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Baggage and security

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Before you pack to go on holiday it's always best to check what you're allowed on the plane and how much luggage you can take with you. We recommend you make sure that you only arrive at the airport with items that are allowed on-board and that you pack just under the weight requirements so you have some room to spare.

Baggage allowances

Most airlines will only let you take up to a certain weight on an aircraft before you have to pay extra charges. Hand luggage is also restricted on every aircraft. Make sure you're up to date with the latest security information.

Hand baggage size guidelines: Hand luggage is not allowed to exceed 56cm in length, 45cm in width and 25cm in depth. Larger musical instruments are allowed but will be screened separately at the security search point.

Sharp items: As a general rule, anything with a sharp point is not allowed on any aircraft and passengers should avoid packing them in hand luggage. The Birmingham airport website lists the following items as being forbidden on aircraft;

  • Toy and replica guns
  • Catapults
  • Household cutlery
  • Knives of any kind
  • Paper knives
  • Razor blades
  • Trade tools
  • Darts
  • Scissors with blades longer than 3cm
  • Knitting needles
  • Sports bats
  • Billiards, snooker or pool cues
  • Flammable liquids
  • Gas canisters, butane energy cells
  • Personal attack alarms and laser pointers
  • Pointed hair clips

Liquids restrictions: In order to reduce the threat of liquid explosives there are restrictions in place on what passengers are allowed to take onto the aircraft. Hand luggage will be checked to make sure that any liquids are within the guidelines.

Liquids containers must be no larger than 100ml. The containers must be stored in a clear, re-sealable plastic bag no larger than one litre. Each passenger is allowed one bag for liquids.

Birmingham airport security

Checking in: When arriving at the security desk there are a number of things you can do to make sure you get through smoothly.

  • Make sure you have all the relevant documents to hand.
  • Check your hand luggage, including liquids, fits the restrictions.
  • Take off any jackets or coats and ready them for a separate screening.
  • Take laptops out of cases to be screened.

Locked suitcases: When you are travelling from the UK it is generally accepted that you lock your suitcase. You may be called upon open up a bag where the contents are unclear.

If you are flying from the USA the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asks that bags be left unlocked to make the job of security screeners easier and quicker. The TSA has recently listed on its website a number of brand names that have accepted and recognised locks. These are locks that airport security screeners can open and relock. The list also contains the names of several makes of travel padlocks that screeners can open and relock.