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Dangerous or restricted items

What you can and can't bring onto the aircraft.

This page tells you which dangerous items are never allowed on board, which ones are never allowed in your hand baggage (but can be checked into the hold), and which are only allowed onboard with our permission.

There are certain dangerous items which are restricted on our flights. These regulations are for your own safety.

If you want to bring a dangerous item, check the sections below to see if you can bring it, where it should go in the aircraft, and what you need to do to get permission to take it on board.

If you're not sure if you can bring something on the aircraft, please call us on +44 (0)208 897 5261. We'll be happy to advise you.

 

What you'll find on this page:

Items that are never allowed onboard

Items that are never allowed in your hand baggage

Items that are sometimes allowed onboard, with our permission

Items that will need our permission in advance to be taken onboard

Is my item allowed onboard?

Items that are never allowed onboard

The following items are never allowed on our flights in any circumstances.

  • Cigarette lighters with a blue flame, cigar lighters, and 'strike-anywhere' (non-safety) matches are banned on all flights.
  • Compressed gases, whether deeply refrigerated, flammable, non flammable or poisonous such as butane, oxygen, liquid nitrogen and aqualung cylinders
  • Smart bags (unless the batteries can be removed)
  • Explosives such as fireworks, flares, sparklers, party poppers or other explosives of any kind
  • Corrosives such as acids, alkalis, mercury and wet cell batteries
  • Flammable liquids and solids such as lighter fuel, paints, thinner and firelighters.
  • Radioactive material
  • Oxidising material such as bleaching powder and peroxides
  • Weapons such as disabling sprays, tear gas, mace, pepper spray containing an irritant or incapacitating substance
  • Firearms and ammunition*
  • Electro shock weapons such as tasers, containing dangerous goods such as explosives, compressed gases, lithium batteries etc are forbidden in carry-on baggage or checked baggage or on the person.
  • Briefcases and attaché cases with alarm devices installed
  • Poisons and infectious substances such as insecticides, weed killers and live virus materials
  • Solids such as carbon dioxide and solid dry ice
  • Other dangerous articles such as magnetised, offensive or irritating materials
  • Security type attaché cases, cash boxes, cash bags, etc incorporating dangerous goods, such as lithium batteries and/or pyrotechnic material, except as provided in are totally forbidden.
  • Hover boards/segway boards/mini segway/self-balancing board/smart balance/wheels and breeze boards.
  • Shock absorbers**.
  • For flights to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, Havana and Delhi, you cannot bring any cigarette lighters, including butane, absorbed fuel (Zippo style), battery-powered and novelty lighters*.
  • For flights to and from Shanghai, nail polish and nail polish remover are banned, along with all safety matches and lighters.
  • For flights to and from Shanghai, you cannot bring power banks exceeding 160wh. (Power banks below 100wh may only be carried in your hand baggage. Power banks between 100wh and 160wh must be approved by Virgin Atlantic before travel. Each passenger may carry no more than two power banks).
  • Liquid oxygen systems are forbidden for transport.

If you're not sure if you can bring your items on the aircraft, please call us on +44 (0)208 897 5261. We'll be happy to advise you.

*It’s possible to bring a firearm and limited quantities of ammunition, but you must contact us in advance. For details on packing firearms and ammunition, please see our sports equipment page.

**Shock absorbers are not allowed onboard but may be carried as cargo, provided they are packed in accordance with cargo regulations. For more information, contact Virgin Atlantic Cargo.

 

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Items that are never allowed in your hand baggage

These items can be brought onto the aircraft, but only in your check in baggage. You any of these items into the cabin with you in your hand baggage, but they might be allowed in your check in baggage. If they are found in your hand baggage at the airport they may be confiscated by security staff.

  • Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal)
  • Catapults
  • Household cutlery, such as forks
  • Knives with blades of any length
  • Paper knives/letter openers
  • Razor blades
  • Darts
  • Sporting bats
  • Billiards, snooker or pool cues
  • Christmas crackers (one box may be included in check in baggage if they are in their original sealed retail box).

