Packing for a holiday can be stressful enough – without the added hassle of tightened airport security.
To help make getting to and through the airport as stress free as possible, Heathrow parking specialist, Purple Parking has summed up some the things you should consider to ensure you and your hand luggage make it through security smoothly!
- Liquids need to be carried in containers which hold 100ml or less. These containers need to be placed in a transparent and resealable bag that is no bigger than 20cm x 20cm. This includes creams, gels, pastes and aerosols.
- Puréed food and baby milk are allowed on the flight in larger quantities, but you should only carry the amount you need for the flight. Prepare to be asked to taste the contents to prove they are not harmful. If you don’t like the thought of this, you can buy cartons of formula milk in the shops after security and you can even reserve milk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Liquid medicines are also allowed in larger quantities. Any liquid medicines over 100ml will need prior approval from both the airline and departure airport and for this you will need documents from a qualified medical professional. Again security may ask you to prove it is your medicine by tasting it.
Sharp or dangerous items
Anything considered sharp or dangerous is banned from being carried in hand luggage, most of which are common sense and include anything that can cause harm. While you may think that you have no items which fall into the sharp or dangerous section, it is easy to forget scissors with blades longer than 6cm and toys such as replica weapons which can be mistaken as projectile-firing weapons.
If you are travelling with gifts, don’t wrap them until you get to your destination as staff may need to unwrap them to check the contents. Also open any gifts given to you prior to packing them –remember you will be asked if you have been given anything to carry on board the aircraft and gifts fall neatly in this category!
Large and special items
- How many bags you can carry and the restrictions on their size are set by your airline, rather than airport security. Always phone in advance to see how many bags they will let you on with if you are carrying children.
- You may want to bring solid food items if your child doesn’t like plane food. The good news is food items are allowed though security as long as they are solid, however only bring what you want to eat on board as there may be customs restrictions at your destination.
- Baby seats and buggies can be brought through security, but will need to be screened. It is best to check with your airline if they have any other restrictions around bringing buggies on board.
- Baby bags are allowed through security but make sure they contain no liquids. Also check the hand luggage restrictions of your airline.
- Most of what is allowed and not allowed is common sense – if it can be used in an offensive way, it is unlikely to be permitted.
- Remember to also check with your airline about what you can bring in with your hand luggage. This is especially important when it comes to the quantity and sizes of your bags as well as additional items such as buggies.
- If you would prefer to travel with pre-wrapped gifts so the family cannot see them – keep them opened at one end so you can show security if asked.
- While there is advice about what not to bring, consider putting a change of clothes, or at least underwear and a spare shirt for each of your family, into your hand baggage. It can mean a little extra comfort at the end of a long-haul flight, or if hold baggage is delayed.
- Don’t forget that most creams and medicines that you may want for the flight can easily be bought in larger quantities from stores such as Boots after security
If you would like more information, the Purple Parking website has more information about getting through Heathrow security.