Hand luggage restrictions you need to know about Image Credit: Pixabay

Any traveller worth their salt understands that rocking up to security with a litre bottle of water is enough to send the security staff into meltdown. But yet many passengers are still arriving with prohibited items in their carry-ons. Why?

Skyrocketing baggage charges are causing more and more passengers to fly cabin luggage only. Consequently, people bring all their lotions and potions on board with them, yet are frustrated when they are thrown away.

It goes without saying, chucking a £350 bottle of 150ml Dior Addict in the security bins is not the best way to start your holiday…

So what is the latest security update? And above all, are the restrictions the same for every country? Read on to find out...

Hand Luggage Restrictions UK


How much can I take? Each container of liquid must be 100ml or less. Travellers can’t take more than 1000ml of liquids on board altogether, so that’s no more than 10 x 100ml containers. All liquids must be stored in a sealable plastic bag which is no larger than 20cm x 20cm.

Sounds simple, so I just pop my travel size toiletries inside a plastic bag and I’m good to go? Yes, but are you aware what actually counts as a liquid? Creams, pastes, gels and certain foods all count, such as lipsticks, cream powders, jams and hair gels. A lighter is also classed as a liquid and only one is allowed in your plastic bag.

Are there any exemptions? Yes – flyers travelling with a baby can take up to 2000ml of baby food and milk on board. Also, people who have special dietary requirements, or medication for health conditions can bring the required liquids on board if backed up by a doctor’s note.

Electrical Items

What can I take? Laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cameras, e-cigarettes, electric shavers and hair styling tools are all allowed. Chargers and batteries are usually permitted, but check with the airline first to be sure.

Are there size restrictions? If travelling to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, any gadget must be no bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm. This also includes connecting flights through these destinations, even if these airports are not the final destination.

Is there anything else I need to know? Charge all electrical items. If the device won’t turn on, security will refuse it. Unsurprisingly, it ain’t no fun leaving a MacBook Pro that’s ran out of juice behind.

Sharp Objects and Other Items

Can I take nails scissors or craft tools on a flight? Scissors smaller than 6cm, fixed razor blades, tweezers, nail clippers and knitting needles are allowed. Usually, any sharp item over 6cm, such as knives, corkscrews, and scissors are prohibited in cabin luggage. Check with the airline for information on specific items.

Are there any other restrictions I should know about? You may be surprised there are a few everyday items that are forbidden when flying. Hair dye is banned, thanks to its dangerous chemicals, party poppers are classed as explosives and tent pegs can be seen as weapons. So if you’re planning to camp at Hideout Festival in Croatia, whilst having a party and dying your hair pink – may we suggest buying the items once you’ve landed?

Hand Luggage Restrictions USA & Australia

Are the hand luggage restrictions the same as the rest of the world? As well as the above restrictions when flying from the UK, the USA and Australia have further restrictions regarding powdered products. Since June 30th 2018, passengers are prohibited from carrying more than 340 grams of powder total in their cabin luggage.

What counts as a powder? This includes cosmetics such as blusher, bronzer and eyeshadows, as well as protein powders, talcum powder, cleaning powders, salt, and dried spices. Australia has a slightly different policy to the US, in that the restrictions only apply to inorganic powders. More information can be found on what counts as organic and inorganic powders here.

Why the sudden powder restrictions? The new rules have come into fruition thanks to a failed attempt to blow up an Etihad Airways flight departing Australia last year. Eeek! Better be safe than sorry.

Airline Hand Luggage Restrictions

Now you’ve mastered the hand luggage restrictions, what about hand luggage dimensions? Airlines don’t make it easy for passengers, with different rules for each company regarding the size and quantity of bags allowed on board. Global Luggage, on the other hand, has made it easy for you. Click here to view our cabin bags, then choose your airline from the left-hand filter options. This will bring up all carryon bags suitable for that particular airline. No more faffing about cross-checking luggage sizes with airline bag dimensions – we’ve done all the hard work for you.

The Best Hand Luggage

Cosmolite IATA Cabin Case

Our lightest and most luxurious case, Cosmolite weighs in at a sprightly 1.8kg thanks to its revolutionary Curv® construction. Its aquatic inspired shell and sapphire gleam ooze escapism, whilst multi-directional wheels ensure smooth manoeuvrability.

Montana RFID Cabin Case

The old world and the new collide to create the dashing Montana. Authentically handcrafted from the finest leather, this retro cabin case looks old school on the outside, yet is thoroughly modern on the inside. RFID protection, a laptop compartment and garment folder are just a few of its contemporary highlights.

Sympatico International Expandable Cabin Case

Looking for a svelte cabin case with high volumes? Sympatico is your guy. Its Makrolon® polycarbonate shell expands by up to 25% to offer plenty of packing room and then compresses back down to its original size. A malleable and versatile hard-side case? Yep, Sympatico has it all.

19 Degree Aluminium International Carry On

This swanky silver case is sure to elevate your style credentials at the airport. Its rippling aluminium shell turns heads whilst also being incredibly light and strong. Internally, an intelligently organised interior features a hanger bracket for suits and plenty of handy packing pockets. A carry-on with style and substance? Yes please.

Alpha 2 Deluxe Brief with Laptop Case

The ultimate travel companion for your business trip, this hardworking design is like a mini office on wheels. Two briefcases in one, the dual section caters to all your essentials and includes a removable 17” laptop sleeve with shoulder strap, a padded iPad compartment, file divider, media pockets and business card pockets.

The above designs are just a few of the luxurious cabin bags available on the Global Luggage website. To browse all our carry on styles, click here and don’t forget to check that your desired bag corresponds with your airline baggage dimensions using the filters on the left.