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Heathrow Airport Security

As we navigate through changing times, Heathrow Airport's security measures have evolved. Here's your updated guide on what to expect and prepare for when going through Heathrow security.


The rules on liquids, gels, pastes, and aerosols have been in place since 2006, following significant security concerns. At Heathrow, these items need to be in containers holding no more than 100ml each. Place these containers in a transparent, resealable plastic bag of dimensions no larger than 20cm x 20cm. Bags are available at security, but it's wise to check your items fit before heading to the airport. Exceptions include:

  • Puréed food and baby milk: Carry what you need for the flight, but be ready for possible security checks. Post-security, formula milk is available for purchase.
  • Liquid medicines: Medicines over 100ml require pre-approval from your airline and departure airport, along with a doctor's note. You may be asked to verify these medicines at security.

Don't forget:

  • Most make-up items are under 100ml and can fit in your plastic bag. Remember, nail files and scissors shorter than 6cm are permitted.
  • For perfume, ensure containers are within the 100ml limit to avoid disposal at security.
  • Contact lenses and solutions must also comply with these liquid regulations.

Sharp and Dangerous Items

Security prohibits items that could cause harm. Prohibited items include:

  • - Scissors with blades over 6cm.
  • - Toy or replica weapons.
  • - Only one cigarette lighter per person is allowed.
  • - Knitting needles are permitted at Heathrow but not at all airports.

Large and Special Items

The size and quantity of your bags are airline-specific. Ensure clarity on baggage policies before arriving at Heathrow. Remember:

  • Laptops, cameras, and large electrical items need to be screened separately.
  • Musical instruments are generally permitted, though some accessories might be restricted.
  • Sporting equipment is allowed, barring potential weapons like baseball bats.
  • Single gas cartridges are permitted, but check airline restrictions for specifics.
  • Solid food items can pass through security, but be mindful of destination customs rules.

Packing Tips

  • - Use common sense when packing - if it could be used offensively, it's likely not allowed.
  • - Check airline policies for hand luggage restrictions and allowances.
  • - Gifts should be unwrapped for security checks - wait until you arrive to wrap them.
  • - Consider packing a toothbrush and a change of clothes in your hand luggage for comfort during and after your flight.

Security measures are in place for everyone's safety. Allowing extra time to navigate through security will mean a smoother journey for you.

*Information correct at time of writing and is subject to change.

Heathrow airport security

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