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Don't wrap your presents before your flight

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If you don't want the whole airport to see the saucy undies you've bought your wife for Christmas - put them in the hold.

That is one piece of advice being given to passengers flying from Stansted airport over the festive season.

Other tips include leaving your Christmas crackers at home, as they are not allowed in hand or checked-in luggage.

The airport is expected to handle more than half a million passengers between December 19 and January 2, and manager Neale Jouques is reminding them that security restrictions are as much in force as ever.

“This is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the airport,” Mr Jouques said.

“We want everyone using the terminal this Christmas to have a stress free and enjoyable journey through the airport, so it’s important that our passengers follow some simple tips before leaving home to help them on their way."

Travellers should check with their airline what restrictions apply to hand and checked-in luggage, and should pack as much as possible into checked-in luggage, Mr Jouques said.

If you wish to carry presents in your hand luggage, remember they may need to be inspected at security, so don't wrap them.

Any liquids in hand luggage must be in individual containers no more than 100ml in capacity, and they should be carried through security in a transparent resealable bag no larger than 20cm x 20cm (8”x 8”). Bags are available at the airport.

Sharp objects such as knives, scissors and corkscrews must be put in the hold.

“Security procedures at all airports are there for everyone’s safety, and arriving prepared will help avoid delays," Mr Jouques added.

As usual, travellers should allow plenty of time for their journey to the airport, and should aim to arrive at least two hours before their flight.

Public transport timetables may be different over the festive period, so check with the operator or visit

It's a good time of year to be early for your flight, as entertainment is planned at the airport all this week.

The Bishop's Stortford Salvation Army will be there on Tuesday, December 16, Irish dancers will be performing on Wednesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 18, and both the Salvation Army and the dancers will be there on Friday, December 19.

If you're flying from Stansted airport, start your holiday early by booking a night at the Hilton London Stansted Airport.

Prices at the Hilton London Stansted Airport start from just £97.87, including eight days' secured parking.

Prices are correct for bookings searched on December 16, 2008. Prices are subject to change. Book your Stansted airport hotel in advance to get the best prices and availability.