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Rules Surrounding Presents and Gifts in Hand Luggage

For those of you lucky enough to be jetting off this festive season, don't forget that hand luggage rules still apply to Christmas presents. 

Confused? Well, you're not alone. Many holidaymakers over the festive season are left wondering about the security issues surrounding presents and gifts in hand luggage; many are unfortunate enough to have gifts and festive items confiscated at security. So, in an easy to understand guide, here's a breakdown of the current dos and don'ts for your Christmas Hand Luggage: 

  • Presents need to adhere to the same strict rules and regulations as any other piece of hand luggage and whilst you can take gift-wrapped presents through security, you must be aware that, should airport security feel the need to investigate your package, they have the right to unwrap your beautiful parcel.
  • It’s advisable to leave presents carried in your hand luggage unwrapped
  • No sharp objects are allowed, for example nail scissors or tweezers in manicure sets and razors in toiletry gift sets. 
  • All liquid goods, such as toiletries, aftershaves and perfumes, make up etc., must be no larger than 100ml. They must also be placed in a resealable plastic bag measuring no more than 20cm x 20cm, and only one bag is allowed per passenger. 
  • Remember, nail varnishes, shower gels, make items such as lipstick and mascara - all popular items within gift packs - are considered liquid items. 
  • Liquid goods also includes runny and wet food products, so if you are packing chutneys, cranberry sauce, brandy butter, mincemeat and liquors they must adhere to the 100ml liquid ruling. 
  • Snow globes are regarded as liquid items and will be confiscated at security.
  • You are also not allowed to carry party poppers in your luggage (hand or checked-in) as these are deemed explosive items. 
  • The rules surrounding Christmas crackers are confusing, with some airlines refusing to permit them in hand or checked-in baggage, while others allow them to be carried, but specify maximum quantities and whether they must be in hold or cabin baggage, so always check with your airlline first.
  • Don't forget, there are plenty of shops in the Departure Lounge, many of which offer gift wrapping over the festive season. Items bought after security do not have to adhere to the same strict hand-luggage rules, although you must not open them until you have reached your final destination.
  • If you want to travel with liquid items in quantities of more than 100ml, place them in your checked-in baggage
  • If you want to travel with a wrapped gifts then it is advisable to place them in your main hold luggage. Alternatively, you could place the present in an open gift bag – just as pretty and easily inspected by airport officials. 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!