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Manchester airport restrictions

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Manchester airport, like all other major UK airports, has strict security checks in place. Luggage size and content allowances can impede your progress if you aren't aware of the restrictions before you pack, so check our guide now to help you breeze through these checks without a problem.

Body scanners

Manchester airport has been conducting a trial of "imaging technology" (also known as body scanners) in Terminal 2 since the end of 2009. Following a security incident on Christmas Day on a flight to Detroit, the aviation industry and respective governments have discussed additional measures.

From 1 February 2010, additional Government legislation came into operation at this airport. Travellers should be aware that any selected passenger who refuses to use the scanner will be denied travel.

Baggage allowances

Different airlines tend to have different allowances but they will always inform you at the time of your ticket purchase. The hold allowance will also be printed on the ticket for reference. Ticket wallets also contain general information about carry on bags. On electronic tickets (e-tickets) baggage allowances are usually on the confirmation notice. You can check your airline allowance on their website or by calling their information desk.

Overweight baggage: If your hold baggage is heavier than the allowance, the airline is entitled to make an excess baggage charge. This is usually quite expensive as it is a measure taken to discourage excess weight on the flight. If your cabin luggage is overweight or too big, you might be asked to check it in to the hold. If doing so then takes your hold luggage above weight allowance, you might have to pay the excess baggage charges. The best way to avoid any problems is to confirm with your airline the allowance and then pack accordingly with a little weight to spare.

Hand luggage: Travellers are usually only permitted one item of hand-luggage through the airport search point. The maximum size of hand luggage is approximately 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Some airlines are now allowing more, so you may wish to contact them in advance to check.

Liquid restrictions: Relaxations in security restrictions mean passengers are now able to take liquids through security check points. There are still some limitations however. Individual containers of liquids must not exceed a capacity of 100ml and all containers must be presented for examination in a 'single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag'. The re-sealable bag must not exceed a capacity of 1 litre or 20cm x 20cm.

Airport hand luggage limits

Liquids include:
• All drinks, including water, soup and syrups.
• Creams, lotions, oils, perfumes and make-up including mascara.
• Sprays and other pressurised containers such as shaving foam and deodorants.
• Toothpastes and other pastes.
• Hair and shower gels.
• Other solutions and items of similar consistency.

Please Note: Essential medicines or baby food can be carried on in larger volumes than 100ml, however, these items will be subject to authentication.

Some of the items not to pack in hand luggage:

  • Household cutlery
  • Any knives
  • Razor blades
  • Tools
  • Scissors
  • Hypodermic syringes
  • Knitting needles
  • Corkscrews
  • Sporting bats

Manchester airport security

Checking-In: It is important to give yourself plenty of time for your check-in at the airport. For long haul flights the check-in is 2 to 3 hours prior to your flight. Tighter security means everything takes longer than it used to at the airport, particularly during peak times. You should anticipate delays and long queues for check-in and screening. We recommend you allow extra time in case of special circumstances.

Expect to have your bags searched: Carry-on and checked bags are subject to being hand-searched, particularly if the contents can't be seen by the X-ray. Don't wrap gifts until you get there. Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

You can avoid setting off the metal detectors by not wearing jewellery, clothing, shoes, and accessories that contain metal. Security staff may ask to search you as well as your luggage. These searches are carried out at random so do not be alarmed or offended if you are chosen for searching. Be prepared to be selected for a bodyscan.

Locked suitcases: When you are travelling from the UK it is generally accepted that you lock your suitcase. You may be called upon to 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 ( www.tsa.gov ) 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.