Ho, Ho, hold on a minute! What have you got there?

Ho, Ho, hold on a minute! What have you got there?

Ah Christmas! A time for being with loved ones and exchanging gifts, that is if the security team at Southampton Airport haven’t confiscated them of course…

We really, really, don’t want this to happen, so please, if you’re flying off this Christmas and taking presents with you, take a few moments extra to think about what you’re carrying, and most importantly in which bag you’re carrying it. And if you’re giving someone a wrapped gift to take away with them, give them a little advice about where to put it.

In 2006 the Department for Transport introduced new rules on the carriage of liquids and other materials on-board aircraft.  Since then countless passengers have been unfortunately relieved of items such as champagne and perfume as they pass through security. A little planning ahead will ensure this doesn’t happen to you.

Over the years we’ve seen all sorts of Christmas items failing to make it to their destination, so here’s our advice:

Naughty list – things to pack in hold luggage (the bag you check in)

  • Children’s gifts like Snow Globes (liquid), cricket/baseball bats, toy guns, water pistols (imitation weapons)
  • Gifts for food lovers like oils, chutney, pate (liquids/pastes)
  • Perfume gift sets and filled toilet bags (creams and aerosols also fall under the ’100ml rule’)
  • Gifts for gardeners like weeding forks and secateurs (some fall under sharps rule)
  • Booze – pack it in your suitcase, or buy it in World Duty Free after security (liquids)
  • Food – such as jars of mincemeat or smoked salmon if it is being kept cool with ice packs (the ice packs are liquid) also cheese board gift sets may come with a cheese knife (sharp objects)
  • Christmas Crackers – Airlines do not permit crackers anywhere on the aircraft.
  • Party Poppers – These are not permitted on any aircraft anywhere (explosives)


Nice list – items you can carry in your hand luggage (the bag you carry onboard with you)

  • Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, mince pies (put the brandy butter/custard/cream in your suitcase)
  • Liqueur chocolates
  • Jewellery (very nice!)

    smaller pudding

As the weather takes a turn for the worse we’re often asked about the carriage of umbrellas – you may carry your umbrella in your hand luggage, but we ask you to please not to use it on the airfield as there is a risk it could end up being blown out of your hands and into another passenger, or hitting an aircraft. FOD (Foreign Object Debris) has a nasty habit of ending up exactly where it can cause most damage to an aircraft, so we need to minimise the risk wherever possible.

The hand luggage ‘rules’

  • Any liquids, gels, pastes, aerosols and creams should be in containers 100ml or under – so no half full 200ml containers will be allowed.
  • Liquids should be placed in one clear transparent re-sealable plastic bag measuring no greater than 20cm x 20cm – these are available for free close to the entrance to security, and in the security area.
  • Please do not carry blades over 6cm in your hand luggage.

For further information about the security procedure at Southampton Airport and to watch a video on how to prepare please click here .

If you have left your present buying until the last minute World Duty Free has a great selection of gifts including fragrance, Pandora, Swatch, chocolates, malts, spirits and wines, and they’ll even gift wrap them for you.


If you have travelled to the airport with a filled hot water bottle, please empty it before coming through security.

Hot water bottle