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Items that are sometimes allowed in your hand baggage, with permission

If you are considering taking any of these items with you, you may need permission. Please read the rules carefully before considering taking them with you.

 

Scissors

Scissors with blunt or round-ended blades (metal or plastic) less than 6cms in length, or scissors with metal blades and pointed tips under 3cm are permitted.

US airports will allow metal scissors with pointed tips and a cutting edge four inches or less (measured from the pivot), metal scissors with blunt tips, plastic scissors and ostomy scissors.

 

Safety matches

Safety matches are permitted in limited quantities on most of our flights, but not if you are flying to or from the Caribbean.

 

Hypodermic syringes

Hypodermic syringes are permitted in the cabin if you have a medical condition that requires you to inject during the flight. If this is the case please ensure you can produce medical evidence such as a doctor’s letter when you check in, and at security screening. You should keep this with you at all times. Please also ensure that your medication is labelled with the name of the medication and the person it is prescribed to. Find out more about travelling with a medical condition.

 

Tools such as hammers

US airports will allow screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and other tools (but not crowbars, drills, hammers or saws), as long as they are seven inches or less in length.

Please note that regardless of these exceptions, security personnel are entitled to confiscate any item that may, in their reasonable opinion, be used or adapted to cause injury or incapacitation.

If you're not sure if you can bring your items in your hand baggage, please call us on +44 (0)208 897 5261. We'll be happy to advise you.

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Items that will need our permission in advance to be taken onboard

Certain restricted items are allowed on our flights, but you will need to get our permission in advance.

Take a look at the table below to find out how the item can be taken on to our flights, then contact us on +44 (0)208 897 5261 for assistance.

Item Hand baggage Checked in baggage Carried on person
Ammunition (cartridges for weapons), securely packaged (in Div. 1.4S, UN 0012 or UN 0014 only), in quantities not exceeding 5 kg gross weight per person for that person’s own use. Allowances for more than one person must not be combined into one or more packages. No Yes No
Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility devices with non-spillable wet batteries or with batteries which comply with Special Provision A123 or A199. No Yes No
Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility devices with spillable batteries or lithium batteries. No  Yes No
Battery-powered mobility aids with lithium ion batteries (collapsible), lithium ion battery must be removed and carried in the cabin. Yes No No
Camping stoves and fuel containers that have contained a flammable liquid fuel, with empty fuel tank and/or fuel container. No Yes No
Mercury barometer or thermometer carried by a representative of a government weather bureau or similar official agency. Yes No No
Security-type equipment containing lithium batteries No Yes No
Spare lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries for portable electronic devices (including medical devices) with a Wh rating exceeding 100 Wh but not exceeding 160Wh. For portable medical electronic devices only, lithium metal batteries with a lithium content exceeding 2g but not exceeding 8 g. Maximum of two spare batteries in carry-on baggage only. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. Yes No Yes
Avalanche rescue backpack, one (1) per person, containing a cylinder of compressed gas in Div. 2.2. May also be equipped with a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing less than 200 mg net of Div. 1.4S. The backpack must be packed in such a manner that it cannot be accidentally activated. The airbags within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves. Yes Yes No
Carbon dioxide, solid (dry ice), in quantities not exceeding 2.5 kg per person when used to pack perishables not subject to these Regulations in checked or carry-on baggage, provided the baggage (package) permits the release of carbon dioxide gas. Checked baggage must be marked “dry ice” or “carbon dioxide, solid” and with the net weight of dry ice or an indication that there is 2.5 kg or less dry ice. Yes Yes No
Chemical Agent Monitoring Equipment, when carried by staff members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on official travel. Yes Yes No
Heat producing articles such as underwater torches (diving lamps) and soldering irons. Yes Yes No
Lithium battery-powered electronic devices. Lithium ion batteries for portable (including medical) electronic devices, a Wh rating exceeding 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh. For portable medical electronic devices only, lithium metal batteries with a lithium content exceeding 2 g but not exceeding 8 g. Yes Yes Yes
Oxygen or air, gaseous, cylinders required for medical use. The cylinder must not exceed 5 kg gross weight. Note: Liquid oxygen systems are forbidden for transport. Yes Yes Yes
Small non-flammable gas cartridges, containing carbon dioxide or other suitable gas in Division 2.2. Up to two (2) small cylinders fitted into a life jacket or vest. Not more than one (1) device per passenger, and up to two (2) spare cartridges per person, not more than four (4) cylinders up to 50 mL water capacity for other devices. Yes Yes Yes

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Is my item allowed onboard?

