What Can’t You Take In Hand Luggage? Here’s A List Of Prohibited Items

Posted on Nov 17th, 2022 by Renu Dahiya, Last updated on Nov 17th, 2022

Ready to jet off on a much-needed break but worrying about what you can take with you in your hand luggage on the flight? Traveling with hand luggage is a great way to keep your belongings safe, but it can also be frustrating if you’re not aware of what’s allowed and what isn’t. But, don’t fret! There is no rocket science behind ‘what can’t you take in hand luggage’ or items not allowed in hand luggage. It’s a much shorter list than what you can put in your suitcase. 

We won’t just give you a list of items prohibited from the plane. We’ll also tell you all the hand luggage rules and why these items are banned so you can learn how to figure things out on your own. So, to become a packing ninja, check out our list now!

List Of Items Not Allowed In Hand Luggage

It is the job of the TSA, Transportation Security Administration, to keep flights safe from security threats. That’s why they put restrictions on some items to carry on a plane. They are concerned with catching the bad guys. And, once you learn the general principles and rules for hand luggage, then, you will be able to take one look at something and instantly know whether it’s allowed through the security checkpoint at the airport or not. 

Here, we have compiled a complete list of prohibited items in hand luggage suitcases. That’s the carry-on baggage, the personal item bag that you bring into the aircraft cabin with you, and anything you might have in your pockets. 

Liquids, Gels & Aerosols

You can bring only one quart-sized handbag full of liquids and gels. As per the TSA hand luggage rules, if you can squeeze, smear, pump, spray, spread, or spill the item then it is considered a liquid. You are allowed to carry liquids of 100 ml (3.4 ounces) or less only. It means each liquid item should be 100 ml and in total, you cannot take more than 1L liquid in your hand luggage. All the containers you’re carrying can fit into a single transparent and re-sealable plastic bag. The only exceptions to the liquids rule are medically necessary liquids, breast milk, and liquids for children and babies. You may be asked to taste the liquid (you’re carrying for babies) before you are allowed through security. 

People usually think that the 3-1-1 liquid rule doesn’t make sense. They can’t understand how a tube of toothpaste or a body lotion can be seen as a threat. Here’s the reason, liquids could be used to make explosives. It is not possible for TSA to physically inspect every bottle containing a liquid that is brought on a plane, so instead, to minimize the risk, the quantity of liquid items each passenger is allowed to bring is limited. 

Sharp Objects Or Bludgeons

The TSA prohibits passengers from carrying almost anything with a blade on airplanes. You can bring disposable razors, the thin blades are not deemed to be strong enough to be a threat. However, safety razors, blenders, corkscrews, or anything with a blade will not be permitted past the security checkpoint. Also, any items that can be used as a bludgeon won’t be allowed past security. So, hockey sticks, baseball bats, and any large heavy instruments won’t be allowed onboard. 

The TSA officer has the discretion to stop you from boarding at any time that you could use to knock someone out. However, there are some exemptions to this rule. You are allowed to bring scissors that have blades shorter than 4-inches (6 cm) from the pivot. Scissors with blades longer than 4 inches from the pivot point must be packed in your checked bag. 

Work Tools

As per the TSA Luggage guideline, tools are restricted to being shorter than 7 inches so that they can’t be used as a bludgeon. So, you can’t take a heavy-duty flashlight, a wrench needs to be under 7 inches. But, you can’t pack a hammer of any size in your carry-on luggage. Other items are screwdrivers, pliers, drills, saws, etc. 

Power tools are banned from hand luggage and should be packed in checked luggage only. These tools can prove dangerous. Even lightweight power tools could be used as weapons. So, it’s best to remove any batteries if possible and bring them in your cabin luggage but pack the power tool in your checked luggage. 

Explosive Items

Explosive items like fireworks, or gunpowder are classified as the most hazardous and can’t be carried in either your hand luggage or the hold luggage. We don’t want things blowing up inside airplanes. Makes sense right? These TSA rules for hand luggage are not there to bother you. They are here to keep you safe. 

Sports Equipment

Essentially, the answer for taking most of the sporting items in your carry-on luggage on the flight is no. There are a few exceptions to this rule such as a sports parachute, tennis racquets, snooker, pool or billiard cue, and fishing rod. Most other items, including heavy bats & sticks, golf clubs, darts, walking/hiking poles, firearms, catapults, etc. are strictly not allowed in hand luggage. 

Flammable Items

You cannot bring flammable items, that are not toiletries, in your hand luggage on the flight. It means the only aerosols that you can bring on planes are toiletries. These are products that are sprayed on the skin like you can bring a small aerosol deodorant on a plane in your carry-on. 

If it is a flammable spray that you don’t spray on your skin you won’t be permitted to bring it on a plane. So, spray paint, fuel, or anything that is classified as flammable and hazardous won’t be allowed into the cabin. 

Alcoholic Beverages

You can bring up to five liters (may change as per the airline) of alcohol with an alcohol volume between 24% and 70%. This can travel in your cabin bag if you purchased it in the airport duty-free shop, or you can pack it in your checked baggage. 

Drinks above 70% alcohol volume are not permitted on board in either checked baggage or hand baggage. Always check the requirements with the airline before packing your alcoholic beverages. 

Random Items

Here’s a quick list of many other items you might not realize are banned and some items that are permitted. 

Other items you can take in your hand luggageOther items you cannot take in your hand luggage
Mobile PhoneCorkscrew
Table DeviceKnife (with sharp or fixed blade more than 6 cm)
LaptopFolding blade knife
MP3 PlayerKnife and razor blades open
Hairdryer or StraightenersCigarette lighter
CameraNon-safety matches
Travel IronScalpels
Scissors with rounded ends (of any length)Dried Fruit/Nuts
Nail Clipper/TweezersCandle
Knitting Needles/Sewing NeedlesHair Dye
UmbrellaChristmas Crackers

Tip – You can check other UK to India travel requirements here to avoid hassles in your next flight journey. 

