BAA rules on hand luggage

Updated February 21, 2017

BAA -- now known as Heathrow Airport Holdings -- is a commercial company that owns and operates four airports in the United Kingdom, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. Security officials establish which items of hand luggage can be taken aboard aircraft. Tight restrictions introduced to counter terrorism in 2006 were relaxed for some items in January 2008.


Airports do not allow passengers to take liquid-based food products through the security gates at the airports it operates unless they are in containers of no more than 100 ml. This includes curries, yoghurts, sauces, pastes and soups. Sandwiches, fruit and solid vegetables are permitted, along with baby milk, baby juice, sterilised water and baby food in liquid or paste form. All baby food items must be tasted in the presence of security staff by any passenger intending to carry them through airport security.

Cosmetics and toiletries

Toothpaste and hair gel, along with perfume, shaving foam and deodorants, must be in containers of 100 ml or less, and they must be carried in clear, plastic bags of no more than 1 litre capacity. All lotions and creams must meet these restrictions, including suntan products, talcum powder, lip balms and lipsticks. Sanitary towels and tampons are allowed, as are contact lenses, toothbrushes and combs. Disposable contact lenses must be in sealed packets.

Hand luggage size

Hand luggage must conform to a maximum size, including any pockets, handles and wheels. The maximum dimensions are 55 cm long, 43 cm wide and 25 cm deep. All airports have measuring frames that passengers can use to see if their hand luggage conforms with requirements. The hand luggage restrictions introduced in 2006 specified any passenger could take only one item of hand luggage aboard a flight, but this was relaxed in 2007 to allow handbags to be carried separately.

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About the Author

Peter Lancett has been writing professionally for 10 years. He has five novels and a series of award-winning illustrated books currently distributed internationally. Lancett writes for film and television alongside his work for Demand Studios. He has traveled extensively and has lived in England and New Zealand.