news Banned on board: 10 things not to pack in your hand luggage

All articles

Banned on board: 10 things not to pack in your hand luggage

Liquids aside, there's a very long list of unusual items that airports will not allow you to take on your next flight. So, next time you fly from Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports make sure you've not packed any of these bizarre items in you hand luggage:

1. Medicine

This one’s a tricky one. Strictly speaking, you cannot bring ‘all the medicine you need’ with you on board unless it fits nicely into a few 100ml bottles. If it’s a case of life or death, however, and you notify the airport in advance that you’ll be travelling with essential medicines they should be able to accommodate you and let you fly. Note: a large bottle of Jameson is not viewed as essential medicine, no matter how good you are at arguing!

2. Badminton rackets

While it’s quite understandable that golf clubs, cricket bats and hockey sticks are banned on board, it seems a little extreme to extend this to innocent-looking equipment like badminton rackets that could barely hurt a fly. But these shuttlecock swatters are not allowed in your carry-on luggage, just like most other sports equipment. Be it a pair of brass knuckles for your martial arts class or your prized hurley, best to be safe and check it in.

3. Ten bottles of Curious by Britney Spears

We’re not really sure who in their right mind would want to bring ten bottles of Britney Spears’ signature scent with them on holidays, but if that sounds like you, be prepared to say adios to your favourite perfume one precious bottle at a time. If you think you can trick airport security by dividing one big bottle of liquid into ten smaller ones, just remember that they’ve all got to fit into a single, small, clear plastic bag measuring no more than 20cm by 20cm. Bad luck.

4. Fishing rods

Heading abroad for a spot of fishing? Leave your fishing rod at home unless you wish to gift it to whoever’s working at airport security or the lovely staff behind the check-in counters, as you’ll not be going on any flight with that in your hand luggage. They probably think that those sharp hooks could do you more damage than any fishy friends!

5. Drills

Okay, this one is pretty obvious. Airports all over the world aren’t too welcoming to people showing up with large industrial drills in their bags. Regardless of whether it’s in full working order or if it’s a family heirloom as some people might claim, drills, screwdrivers, nails and spanners should all be either checked in or simply left at home.

6. Soup

Liquid is liquid I’m afraid. So even though you might argue with security staff that your thick, creamy tomato soup couldn’t harm anyone, they’ll still have to pry it out of your hands and throw it into that big black bin they use for all confiscated items. Best to buy soup on arrival or maybe just try do without for a few weeks. Same goes for jams and chutneys unfortunately.

7. Peroxide

Chemicals and toxic substances, no matter how small or seemingly harmless, are strictly forbidden from being brought onto flights. Why people would even think about attempting to bring tear gas, infected blood, portable fire extinguishers and other toxic substances with them is beyond us. Even if your precious peroxide is simply being used to bleach your hair, best leave it to the experts and get it dyed before you leave home.

8. Tent pegs

If you’re one the world’s most efficient packers and can somehow pack everything you need for a camping holiday or music festival, including the tent itself, into one small carry-on bag, you might not be as clever as you think. Unfortunately for all camping fans and festivalgoers, many airports will not allow metal tent pegs to be brought through security in your hand luggage. Tent poles, however, are totally fine. Go figure!

9. Flares

Flares, the kind that were loved by many throughout the seventies, are a crime to fashion. But we’re talking about signal flares, the kind that are highly flammable and considered to be extremely dangerous both in the open air and anywhere near people. Your fellow passengers would appreciate if you left both kinds behind before you take off.

10. (Multiple) Cigarette lighters

The rules around this can be somewhat confusing. Officially, you can take a lighter with you on board your next flight, but just one. Also, once you’re through security you are instructed to keep said lighter on your person at all times rather than returning it to your hand luggage. Just don’t push your luck and try take the biggest, most outrageous lighter you can find, they won’t take too kindly to that and you could end up missing your flight!

**Looking for more information about luggage restrictions and pro-packing tips? Try these:

Everything you need to know about easyJet’s cabin baggage restrictions.

Don’t get lumbered with a hefty baggage fee the next time you fly with easyJet, check out our top tips for bringing hand luggage only on your next flight and skirt those pesky extra charges.

15 of the best packing tips ever

Luggage scales, vacuum compression bags and disposable shower caps; 15 top tips that will make packing a breeze.

10 things you really shouldn’t take on holiday

10 items you should definitely leave behind when you go on holiday; especially if you’re travelling hand-luggage only.

Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire.