double-check with your operator.


Liquids are the main subjects that have suffered following recent changes in airport security. Now, it is advisable that you pack your liquids in your hold luggage where possible as there are restrictions on the amount you can take in your hand luggage:

–          Containers are no larger than 100ml

–          Must be carried in a transparent, re-sealable bag that holds no more than a litre (roughly 20x20cm

–          Each passenger is allowed only one bag

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Laptops/electrical items

You are allowed to take electrical items such as laptops, tablets, hairdryers etc in your hand luggage but they all have to removed and screened by an X-ray machine.

Essential medical equipment

You can bring any medical equipment that you need for your journey with you on the plane. It will be screened and will need a supporting letter from your doctor.

Baby milk and food

You can take baby food, milk and sterilised water in your hand baggage on the plane with you. The quantity allowed is enough for the journey- even if this impedes the 100ml liquid allowance. Parents may be asked to taste the food and liquids for verification.


Most people assume that they can’t take a lighter on a flight with you but this is not true. You are allowed one lighter per person but as they are deemed as liquids, they must be placed inside the sealed transparent liquids bag.

Smart Luggage are one of the UK’s largest online retailers of luggage and travel products

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