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Hand Baggage

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See what you can carry through security as hand luggage for flights departing from London Stansted.

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 holding 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)
    Able to close properly with all the items inside.
  • At security control, place the bag in the tray with your other items.
  • Liquids in containers over 100ml will not be permitted through security - please pack them in your hold baggage instead.

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

  • Baby food or baby milk: Please carry only what you need for the flight.
  • Liquid medicines: You may 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 sealed security bag with proof of purchase.

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

Bag Screening

All cabin baggage will be X-ray screened.

  • Place laptops and large electrical items separately in a tray.
  • Put coins, keys, mobile phones and other small items in your coat or hand baggage.
  • Place your hand baggage and coat into a tray.
  • Place any liquid items (important: see the 'Liquids' section above), correctly bagged, into the tray.
  • Pushchairs and walking aids will be X-ray screened.
  • Wheelchairs will be thoroughly searched.

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

Banned Items

The following may not be carried in hand baggage.

Sharp items

This includes knives (with blades over 6cm), razor blades, box cutters, scissors (with blades over 6cm from fulcrim), 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.

Stunning devices and incapacitating devices

Including stun guns, Tasers, animal killers, incapacitating chemicals, gases or sprays (eg 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 (eg screwdrivers or chisels).

Blunt instruments

This includes baseball/softball bats, tennis rackets, 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.

Christmas crackers

Stansted Airport Limited do not to allow Christmas crackers in the cabin baggage, but passenger may be able to check them in into their hold baggage. We advise that you contact your airline prior your travel 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.

Please note the following exceptions:


Liquids in containers over 100ml may not be taken on these flights.

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.

Returning the same day

For some destinations, if you're returning on the same day there are restrictions on the sale of liquids at Stansted.

This is because you'll have to pass through security at your destination airport when you catch the return flight.