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Hand Baggage

Hand Baggage

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How Many Bags?

Most airlines operating from Stansted Airport allow a single item of hand baggage plus an airport shopping bag per passenger. Please contact your airline to check the limits for your flight. Find out more.

Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within the single item of cabin baggage, but not separately.

Bag size

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

For example, Ryanair sets a size limit of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, and a weight limit of 10kg.

Liquids 100ml Rule 

Only limited quantities of liquids may be carried through airport security into the departure lounge. This includes bottled drinks, suntan lotion, fragrances, cosmetics and toiletries.

The following restrictions apply to all liquids, creams, gels, pastes and aerosols taken through security control:

  • Liquids may only be carried in containers with a maximum capacity of 100ml or less.
  • They must be carried separately in a single bag which is:
    Transparent and resealable
    No larger than 20cm x 20cm (8in x 8in)
    Must be sealed with all items inside.
  • At security control, place the bag in the tray separate from your other items.
  • Liquids in containers of more than 100ml will not be permitted through security - please pack them in your hold baggage instead.
  • Liquid make-up items.

The following exceptions will be made to the 100ml rule:

  • Special dietary requirements: Please carry only what you need for your journey.
  • Liquid medicines: You will be asked to provide evidence that you need medicines for your journey. Find out more about travelling with medicines.
  • Liquids purchased airside: Duty-free liquids carried in a tamper proof sealed security bag with proof of purchase secured inside the bag.

Explosive or flammable liquids, and those that are considered toxic, are not permitted in either hand or hold luggage.

Baby Milk, Food and Sterilised Water

When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. In some cases this will be over 100ml.

You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby. You can’t carry frozen breast milk in hand luggage.

Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml. Each container will need to be screened at the security point. Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids.

Item Allowed in hand luggage Allowed in hold luggage
Breast milk Yes, in containers up to 2,000ml Yes
Frozen breast milk No Yes
Formula milk, cow’s milk Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Sterilised water for the baby Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Soya milk for babies Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Baby food Yes (baby must be present) Yes
Cooling gel packs Yes Yes

A baby is considered to be 0-36 months old.

Bag Screening

All hand baggage will be X-ray screened.

  • Place laptops and large electrical items in a separate tray.
  • Put spectacles (eye glasses), coins, keys, mobile phones and other small items in your coat or hand baggage.
  • Place your hand baggage and coat into a tray.
  • Remove liquids from your hand luggage and place them, correctly bagged, into the tray. (important: see the 'Liquids' section above)
  • Pushchairs and walking aids may be X-ray screened and subject to additional security tests.
  • Wheelchairs will be thoroughly searched and subject to additional security tests.

To save time, we advise you to place only valuables and items required for the flight in your hand baggage.

Food and powders

Food items and powders in your hand luggage can obstruct images on x-ray machines. Your bags may need to be checked again manually by security. You can put these items in your hold luggage to minimise delays.

Banned Items

The following may not be carried in hand baggage.

Electronics Ban – Inbound Flights

In line with the Government announcement regarding all UK airports, electronic items larger than 16 x 9.3 x 1.5 cm will not be allowed into the cabin of flights coming into London Stansted Airport from Turkey.

These items must go into the hold and passengers are advised to liaise with their airline on how to facilitate this.

This will only affect passengers flying into Stansted Airport from Turkey, and not any departing from here. It will however affect passengers’ return journey, when they come back into Stansted Airport.

For more information please visit

Sharp items

This includes knives (with blades over 6cm), razor blades, box cutters, scissors (with blades over 6cm from fulcrum), axes, hatchets, cleavers, ice axes, ice picks, swords, sabres and sharp or pointed martial arts equipment.

Projectile-firing weapons

These include firearms, toy guns, replica/imitation guns, firearm parts (except telescopic sights), airguns, pellet guns, BB guns, flare guns, starting pistols, bows or crossbows, arrows, harpoon guns, spear guns, slingshots and catapults.  Empty cartridges are also banned from carriage.

Stunning devices and incapacitating devices

Including stun guns, Tasers, animal killers, incapacitating chemicals, gases or sprays (e.g. Mace), pepper sprays, tear gas and animal repellent sprays.


This includes crowbars, drills and drill bits, saws, blowtorches, bolt guns, nail guns, or any tool with a blade or shaft over 6cm (e.g. screwdrivers or chisels).

Blunt instruments

This includes baseball/softball bats, sports rackets/bats, clubs, batons, night sticks and martial arts equipment. Please note the inclusion of fishing rods within hand luggage is also prohibited.

Explosive or incendiary substances

This includes ammunition, blasting caps, detonators and fuses, replica/imitation explosive devices, mines, grenades, pyrotechnics, smoke canisters, smoke cartridges, dynamite, gunpowder or plastic explosives.

Dangerous goods

These include flammable or harmful substances such as gases, oxidisers, poisons, corrosives and hazardous biological or chemical material. Non-safety matches, lighter fluid and firelighters are also included. The Civil Aviation Authority guide What Can I Carry*, which contains full details.

Christmas crackers

Stansted Airport Limited does not allow Christmas crackers in the hand baggage, but passengers may be able to check them in into their hold baggage. We advise that you contact your airline prior to travelling to ascertain that they allow these in the hold baggage. Some airlines have prohibited carriage of these in the hold baggage also.

Airport shopping

For most destinations, anything you buy after security control can be taken on board the aircraft.

This includes bottled drinks, fragrances and cosmetics in sizes over 100ml.

Connecting flights after Stansted

For some destinations, restrictions apply on the sale of liquids if you're stopping en route after Stansted.

This is because you'll have to pass through security at the connecting airport.