Preparing for a flight can be stressful enough, especially when you arrive at the terminal and find out that you can’t bring the items in your packed lunch through airport security.
Here, we take a detailed look at what’s allowed through and what’s not to ensure your trip goes smoothly.
Can I bring groceries through airport security?
Let’s face it: Food prices at airports are often inflated, meaning passengers can’t eat anywhere else.
By bringing your own food, you save yourself the hassle of going to expensive airport restaurants.
Cakes, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and all other completely solid foods can be taken through UK airport security without any problem.
However, there are a number of items that you must treat as liquids.
For example, pots of jam, hummus, syrup, honey and guacamole all need to be in 100ml or sub containers – and they need to fit in the tiny plastic bag containing your liquids.
Oddly enough, it would be acceptable to remove the hummus from the pot and spread it on a slice of bread.
Jars of olives and pickles also count as liquids, although they are mostly solids because they contain a significant amount of juice.
Canned items such as tuna are also banned because they are more than 100ml and contain liquid.
This also means that sauces, yoghurt, vinegar and oil are prohibited if they contain more than 100ml.
But sweet treats such as caramel or liquid-filled chocolates are also allowed – but must fit into your 100ml bag along with all your other liquids.
Hard cheese belongs in hand luggage without any problem, while soft cheese belongs in the hold.
Soup is considered a liquid, not a solid.
The rule of thumb for taking food through airport security is to have it in your checked baggage as this will most often cause problems with the X-ray machine.
This may cause delays and may result in you having to empty all of your hand luggage.
It’s also worth checking whether you have US Customs preclearance – meaning US Customs are based in the UK Airports – if you travel to the USA.
That’s because some travelers have complained about being forced to give up things like ham sandwiches because they didn’t comply US Customs Laws.
Remember that airport security reserves the right to confiscate anything it deems dangerous, even if it doesn’t follow the rules.
Can I take drinks through airport security?
All liquids must be less than 100ml at airport security or they will be confiscated.
This regulation has been in effect since 2006.
Any liquids you take through airport security must be placed in a single, clear, resealable plastic bag that holds no more than one liter and is approximately 20cm x 20cm in size.
Liquids in containers larger than 100ml generally cannot pass through security, even if the container is only partially full.
There are some exceptions, including items needed for essential medical purposes, baby milk and any nutritional needs.
Once you’ve cleared security, you can purchase take-away drinks in the departures area Airplane.
You can also bring an empty water bottle through security and then refill it at a fountain.
You can then take this with you on the plane and drink it.
If you buy a bottle of sparkling wine or other alcohol larger than 100ml at the airport, you can easily take it on board as it is sealed in an airport bag.
However, you are only allowed to open the security bag at your destination.
In November 2022 it was announced that the 100ml limit would be removed by 2024.
The new rules allow drinks, makeup and liquids of any size to be taken in hand luggage.
It is worth noting that there are exceptions to the rules Government website It states that you can take liquid containers with a volume of more than 100 ml if they are for essential medical purposes, meet special dietary needs or contain baby food/milk.
Can I take baby food through airport security?
If your child is two years old or younger, you are allowed to carry some items in your carry-on bag, including baby formula and sterilized water – the amount needed for your trip.
Expressed breast milk can be consumed in unlimited quantities as long as it is packaged in individual containers with a maximum capacity of two liters per container. Baby food in liquid, gel or paste form is also fine.