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Complete guide to cabin luggage: what you can and can’t take on a plane

You've got your head around cabin bag sizes, but what are you actually allowed to pack in that perfectly-sized carry-on? Find all the answers you need in this complete guide* to what you can and can't take on a plane in your hand luggage.

Can I take scissors, umbrellas, and other everyday items in hand luggage?

If you’re planning on doing some arts and crafts on board, you’d do well to note that scissors with rounded edges, or with blades less than 6cm are fine for the cabin. Anything else simply won’t fly. Other everyday objects such as umbrellas, canes, and even knitting needles are allowed, too. Knives and open razor blades on the other hand are big no-nos.

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Everyday items


Item Permitted on board?
Corkscrew No
Spoon Yes
Knife (with sharp or fixed blade more than 6 cm) No
Folding blade knife No
Knife and razor blades open No
Scissors whose blades do not exceed 6 cm Yes
Scissors with blades greater than 6 cm No
Scissors with round points (of any length) Yes
Fixed (Disposable) Razor Blades Yes
Cutter No
Nail Clipper Yes
Tweezers Yes
Knitting needles Yes
Sewing needles Yes
Lighter No*
Safety Matches No*
Umbrella Yes
Cane Yes
Wheelchair Yes
Children’s stroller Yes
Liquid for contact lenses Yes
Printer cartridge No

*One lighter and a box of safety matches may be taken on board but they need to be on your person and not in your hand luggage. This can differ from airline to airline so please check beforehand!

Can I take laptops, hairdryers and other electrical items on board?

Your laptop, hair straighteners, and travel razor are, generally speaking, allowed on board in the cabin. Most airlines simply request that your electrical item has enough battery for the duration of the flight. Add this onto your pre-flight checklist: charge all devices if you plan on taking them in your hand luggage!



Item Permitted on board?
Laptop Yes
Tablet Yes
MP3 Player Yes
Hair dryer or straightener Yes
Camera and camera equipment Yes
Travel iron Yes
Electronic razor Yes

Can I take medicine on a plane in a cabin bag?

Generally, medicines and pills are allowed in the cabin, including syrups and medicines in liquid form as long as they do not make more than 100ml. If you need more, you must notify your airline in advance. For oxygen or air for medical use, this will depend on your airline. easyJet permits it so long as the weight of the bottle does not exceed 5kg. Ryanair also allows different types of respiratory equipment (masks, respirators, ventilators continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP) so long as they comply with cabin baggage dimensions.



Item Permitted on board?

Cooling gel pack

Medical equipment Yes
Drugs and pills Yes
Syrups and other medicines in liquid form Yes
Hypodermic syringes Yes
Inhalers Yes
Bottles of oxygen Contact the airline directly
Scalpels No

Can I bring food (sandwiches, snacks, nuts) on a flight?

Liquids over 100ml are generally unauthorised in the cabin, but there are some exceptions, notably if you’re travelling with babies or small children. However, if you’re intending on carrying a delicious pot of brined olives from Spain or a selection of homemade jams on the flight, you’ll have to check in a bag to carry it with you. Unfortunately, soft cheese is also not permitted on the flight, whereas hard cheese usually is. Any sort of caramel or truffle filled chocolate is allowed but must fit inside your 100ml liquids bag (alongside your mascara, lip balm, and deodorant). When it comes to carrying any sort of solid or dried food product (fruit, nuts, seeds), they’re generally permitted on board, as long as no other passenger has severe allergies.



Item Permitted on board?
Any drink (eg water, fruit juice, tea, coffee) No
Milk, powder, cow or soya Yes
Sterile water for baby Yes – in a bottle
Baby food Yes
Jams No
Syrup No
Honey No
Fresh cheese in liquid or malleable form (cheese, spreadable) No
Yogurt No
Soup No
Sauce No
Fresh cheese in liquid or malleable form (cheese, spreadable) No
Oil No
Vinegar No
Dried fruit Yes
Nuts Yes

Can I bring sports equipment into the cabin?

If you have a match or a competition abroad or you need to fly to get there, be careful. As a general rule, you will most certainly have to put your equipment in the hold. This is the case for most sports equipment, including tennis rackets, walking sticks or crampons. All these objects are not allowed to come in the cabin with you. The only exception is a sports parachute, which is allowed on board.

Sports equipment


Item Permitted on board?
Sports parachute Yes
Bats and rackets No
Golf clubs No
Darts game No
Hiking stick No
Ice skates No
Fishing rod, harpoon or rifle No
Firearms (including reproductions) No
Martial arts equipment No
Diving equipment No
Crossbows, arrows and arrows No
Fronds and catapults No
Crampons No
Javelins No
Ice axes and ice picks No
Swords No
Canoes and paddles No

Can I take work tools and equipment in hand luggage?

As with sports equipment, most work tools and equipment are not allowed in the cabin. So if you happen to be a designer, painter or carpenter travelling, the hammer, nails, and paint spray will have to go in the hold.



Item Permitted on board?
Blade or cutting tools larger than 6 cm (eg screwdriver) No
Drill and accessories No
Professional knives No
Cutting mats No
Saws (including portable electric saws) No
Hammer No
Machete No
Aerosol paint No
Turpentine and paint thinner No

What other items aren’t allowed in cabin luggage?

Can you take camping gear on board? Tinned fish?

Planning on bringing a few cans on tuna on your camping trip? Don’t put them in your hand luggage unless they fit into your liquids bag and are less than 100ml. You will also need to put your tent in the hold (those tent poles are dangerous).

Are candles allowed on planes in hand luggage?

Candles are also counted as a liquid, so don’t try to take your Jo Malone three-wick candle across the country.All hazardous materials, pointed or sharp objects and weapons (revolvers, firearms, pistols, rifles) are also prohibited. It is also the case for tear gas, compressed gas, cleaning products, and fire extinguishers and other “chemicals and toxic substances”. And that includes peroxide, so don’t bring your hair colour with you to Malaga. Rockets and fireworks are also banned in the cabin, in all forms. This seems obvious for real rockets, but much less for bang snaps (the little, snapping gunpowder bags kids usually play with). And that also includes traditional Christmas crackers – that sliver of gunpowder inside the festive wrapping makes them a no no on board.

Need more advice on airline luggage restrictions? Read on:

Banned on board: 17 surprising items not allowed in your hand baggage

From tent pegs to soup; our guide to 17 items you can’t take on board in your hand baggage may surprise you.

What liquids can you bring on board?

Here’s a no-nonsense guide to what liquids you can carry in your hand luggage when flying to and from UK airports, along with all of the exceptions.

Baggage allowances and restrictions for every major UK airline

No matter which airline you’re flying with, here are complete guides to baggage rules and restrictions for the UK’s biggest airlines, including easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, and Jet2.

Information correct as of 2nd May 2017, obtained from Please always check the latest guidance at before booking a trip.

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