Hand Luggage Sizes & Requirements

The table below shows the requirements of size for cabin bags or hand baggage and bag weight allowances that are applicable for carriage on all international flights, like London Heathrow to Delhi flights, operated by various popular airlines – 

AirlineFree Hand Luggage Allowance Paid Hand Luggage Allowance
British AirwaysUp to 23kg in one cabin bag (56x45x25cm), and one personal bag no larger than 40x30x15cmIf your hand baggage exceeds the limit, it will be checked into the hold luggage.
Virgin Atlantic One bag needs to be a maximum of (56x36x23cm), and a personal item, such as a handbag or small backpack. Up to 10 kg of one handbag is allowed in economy class (excluding one personal item) and Up to 16 kg of two handbags combined is allowed in the upper class.N/A
Air IndiaOne bag no larger than 55x35x25cm for Boeing & Airbus aircraft. A maximum bag weight of 8kg is allowed in economy class and 12kg in business and first class. Plus, one personal item is also allowed in all the cabin classes. For bag weight exceeding 8 kg in economy class, the airline will extra amount per kg (not exceeding 10 kg, in total). And, you cannot take more than 12 kg in business and first class. 
RyanairOne personal bag no larger than 40x20x25cm. It must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Add ‘Priority & 2 Cabin Bags’ to bring one personal bag, plus one 10 kg cabin bag (54x40x20cm). Prices are between £8 and £32 each way. 
EasyJetOne personal bag no larger than 45x36x20cm. It must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Your bag can weigh up to 15kg.As well as your personal bag, you can add one 15kg cabin bag )54x45x25cm). Prices start from £5.99 each way, or from £7.99 each way with an ‘Up Front’ or ‘Extra Legroom’ seat.

Note – If you’re still unsure about an item that you’d like to pack in your checked baggage, please contact the customer support team of your airline. 


Your hand luggage is the most important thing you’ll travel with, but it’s also one of the most restricted. You can’t just bring anything into an airport and expect to be allowed on a plane. To make sure that your hand baggage doesn’t get confiscated, go through this guide to ‘what can I take in my hand luggage?’ and ‘what can’t I take in my hand luggage before packing your bags. 

We know it can be a pain going through airport security but now that you know exactly what can’t be taken on a plane and why then we hope you will find packing and the security process a little easier. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich permitted in a carry-on bag?

A: Yes. Sandwiches that include creamy or spreadable items like peanut butter, jelly, mustard & mayonnaise are allowed in carry-on bags. If the spreadable items are in separate containers, you need to follow the liquids rule and be 3.4 oz or less. 

Q: Can you take razors in hand luggage on a plane?

A: Razor blades are not allowed in hand luggage, and you may be surprised to learn that these are not safe and considered dangerous. For example, if you were to drop your razor on a flight and it got into the cabin with other passengers, there’s a good chance that it could be used as part of an assault.

Q: Can you take cigarettes on a plane?

A: You can’t take cigarettes on a plane in your hand luggage. In order to bring them into the aircraft, they must be packed in your hold luggage.

Q: What happens if something is not allowed in your hand baggage?

A: If you have any of the prohibited or dangerous items with you such as weapons, explosives/fireworks (including sparklers), alcoholic beverages over 70% volume, etc. you will be asked to get them checked. You will not be allowed to take these items on the plane with you and may be fined, arrested, or both.

Q: Can you take nail polish on a plane?

A: When deciding which liquid cosmetics to carry, the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule will apply. So, ensure your cosmetics are not more than 3.4 oz. Liquid cosmetics include nail polish, moisturizers, foundation, and eyeliner.

Q: Can you take hair straighteners in hand luggage?

A: Yes, generally speaking, hair straighteners, travel razors, and laptop are allowed on a plane. Most airlines simply request that your electrical item has enough battery for the duration of the flight. 

Q: What liquids can you take on a plane?

A: You can bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols in your hand luggage. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less per item. All the containers you’re carrying should fit into a single transparent and re-sealable plastic bag.

Q: Can you take food in your suitcase abroad?

A: You can only take solid food items, not liquids, in your carry-on or checked bags. Liquid items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags.  

Q: Can you take nail clippers on a plane?

A: Yes, you can take nail clippers, nail trimming scissors, and cuticle cutters in your hand luggage. But, if the blades are over 6 cm in length, they should be packed inside your checked luggage. 

Q: Can you take tweezers in hand luggage?

A: Yes, you can carry tweezers in your hand luggage. This kind of personal item is not considered dangerous. 

We hope you found this blog on ‘what can’t you take in hand luggage’ helpful and informative. You can keep in touch with such quirky updates and information by simply visiting our blogs from time to time. Some of the blogs we have covered are ‘When should you check in for a flight?’, ‘How to check a flight number’ and more. If you have any questions or concerns about traveling, please feel free to contact us at our toll-free number or ask us in the comment section below. We’ll clear all your doubts at the earliest possible.

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Now that you have all the information regarding hand luggage rules, it’s time to book flight tickets. And, we can help you with this. With 13+ years of experience, MyTicketsToIndia is a renowned air-ticketing portal catering to Indians in the USA, Australia, and Canada. And, now we live in Dubai and UK too. We aim to provide our customers with seamless flight booking services, incredible deals, and heavy discounts. So, book your UK to India flights (and back) at the lowest airfares with us. We are just a call away from your travel dream coming true. Yay!


About Renu View All Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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