The table below should help you find out if your item is restricted, and which part of the aircraft it can travel in.

Item Hand baggage Checked in baggage Carried on person
Alcoholic beverages, when in retail packagings, containing more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol by volume, in receptacles not exceeding 5 L, with a total net quantity per person of 5 L. Yes Yes Yes

Item Hand baggage Checked in baggage Carried on person
Aerosols in Division 2.2, with no subsidiary risk, for sporting or home use. No Yes No
Non-radioactive medicinal or toilet articles (including aerosols) such as hair sprays, perfumes, colognes and medicines containing alcohol. Yes Yes Yes

The total net quantity of the above 2 mentioned articles must not exceed 2 kg or 2 L, and the net quantity of each single article must not exceed 0.5 kg or 0.5 L. Release valves on aerosols must be protected by a cap or other suitable means to prevent inadvertent release of the contents.

Item Hand baggage Checked in baggage Carried on person
Energy efficient lamps when in retail packaging intended for personal or home use. Yes Yes Yes
Fuel cells, and spare fuel cartridges powering portable electronic devices (e.g. cameras, cellular phones, laptop computers, and camcorders). Yes Yes Yes
Hair curlers containing hydrocarbon gas, up to one (1) per passenger or crew-member, provided that the safety cover is securely fitted over the heating element. These hair curlers must not be used on board the aircraft at any time. Gas refills for such curlers are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage. Yes Yes No
Insulated packagings containing refrigerated liquid nitrogen (dry shipper), fully absorbed in a porous material containing only non-dangerous goods. Yes Yes No
Internal combustion or fuel cell engines, must meet A70. No Yes No
Medical or clinical thermometer, which contains mercury, one (1) per person for personal use, when in its protective case. Yes Yes Yes
Non-flammable, non-toxic gas cylinders worn for the operation of mechanical limbs. Also, spare cylinders of a similar size if required to ensure an adequate supply for the duration of the journey. Yes Yes Yes
Non-infectious specimens packed with small quantities of flammable liquid, must meet A180. Yes Yes No
Permeation devices - must meet A41. No Yes No
Portable electronic devices (including medical devices) containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, such as watches, calculating machines, cameras, cellular phones, lap-top computers, camcorders, etc., when carried by passengers or crew for personal use. Batteries must not exceed 2 g for lithium metal batteries and 100 Wh for personal use. Batteries must not exceed 2 g for lithium metal batteries and 100 Wh for lithium ion batteries. Yes Yes Yes
All spare batteries, including lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, for such portable electronic devices must be carried in carry-on baggage only. These batteries must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. Yes No Yes
Portable electronic devices containing non-spillable batteries, batteries must meet A67 and must be 12 V or less and 100 Wh or less. A maximum of 2 spare batteries may be carried. Yes Yes No
Radioisotopic cardiac pacemakers or other devices, including those powered by lithium batteries, implanted into a person or fitted externally, or radiopharmaceuticals contained within the body of a person as the result of medical treatment. No No Yes
Safety matches (one small packet) or a cigarette lighter that does not contain unabsorbed liquid fuel, other than liquefied gas, intended for use by an individual when carried on the person. Lighter fuel and lighter refills are not permitted on one’s person or in checked or carry-on baggage. No No Yes
Electronic cigarettes (including e-cigars, e-pipes, other personal vaporizers) containing batteries must be individually protected to prevent accidental activation. Yes No Yes