Festive hand luggage travel tips advice, rules & regulations

Gatwick has reported that it will have its busiest ever Christmas this year, with around two million people passing through the airport over the festive period - more than 60,000 people will fly out of the airport on Sunday, 22 December alone.

As well as the usual busy run up to Christmas, Christmas Day this year is also set to be a busy day for people flying out of Gatwick, with a record 16,000 travellers flying on the big day.

So, in order to get you fully prepared, here’s some information surrounding the rules and regulations regarding the security on your festive hand luggage.

Travelling with Presents
If you’re travelling with Christmas presents then, where possible, try to pack them in your main hold luggage rather than your hand baggage. If you have to travel with them in your hand luggage, don't wrap them because if they are flagged up as they pass through security, then your beautifully wrapped presents will be ruined as you’ll be forced to un-wrap them for inspection by Security Officials.

There are also rules and regulations surrounding gifts allowed in your hand luggage.

Do be aware that seasonal gifts such as snow globes are considered liquid items, so to avoid any confiscation by Security Officials they should be packed securely in your main hold luggage.

Popular presents such as perfumes and aftershaves, and other toiletries are considered liquid items and so carry the same restrictions on quantities and packaging.

They cannot be more than 100ml and, as all liquid items must be placed in a clear, resealable plastic bag, gift sets cannot be carried through in their entirety and should be placed in your main hold luggage.

Also, many children’s toys are not allowed to be carried in your hand luggage such as:

  • toy guns
  • swords
  • or other imitation weapons
  • sports bats.

Equally, if you are carrying any sharp objects in hand luggage these will likely be confiscated, such as:

  • gardening secateurs
  • manicure sets
  • children’s arts & craft sets with scissors.

Party, Party, Party
Many people, when they are away for Christmas and New Year, still want to celebrate with a ‘bang’. However, please remember that items such as party poppers and crackers contain explosives and cannot be carried on an aircraft – not in your main luggage or hand luggage. They are banned, prohibited items and any attempt to travel with them could pose a huge security threat.

Festive Food
Remember, that you cannot take liquid items through security that are 100ml or more. This includes drinks and refreshments and other such ‘runny’ foodstuffs. However, there are no such restrictions on solid foods. Therefore, you can travel with snacks and picnics.

Many ‘solid’ festive foods can be packed in your hand luggage:

  • Christmas puddings
  • Christmas cakes
  • mince pies.

However, ‘liquid’ accompaniments are not allowed, such as:

  • brandy butter
  • cream
  • custard.