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Hand Baggage

Rules and regulations for Hand Baggage

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Watch this short video and read the guidance below to see what you can and can’t pack in your hand luggage, how to prepare to save you time and what to expect at Southampton Airport security.

How many bags am I allowed?

If your airline allows it, you may take more than one item of hand baggage through security control at Southampton. However, please check with your airline, as some operate additional limits.

What size should my bag be?

Your airline may enforce restrictions on the size and number of cabin bags. Please contact your airline for further information.

What liquids can I bring onboard?

There are legal restrictions on packing liquids in hand luggage. The following restrictions apply to all liquids, creams, gels, pastes, including bottled drinks, food products, lotions, fragrances, cosmetics and toiletries.

  • Containers carrying liquids must be no bigger than 100ml in size. Liquids in containers over 100ml in size will not be permitted (even if the container is only part full).
  • Liquids must be presented for screening in a single bag which is:
  1. Transparent and resealable
  2. No larger than 20cm x 20cm (8in x 8in)
  3. Able to close comfortably with all the items inside.
  • Only one bag of liquids is permitted per passenger.

Please note: clear bags are available at the airport free of charge.

The following exceptions may be made to the 100ml rule:

  • Baby food or baby milk: Please carry only what you need for your journey. Additional tests may be conducted.
  • Liquid medicines: You may be asked to provide evidence that you need them for your journey. Additional tests may be conducted.
  • Duty Free Liquids: Purchased at an EU Airport or on board a flight operated by an EU registered airline that are accompanied by the original receipt and are carried in a sealed unopened Security Tamper Evidence Bag.

Can I bring a lighter onboard?

You can only carry 1 lighter on board. You should put it inside a resealable plastic bag (same as liquids under 100ml) which you must keep on you throughout the flight. You cannot;

  • put it in your hold luggage
  • put it in your hand luggage screening

Can I bring food and powders onboard?

Food items and powders in your hand luggage can obstruct images on x-ray machines. Your bags may need to be checked again manually by security. You can put these items in your hold luggage to minimise delays.

How will my baggage be screened?

Both you and your hand baggage will be screened at security control. Your bag, personal belongings and some clothing items will need to be put into a tray and screened by X-ray.

  • Laptops and large electrical items must be removed from your bag and placed in your tray separately from your other items.
  • Put coins, keys, mobile phones and other small items in your coat or hand baggage.
  • Place your hand baggage, coat and belt into a tray.
  • Place any liquid items, correctly bagged and sealed, into the tray, separate from your other items.
  • Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs will also be subject to search.

To save time, we advise you to only place items required for the flight in your hand baggage.

Carrying Gifts

  • Avoid wrapping gifts. Security staff may wish to view them, and so may need to unwrap them.
  • Never carry anything on to an aircraft for anyone else

What items are banned from bringing in hand luggage?

The following items may not be carried in hand baggage.

  • Sharp items. This includes knives (with blades over 6cm), razor blades, box cutters, scissors (with blades over 6cm from fulcrim), axes, hatchets, cleavers, ice axes, ice picks, swords, sabres and sharp or pointed martial arts equipment.
  • Projectile-firing weapons. These include firearms, toy guns, replica/imitation guns, firearm parts (except telescopic sights), airguns, pellet guns, BB guns, flare guns, starting pistols, bows or crossbows, arrows, harpoon guns, spear guns, slingshots and catapults.
  • Stunning devices and incapacitating devices. Including stun guns, stun batons, tasers, animal killers, incapacitating chemicals, gases and sprays such as pepper sprays, acid sprays and animal repellent sprays.
  • Tools. This includes crowbars, drills, power drills and drill bits, saws, blowtorches, bolt guns, nail guns, or any tool with a blade or shaft over 6cm (eg screwdrivers or chisels).
  • Blunt instruments. This includes baseball/softball bats, clubs, batons  and martial arts equipment.
  • Dangerous goods. These include flammable or harmful substances such as gases, oxidisers, poisons and hazardous biological or chemical material. A single cigarette lighter may be carried on your person.

Additionally we may prevent any item considered to pose a security or safety risk from passing through security. If you are in any doubt about a particular item within your hand baggage, we recommend you to pack it in your hold baggage instead.

Please visit our Security FAQs page for further information.

Airport Shopping

For most destinations, anything you buy after security control can be taken on board the aircraft.

This includes bottled drinks, fragrances and cosmetics in sizes over 100ml.

Please note the following exceptions:


Liquids in containers over 100ml may not be taken on these flights.

Connecting flights after Aberdeen

For some destinations, restrictions apply on the sale of liquids if you're stopping en route after Southampton.

This is because you'll have to pass through security at the connecting airport.

Please ask shop staff if you're unsure.

Returning the same day

For some destinations, if you're returning on the same day there are restrictions on the sale of liquids at Southampton.

This is because you'll have to pass through security at your destination airport when you catch the return flight.

Please ask shop staff if you're unsure.

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