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Security & Baggage Advice

Dangerous Goods | Security Search Area | Hand (cabin) Baggage | Hold (checked-in) Baggage | General Baggage Information | Inbound Customs Restrictions | Delayed (Lost) / Damaged Baggage | Lost Property

Dangerous Goods

Passengers should be aware that airlines and security screening agencies have the right to refuse the carriage of certain dangerous goods in the interests of aviation safety.

The CAA has published guidance on the types of dangerous goods which passengers are permitted to carry in their carry-on baggage, in their checked baggage, on their person and those which are forbidden on an aircraft. 

Dangerous Goods items include flammable or harmful substances such as gases, oxidisers, poisons, corrosives and hazardous biological or chemical material. Non-safety matches, lighter fluid and firelighters are also included. Additionally any item considered to pose a security or safety risk may be prevented from passing through the Security Search Area. The CAA website's dangerous goods page contains full details.  See the items forbidden anywhere on an aircraft.

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Security Search Area

Solid food snacks including sandwiches etc are permitted through the search area in hand baggage.  However, yogurt or foods with large quantities of sauces, soups and syrups, jams and preserves will be subject to the 'liquids' regulations.

UK Government Regulations

The DfT rules to which UK airports operate are constantly being reviewed but they are not always published for public consumption.  These measures are in place for aircraft safety but may result in disappointment when items are not permitted through the security search area.

The following topics are published for guidance:

Hand (cabin) Baggage

Size & Weight Restrictions

Passengers should check booking conditions for airline or holiday company baggage limits and restrictions.
eg:   Flybe | Thomson | Thomas Cook | Skybus | Air Malta

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Liquids Restrictions

  • Liquids containers must hold no more than 100ml (3.4 fl oz)
  • Containers must not be capable of holding more than 100ml
  • Liquids containers must be carried in a single (one per passenger), transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than one litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • The contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so that it can be sealed
  • Liquids bags must be presented for examination at the airport security point

Items classed as 'Liquids'

  • All drinks including water, soups and syrups, jams and preserves
  • Cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lipsticks
  • Sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants
  • Pastes, including toothpaste
  • Gels, including hair and shower gel
  • Contact lens solution
    if tested positive for DfT banned substances the solution may not travel - products with hydrogen peroxide have failed this test - Bausch & Lomb ReNU Multi purpose contact lens solution passes the test for soft contact lenses
  • Any other solutions and items of similar consistency

  • Lighters are considered to be liquids and should be put inside the plastic bag or screened separately
    one lighter per person may be carried on a flight but must kept on the person and not placed in hand baggage after screening


  • An e-cigarette or vaping device may be taken through the Security Search Area but the use is not permitted in the airport terminal.
  • Spare refills may not be carried in hand (cabin) baggage or in hold (checked-in) baggage.

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Essential Medicines

EpiPens and Insulin Injection Pens may be carried in a cabin bag or within the hold of the aircraft and the user is not required to provide any medical certification.  If additional insulin is required a doctor’s note or repeat prescription should be carried for verification.  Passengers may carry other medical items and essential medicines for the journey, including inhalers and dietary foodstuffs in containers over 100ml in hand baggage. Some of these may also need supporting documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional (eg doctor's letter or prescription). Please check with the airline.

Baby Feed and Drink

  • Baby feed and drink for the journey may travel in quantities greater than required in the Hand (cabin) Baggage 'liquids' Restrictions and there is no need for a clear resealable plastic bag.
  • Sterilised water within a bottle is permitted.
  • Feed of any consistency and drink will be machine tested.
  • If feeds are within sealed containers and in large amounts, the security staff will select a random sample to be tested.

Liquids Bought at the Airport

Passengers can take into the aircraft cabin any liquids bought after passing through the security search area, as these items go through a separate screening process. This includes bottled water, wines and spirits and fragrances and cosmetics of any size.

