Security has always been paramount at airports, and it has never been more important than it is now.
Restrictions are tight, but if you know the rules before you set off, you should be able to get through the checks with the minimum of inconvenience.
Top tips for smooth security
Know how much hand and hold luggage you are allowed. Restrictions differ between airlines, but your hold luggage allowance should be printed on your ticket or your booking confirmation. There should also be information on the airline's website.
Arrive at the airport in plenty of time for your flight. Leave more time than you think you need. Luton airport's advice is to check in two hours before departure, but your airline may give you different advice.
It is a good idea to go straight to security after you have checked in. With security so tight, getting through the airport takes longer than it used to.
Have your passport, boarding pass and bag of liquids ready for inspection. Take large electrical items out of your hand luggage ready to put them through the X-ray machine separately.
Take your coat off ready for the X-ray machine, and be prepared to take your shoes off.
You may have your bags searched or be body-searched. These searches are nothing to worry about and are often random.
Remember that anything you buy in the departures area after you have been through security can be taken onto the plane, including food and drink, duty-free items and toiletries.
If you have any queries, contact your airline or visit the Luton airport website.
Hand luggage restrictions
Passengers at Luton airport are allowed one piece of hand luggage only. The maximum size for hand luggage with most airlines is 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Check with your airline if you are not sure.
Laptop computers count as one item of hand luggage. They should be removed from their case before you go through security.
Liquids, creams, gels, aerosols and pastes may be carried in hand luggage, but they must be in containers of 100ml or less. They must be carried through security in a transparent, resealable bag no larger than 20cm x 18cm. Only one bag of liquids is allowed per person.
Bags are available from vending machines in the airport and cost £1 for four bags. The bag must be presented separately at the X-ray machine and must be sealed. The contents must fit comfortably inside it. Liquids may be tested to prove their authenticity.
As well as their one item of hand luggage, each passenger may also carry a musical instrument in its case. No items other than the instrument and its accessories may be carried in the case.
Baby food and baby milk are not subject to the 100ml restriction - you may take as much as you need for the flight. You may be asked to taste the milk and food. The airport's advice is to take jars rather than cartons if you can, as they are easier to check and can be resealed. Nappies and wet wipes are allowed, but other creams and liquids are subject to the normal restrictions. Pushchairs and buggies may be taken through security.
If you need to carry medicine in pressurised containers, you may carry containers of up to 500g or 500ml, up to a total of 2kg or 2 litres. You should bring your prescription with you. You may also take small oxygen and carbon dioxide cylinders, as long as your airline agrees.
If you carry wrapped presents in your hand luggage, security staff may unwrap them.
A complete list of items which may not be carried in hand luggage, and items which may not be carried in any luggage, is available on the Luton airport website.
The most obvious items banned in hand luggage are:
- • firearms and weapons
- • anything that looks like a weapon or could be used as a weapon
- • open razors - you may take safety or disposable razors where the blades are enclosed in the cartridge
- • scissors with blades more than 3cm long
- • sports clubs, sticks or bats, or any other blunt instrument which could cause injury
- • flammable, explosive or toxic substances
- • ice skates
- • skateboards
- • fishing rods
- • ski poles and hiking poles.