Current hand luggage liquid regulations

As the cost of checked-in baggage rises, more and more of us are choosing to travel with just hand luggage. As a result, everything has to be packed in just one little case and must conform to current hand luggage restrictions.

Even for those travelling with hold luggage, the regulations covering flying with liquids in hand luggage can be confusing, so what can and can’t be packed in your hand luggage?

Firstly, with regard to hand luggage sizes, limits vary from airline to airline so it’s always best to check your airline's website before packing. However, as a general rule, the size of your hand luggage must be no bigger than 56cm long x 45cm wide x 25cm deep. 

Here are the current Government regulations on carrying liquid products in your hand luggage:

  • Each liquid product can be no more than 100ml - You can buy clear, empty bottles in most high street chemists which are suitable for decanting your shampoos, shower gels, etc., alternatively, most supermarkets and chemists sell 100ml travel-sized cosmetics. Containers larger than 100ml in size, even if their contents are only 100ml or less, will be confiscated
  • All liquid containers should be placed in one clear, re-sealable plastic bag measuring approximately 20cm x 20cm with a capacity of no more than 1 litre
  • It is best to have placed your liquids in the clear bag before you arrive at the airport. However, should you forget, there are clear bags for you to use just before security and passport control in most airports
  • Only one bag per person is allowed
  • The bag must be re-sealable, no knots or tie tops are allowed
  • The clear bag must be taken out of your hand luggage as it goes through the security scanners and may be checked by security staff.

Many travellers are also confused as to what is considered a liquid product. Liquid products that must conform to the current UK regulations are listed below:

  • All drinks including water, soups and syrups
  • Cosmetic and toiletries including lotions, creams, oils, perfumes, mascara and lipsticks
  • Sprays, including hairspray, shaving foam and deodorants
  • Pastes, such as toothpastes
  • Contact lenses solution
  • Any other water-based, liquid or runny product, such as jam or honey.

All medicines required for the period of your holiday may be permitted in quantities larger than 100ml but will require authentication – passengers must have obtained agreement with the airline and airport prior to departure and must bring supporting documentation with them from a relevant qualified medical professional.

Baby products
If you are travelling with a baby, baby milk and food may be carried in larger quantities, however, you will be required to test it when passing through security. At Gatwick, parents can order baby formula from Boots at both terminals, however this needs to be ordered at least 7 days in advance. Call Boots on the following numbers to arrange pick up:

North Terminal: 01293 569606

South Terminal: 01293 569353

Smokers please note: only 1 cigarette lighter will be allowed in your hand luggage and this must be placed in the one clear plastic bag along with your other liquid products.