Passenger Cabin Prohibited Articles

Items defined as Dangerous and Restricted Items are not permitted through the Security Search Area or into the Aircraft Passenger Cabin. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Objects capable, or appearing capable, of discharging a projectile or causing injury
  • Sharp objects capable of causing injury
  • Blunt instruments capable of causing injury
  • Explosives and flammable substances which pose a risk to the health or property
  • Chemical and toxic substances which poses a risk to the health or property

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Laptops / Electrical Items

Passengers may take electrical items in hand baggage but laptop computers and some other electrical items will need to be removed and screened separately. 

Other Items

Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are usually permitted in the cabin, but will be security screened.

Oversized Items

Any item of hand baggage larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin and must be checked in as hold baggage, with the exception of musical instruments.

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size will normally be allowed as a second item of cabin baggage. Larger instruments are also permitted but passengers should check with the airline as special arrangements need to be made, such as buying an extra seat.

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Hold (checked-in) Baggage

Baggage Allowance/Limit

Passengers should check booking conditions for the airline (holiday company) Baggage Allowance.
eg:  Flybe | Thomson  | Skybus | Air Malta | Thomas Cook

Maximum Baggage Weight Limits generally restrict individual items to 32kgs (30kgs with Flybe) and items above these weights will not be accepted at check-in.

Over-Size Baggage

See the Baby & Child page for pushchair & child buggy procedures.
Other Over-Size Baggage (golf clubs, surf boards, skis etc ) may be subject to a charge and cannot be guaranteed carriage without prior notice. Outbound items will be tagged at check-in and must be deposited at the over-size baggage belt in the Departures Channel. Inbound items will be available at the over-size zone in baggage re-claim.

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General Baggage Information

  • Passengers must comply with all Baggage Regulations.
  • Hold Baggage should be strong and fit for purpose as it will be handled, manually and mechanically, many times between Check-in and Baggage Reclaim.
  • Pack medication for use on the journey in hand baggage and carry a letter from your doctor.
  • Do not pack money, jewellery and other valuable items in Hold (checked-in) Baggage.
  • Electrical items, aerosols and gas hair curlers, without refills, should be placed in Hold (checked-in) Baggage.
  • Never carry anything onto an aircraft for other people.
  • Airport Baggage Tags will be issues at check-in but baggage labels are not usually issued by the airline.
  • Passengers' own labels should not display the home address. For identification in an emergency, name and home address, should be placed inside baggage.
  • Baggage should be securely locked at all times.
  • Do not leave baggage or personal belongings unattended in or around the airport.

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Inbound Customs Restrictions

  • Passengers do not have to pay any tax or duty in the UK on goods bought tax paid in other EU countries which are for personal use but Customs Officers may question travellers with large quantities of alcohol or tobacco.
  • Passengers travelling to the UK from outside the EU are entitled to a lower allowance. Please check with HM Revenue & Customs for details of allowances.
  • Passengers should be also aware of the strict rules for bringing foodstuffs and related products into the European Union (EU): Bringing food and plants into the UK

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Delayed (Lost) / Damaged Baggage

  • Exeter Airport uses Global Baggage Systems (GBS) tracking for the trace and the return process of delayed (lost) baggage.  Passengers may use their File Reference Number to check the progress and when retrieved a courier will deliver it to the address on file.

  • Once checked-in, under the terms of the Montreal Convention 1999, the carrier (airline) is liable for damage which took place during any period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier (ie up until collected from the baggage belt). The person entitled to delivery must complain to the carrier (airline) representative after the discovery of the damage, and, at the latest, within seven days from the date of receipt in the case of checked baggage. To support any case passengers should report an incident at the baggage reclaim area of the arrival airport and a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) should be completed. The airline will usually request a copy of the PIR when making a claim.
    This form cannot be issued after a passenger has left the airport.

Also see Delayed / Lost / Damaged Baggage UK European Consumer Centre (Air Travel) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) information.

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Lost Property

    For Lost Property items which may have been found in the airport terminal or on an aircraft contact the Lost Property Office: 01392 354909 (email EDALPassOffice).  Items may be collected from the Lost Property Office adjacent to the Arrivals building: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm - other arrangements will need to be made outside these hours. Found Passports will be handed to the police as it is a legal requirement for a lost passport to be returned to the passport office