With the ever increasing security surrounding air travel both in the UK and overseas, packing hand luggage correctly to avoid unnecessary delays at airport security can cause travellers no end of confusion, as to the can and can not's of what you are allow to carry-on.
Since the department of transport lifted the maximum size restrictions for hand luggage in April 2009, some airlines have relaxed their rules on the number of bags permitted as carry-on, whilst others; namely the low cost airlines continue to abide by the one item per person rule, inclusive of handbags and laptop cases.
Therefore to avoid extra baggage charges and the embarrassment of having to repack at check-in, it is always advisable to check with your airline regarding size, weight and number of bags permitted prior to arriving at the airport.
Under no circumstances are sharp objects permitted to be carried on within your hand luggage, everyday items such as razors, tweezers, mail scissors or clippers will be confiscated at screening and should be packed within your hold luggage should you require them on your trip.
Whilst electrical items such as hairdryers and laptops are permitted by airport security, it is a requirement that these items are scanned separately to your carry-on case, so make sure to pack these items with easy access in mind.
Additionally liquid items remain restricted and the security regulations state that all items that fall under this category must also be presented separately to your hand luggage within a clear plastic re-sealable bag measuring approximately 20cm x 20cm and holding no more than 1 litre in volume.
Liquid items include but are not limited to creams, lotions, oils, sprays, gels, pastes, solutions or items of a similar consistency. Be careful to check out the full list as items such as mascara, lipsticks, shaving foams and drinks are also included.
Lighters are also considered liquid and passengers are restricted to one per person, which must be kept on on them at all times apart from when screening, when it must be placed within the clear plastic bag.
For those travelling with young children the restrictions have been relaxed slightly to all you to carry baby food, baby milk and sterilised water in your hand luggage and dependent upon your journey these may be over 100ml, however you will be asked to verify these by tasting them when going through security.
Those of you who have a medical condition that requires you to carry essential medication, dietary food items or inhalers with you, will also be permitted to carry over the 100ml allowance, however you must first obtain prior approval for all items from both your airline and your departure airport and are required to supply a doctors letter, prescription or documentation from a qualified medical professional to support your need to carry such items.
For speedy and quick airport security when flying, it is always recommend that you only take what you need for the journey and that any non essential items are packed within your hold baggage or left behind.
However once through the airport security, you are free to purchase additional items, including liquids, such as spirits, perfumes or cosmetics of any size as these will be exempt from the restrictions.
For a full list of what you can and can’t carry within your hand luggage, travellers should consult their airlines websites, or if travelling from the UK visit this direct.gov.uk page. If travelling from the USA this TSA.gov page also provided information.