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Security FAQs


    Bag size and volume

    What is the bag size for hand luggage (carry-on)?

    Your airline may enforce restrictions on the size and number of cabin bags. Please contact your airline for further information.

    Can I take a handbag and a piece of hand luggage?

    We recommend you contact your airline about hand baggage allowances as these vary between operators.


    How big can the transparent, resealable bag be?

    The capacity must not exceed 1 litre (this is about 20cm x 20cm, or 8in x 8in).


    Bags and Liquids

    Can I take liquids in containers over 100ml?

    Not in hand luggage, these have to be packed in your main baggage that you check-in to the aircraft hold.

    What foodstuffs can I carry in my hand luggage? Can I take my wedding cake?

    You can take most solid food, including wedding cake. Food in sauces or dishes that have a high liquid content will need to be in containers 100ml or less, and go into a transparent, resealable bag.

    Following outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease, it is now illegal to take some meat and dairy products abroad. To find out more, please visit the Defra website or call 0845 933 5577.

    Food or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible. Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the X-Ray machine, or may be mistaken for suspicious items – so putting them in the hold will help reduce the need for additional checks. Passengers who need to take these items on board should therefore allow extra time at security.

    What about yoghurts or fruit juices?

    Yes, but this need to be in containers 100ml or less, and have to go into your transparent, resealable bag.

    I wear disposable contact lenses. Can I carry spare sets in my hand baggage?

    You may carry spare pairs in your hand baggage however these will need to be placed into your transparent, re-sealable bag. The packages need to be sealed.

    Can I take contact lens solution?

    Yes. Contact lens solution must be in a container 100ml or less inside a transparent, resealable bag. If over a 100ml, medical proof, e.g. a letter from a doctor or proof of prescription must be presented at security.

    Can I take my lipstick and deodorants on board?

    Yes, you can take on board all solid cosmetics and so a standard lipstick would be acceptable as would solid deodorants. You can also take atomiser/cream/roll-on deodorants in containers up to 100ml. These will need to go in a transparent resealable bag.

    Can I buy cosmetics, toiletries and drinks after security?

    Yes. If you are on a direct flight to your destination, you can "fly with everything you buy" after security. The exception is Australia where you cannot buy any liquids over 100ml. If in doubt, please ask a member of store staff.

    What happens to my liquids that are confiscated?

    Passengers are given the opportunity to return liquids over 100mls to their checked in luggage. Due to legislation, liquids over 100mls must not be taken through security. Those liquids that are over 100mls and the passenger can’t take with them are confiscated by our security team. Unopened confiscated liquids are donated to our corporate charity for them to use in raffles or as prizes.


    Phones, cameras, electrical items

    Can I take electrical items such as an MP3 player, a portable DVD player and a laptop?

    Yes, there are no limitations on electrical items. Be aware, though, that we will ask for items to be removed from their bags or holders and screened separately.

    Laptops and other large electrical items must be removed from hand baggage and placed in the trays with other belongings.

    Can I take my digital camera and mobile phone through security?

    Yes, but please keep these items in your hand luggage or jacket so that they can go through the X-ray machine.

    Can I carry spare batteries in my hand baggage for my electrical items, such as laptop, DVD player, digital camera and mobile phone?

    Yes, you can.

    Can I take pictures when going through the security search area?

    No. Filming or photography when going through security is not allowed.

    Do the increased security measures affect camera film?

    No, absolutely not. Independent tests undertaken by the British Photographers' Liaison Committee (BPLC), to establish the full and exact details of any potential film damage caused by baggage screening machines at airports, have given the all-clear to current hand-luggage x-ray inspection systems installed at Edinburgh Airport. Please see our website for further detail on this if you are carrying professional film ISO 800 or above.  For more informaion see here.

    Can I carry gas hair tongs/straighteners in my hand baggage?

    Yes you can, but you are only allowed to carry the one gas cartridge that powers the appliance – you are not permitted to carry spare cartridges. Please double check with your airline, as some carriers may restrict these items.


    Sharp items

    Can I take a nail file on board?

