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Hand luggage rules explained: Items you can and can't take through security

Last updated Apr 11, 2022

Navigating airport security will be a familiar experience for many, particularly those frequent flyers who pass through on a regular basis.

But there are also many people who are less confident when it comes to knowing the rules, and particularly the finer details on what you can and can’t take with you before boarding your flight.

So we thought we’d answer some burning questions like ‘do wet wipes count as a liquid’ and ‘what should I do with my nail clippers’.

Here’s a quick and easy hand luggage guide featuring some of the items you may be unsure about, and this can be used when preparing your bags ahead of arrival at EDI.

Sports equipment

For this one it totally depends on what you are taking. Baseball and cricket bats, golf clubs and darts are not allowed.

You’ll also not get through security with martial arts equipment such as nunchucks in your hand luggage.

However tennis rackets, snooker and pool cues, and fishing rods are all good to go.

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It’s a yes for most day-to-day electronic items.

So mobile phones, laptops, tablets, electric shavers and e-cigarettes are fine.

Hairdryers, straighteners and travel irons are also allowed.

You’ll also be able to get through security with spare batteries.

Remember you'll need to take any large electronics out of your bag and place them in the tray.

Airport security

‘Personal items’, work tools and walking sticks

If you’re looking to get a corkscrew, knife or large scissors (longer than 6cm blade) through we’ve got bad news for you. They are all prohibited in hand luggage.

The same goes for credit card sized wallet tools and work tools such as pliers, hammers, screwdrivers and crowbars.

Personal items such as small scissors, spoons, disposable razors, nail clippers and files, tweezers and knitting needles are allowed.

As are glass items – however you might want to check they are well protected before packing them up.

Walking poles can’t be taken with you as hand luggage but umbrellas, walking sticks, crutches, wheelchairs and pushchairs are also on the ‘allowed’ list.

When should I arrive at Edinburgh Airport for my flight?

Liquids, foods and wet wipes

When in airport security liquids include drinks, soups, jams, toiletries and cosmetics, sprays, pastes, gels and contact lens solution.

Containers of no more than 100ml are allowed, and all liquids must be in a transparent, resealable bag no larger than 20cmx20cm in size. The bag must be sealed and shown at security. There’s a limit on one bag per person.

There are some exemptions to the 100ml rule, however. If liquids are for essential medical purposes or special dietary requirements they’ll be allowed.

You’re allowed one lighter and it must be placed inside a clear, resealable bag, and can’t go in hold luggage. Baby food and baby milk is allowed, although milk must not be in a container any larger than 2,000ml and it can’t be frozen.

You’re fine with most solid food, but be wary if it’s in a sauce as this will count as a liquid.

And anyone for a fun fact? Wet wipes are allowed and don’t count as liquids.

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Medicines and other substances

You can get through with tablets and capsules, essential liquid medicines, inhalers, cooling gel packs and food and liquid needed for medical reasons.

Hypodermic syringes are allowed and these, along with liquid medication, will need to be supported by medical evidence such as a doctor’s letter or prescription.

But you’re not allowed substances such as bleach or car body repair kits, self-defence or disabling sprays like mace, and rat poison. Paint, paint thinner and turpentine are also a big no.

If you are unsure about anything we’d advise you to contact the airline you are flying with. Further details can also be found on

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