What you can and can not take in hand luggage on a plane

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Before a long flight, passengers usually think about what they can carry with them and what should be discarded. Not all common items are allowed to be carried in hand luggage. Even seemingly harmless nail scissors and a nail file can raise questions during inspection. Consider the new rules of 2018 governing the carriage of hand luggage in the cabin of airliners.


More and more airlines are now phasing out certain services in order to reduce flight costs and maintain competitive ticket prices. Because of this, meals on board are sometimes not included in the price of the flight, but passengers are allowed to take food with them.

So, what food products are allowed in the cabin of an airliner, and which ones are not. Under the ban are liquid dishes and strong-smelling foods such as the durian fruit, popular in Southeast Asia. Tourists flying to some countries are not allowed to take animal products with them. In particular, all EU states fall under this ban.

In terms of comfort, in the limited space of an airplane, snacks, nuts and cookies in individual packages are best. They do not crumble, do not stain clothes, after their use there is no waste left, except for a soft bag. If you want to take fruits, you should pack them in a plastic container in advance.

An exception is made for baby food. If the baby is under two years old, parents or an accompanying person can have all the necessary baby food for the duration of the flight.


If there is a prescription from the attending physician, it is allowed to take medicines in the cabin of the aircraft in any dosage form: solutions, tablets, suppositories, ointments, etc. The main thing is that the volume of the bottle should be no more than 100 ml.

You should be especially careful if you have drugs containing narcotic substances and strong antidepressants in your hand luggage. If the inspector can turn a blind eye to some analgin, that a psychotropic drug will certainly attract his attention if there is no prescription for the medicine.


The total volume of liquid allowed for carriage in hand luggage is one liter. This norm includes food, cosmetics, etc., moreover, the capacity of the bottles should not exceed 100 ml (baby food does not count).

Doctors recommend drinking as much as possible during the flight to avoid dehydration. To this end, you can carry an empty plastic bottle with you and ask the flight attendant to fill it with water for drinking.

Electronics and Gadgets

According to the rules of 2018, a passenger can take any digital electronics with him on board: a smartphone, laptop, “tablet”, player or book reader, so as not to get bored during a long flight and keep himself busy watching an interesting movie or watching videos (they must be translated before takeoff to airplane mode). It is no secret that low-cost airlines can show a movie in the cabin, but headphones are provided for an additional fee.

It is allowed to carry personal electrical appliances: hair dryer or styling iron, electric toothbrush or razor. Photo and video cameras are also allowed to be carried in hand luggage, moreover, they can be used for their intended purpose during the flight to shoot the sky panorama.

Other personal items

In a bag or backpack on board, you can have documents, jewelry, hygiene items, cosmetics, not forgetting that the restrictions described above apply to liquid forms (bottles no more than 100 ml).

Airlines reserve the right to confiscate items or accessories that they consider to be potentially dangerous. This category includes manicure sets, a corkscrew, a folding penknife and other piercing and cutting objects. It is better to carry them in luggage or leave them at home.

Goods from Duty-Free

Purchases made in duty-free shops are not subject to carry-on baggage rules. This means that everything purchased before departure can be carried to the cabin, provided that the goods are packed in sealed bags along with a receipt. And, attention: this can only be done on direct flights, otherwise problems may arise during the inspection during the transfer. Especially if the airlines are different.

What is strictly forbidden to carry in hand luggage

  • Firearms, cold gas, pneumatic and stun guns.
  • Explosives, pyrotechnics, liquid and solid flammable substances.
  • Poisonous substances and poisons.
  • Corrosive, radioactive, magnetized substances.
  • Aerosols, except for cosmetic and household purposes.

Often there are controversial points. For example, a passenger is forbidden to take a gift lighter or perfume in a bottle larger than 100 ml into the cabin. Even a children’s toy gun, knitting needles and a common mercury thermometer are outlawed. Such moments should not come as a surprise to the traveler. It is better to send any doubtful items in your luggage, with the exception of an umbrella, a cane, a selfie stick (they can be taken on board).

Travel with pleasure!

In order not to spoil your mood before departure, you should clarify in advance the requirements of specific air carriers for hand luggage. And also figure out what you can refuse in flight. If the air travel lasts no more than three hours, then during this time you can get by with only the most necessary. There is no point in stuffing a bag or backpack with unnecessary trifles, risking falling out of favor with the carrier and experiencing inconvenience on board from the abundance of unnecessary things.

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