    Yes, providing it is not longer than 6cm.

    Can I take nail scissors?

    Yes, providing the blades are not longer than 6cm (measured from the fulcrum).



    Will I have to take my shoes off?

    You should remove your footwear for security screening only if you are asked to do so by a Security Officer.

    Can I carry glass items on?

    Yes. Please ensure they are properly protected.

    Can crash helmets be carried through security?

    Yes, but please contact your airline as some may operate additional restrictions.

    Can I take my jewellery on board?

    Yes, the only restriction here might be that some items could be categorised as 'sharp objects'. If you have any doubts then please check the restrictions in this area.

    What about umbrellas?

    Umbrellas are permitted. They will be subject to a thorough hand search and further screening when going through security.



    What quantities of liquid medication can I take with me?

    Passengers are allowed to take essential medicines sufficient for their trip. Amounts under 100ml should be placed in a transparent, plastic bag with other liquids.

    For amounts over 100ml, medical proof, e.g. a letter from a doctor or proof of prescription, should be presented at security.  Passengers should also check with their airlines if these prior to flying.

    All liquids should be presented at security for inspection.

    I carry insulin and hypodermic needles. Is this allowed?

    Yes, you are allowed to carry both the insulin and needles.

    I am concerned about the temperature of my medicine in the hold.

    The hold areas of an aircraft have different temperatures and customers should speak to their airline to ensure the medication could be stored correctly. The airline may wish to have medicines verified by an airport pharmacist.

    I would like to carry some non-prescribed medicine in tablet form, such as paracetamol. May I do that?

    Yes, you can. There is no limit to what you carry in tablet or pill form, whether it is prescribed medication or not.

    Can I carry an EpiPen in my hand luggage?


    I am asthmatic, can I carry an inhaler?

    Yes you can, but any spare canisters must be in your hold luggage. You may be asked to verify the item with a letter from your doctor or a prescription.

    I also have a spray, but for angina. Is this allowed?

    Yes, you may carry 100ml or  less in a clear resealable plastic bag.  If over 100ml you will be asked to verify this with a letter from your doctor or proof of prescription.

    May I carry a blood pressure monitor in my hand luggage?

    Yes, provided it complies with your airline's hand luggage rules. Please contact your airline if in doubt..

    Can I carry my homeopathic medication, which is in liquid form, in my hand luggage?

    The rules for homeopathic medicines are the same as for other liquid medicines. Homeopathic medicines are also subjected to x-ray screening in the same way all liquids are screened

    We are transferring bone marrow and stem cells out of the country - can we carry them in our hand luggage?

    The Anthony Nolan Trust should be notified and they in turn should fax the details to Airport Security. You should also advise your airline.

    Can I carry a cooling pack?

    Yes, gel cooling packs are allowed provided they are used for medication/baby food/dietary items, but you will need approval from your airline/airport prior to travel. Ice cooling packs (those containing water) are not allowed.


    Families and babies

    Am I allowed to take a baby-bag as well as my own cabin bag, if my child is sitting on my lap?

    Please confirm the arrangements with your airline, as different operators have different rules on cabin baggage.

    Am I allowed to take my child's pushchair to the gate?

    Yes, you are allowed to take pushchairs, prams and buggies to the gate. These items will need to be thoroughly hand searched at security and your child may have to be lifted out while the Security Officer makes further checks.

    Can I take wet wipes on the plane?

    Yes, you can carry wet wipes.

    Can I take milk powder with me to make up a bottle of milk on the plane?

    Yes, you can carry milk powder.

    What about a bottle or carton of prepared milk or sterilized water? Do they need to be a maximum of 100ml?

    If you are travelling with an infant, prepared milk and sterilized water can exceed 100ml and do not need to fit in the resealable bag. However, the amount must only be sufficient for your trip. There are no limits for powder formula.  Bottled water is available in shops after security and your airline can provide water during the flight.

    Can you buy cartons of formula milk from the shops after security?

    Sorry, no, but every country which is implementing these security arrangements has accepted that parents with babies should be able to carry sufficient baby food/milk for the journey, so enough for your journey will be allowed.  You may be asked to open the containers when going through security at Edinburgh Airport.

    What happens if the baby can only tolerate non-dairy and needs soya or rice milk?

    This is fine but they will be subjected to further security tests when going through security. The milk should also be in bottles.

    What about jars of baby food?

    If you are travelling with an infant, the containers of baby food that you bring with you will be subjected to further security tests. Try to only carry what you need for the journey. The jars do not need to go into the resealable bag but any food brought will need to be screened separately. Please inform one of our Security Officers if you are carrying baby food.

    What about puréed food in plastic pots or containers?

    For an adult, puréed food is treated as a liquid and is subject to the 100ml rules. You can read more about these here. Special dietary items are permitted – see our webpage for more information.

    If you are bringing food for a baby then only enough should be brought for your journey.

    Can we take baby car seats (for use on the plane) through security?

    Yes these may carried through security and you should check with your airline when you check in for your flight.

    Can we carry children's liquid ibuprofen and paracetamol in our hand luggage?

    Yes but please carry sufficient amounts only for the trip and these should be less than 100ml.

    Can I take breast milk through security?

    Yes, you can take an unlimited amount of expressed breast milk through security – no container should be greater than 2litres capacity. The contents must not be frozen.


    Exceptional items

    Can I take my musical instrument on board?

    Yes, but please contact your airline as different operators have different rules. Instruments will be subject to thorough hand searching and further checks when going through security. Some accessories, such as percussion mallets or wire brushes for drums, may not be allowed in your hand luggage.

    Can I carry my wedding dress on board?

    Yes, providing it complies with any cabin baggage restrictions imposed by your airline.

    I am going on a scuba-diving holiday. How do I transport equipment such as air tanks and CO2 cartridges for buoyancy aid?

    Air tanks for diving cannot be carried. Small non-toxic gas cylinders, for example those used for artificial limbs or in lifejackets, may be carried in the cabin or in hold baggage; however, you must check with your carrier as they must approve the carriage of such items.

    Can I carry sports equipment such as golf clubs and diving equipment in my hand baggage?

    You can carry a sports parachute as hand baggage and diving equipment you will need to check with your airline before you travel. There are limitations on sharp and blunt objects, so you should double-check none of your equipment is covered by those restrictions. Listed below are all the restricted items.

    Please refer to our restricted items pages.


    Shopping after security

    Can I still buy and carry on my tax and duty-free goods?

    Yes, absolutely (but to be clear, this is only with items purchased after security checks). Also, if you are flying within the EU you can have it stored until you come back using our Shopping Collection Service. Just ask any of the retailers at the till.

    Can I buy water and food in the departure lounge to take on board the flight?

    Yes. You can take water on board all flights, including flights to the USA.

    Can I buy duty and tax-free goods if I am flying to the USA?

    Yes. If you are on a direct flight to the USA, you can "fly with everything you buy" after security. If you are transferring within the USA or Canada you will need to place your purchases over 100ml in your hold baggage, which all passengers have to pick up before transferring to their next flight. Please speak to a member of store staff for details.


    Connections and transfers

    I am transferring through your airport. Can I carry liquid items in my hand luggage if they were purchased in the duty free store at my previous airport?

    If your journey involves transferring or transiting through Edinburgh Airport, you may be permitted to carry liquids, aerosols or gels - including duty free - through security in either of the following cases:

    1. The items have been bought in the passenger-only zone at an airport in the European Union*, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland, or on board an aircraft operated by an EU carrier or one from Norway, Iceland or Switzerland. The items must be packaged in a sealed tamper-proof bag provided by the airport/airline, inside of which is proof of purchase showing that the items were bought on board an aircraft or passenger-only zone at an airport as explained above. These items will be subjected to further security checks

    2. The items have been bought in the passenger-only zone at one of the following airports: all international airports in Canada and the USA; Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split, Zadar and Zagreb in Croatia; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; or Changi in Singapore. The items must be packaged in a sealed tamper-proof bag provided by the airport, inside of which is proof of purchase. These items will be subjected to further security checks.

    * The EU member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.