Gatwick Airport Security

Enhanced security measures mean that checking in can take longer than it used to. It is advised that you arrive at the airport in plenty of time:
international flights
european flights
domestic flights

How many bags am I allowed?

Passengers are now permitted to carry more than one item of hand luggage through security. You will, however, need to check with your airline before arriving at the airport. Some airlines will only allow you to carry one item of hand baggage, and the weight and size allowances differ between airlines. Many low-cost carriers will now allow you to take one airport shopping bag as well as your hand luggage but please check before you fly.

Gatwick Airport Hand Luggage Rules – What you can and can’t pack

Gatwick Airport Security - travelling with baby

Gatwick Airport Security - a suitcase

Gatwick Airport Security - sharp objects

Gatwick Airport Security - sports

Gatwick Airport Security - pills

Gatwick Airport Security - liquids

Gatwick Airport Security – additional things to note:

Gatwick Liquid Allowance:

  • Essential medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight (e.g. diabetic kit), as long as it is verified as authentic.
  • Baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by the accompanying passenger).

Please note: Other bags, such as handbags, may be carried within the single item of cabin baggage. However, depending on the airline, it may be required to be placed within your hand luggage when boarding the plane.


All items carried by passengers will be x-ray screened, including.

  • Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs.
  • Laptops and other large electrical items (e.g. a large hairdryer) have to be removed from cabin baggage and screened separately. (A laptop bag will be regarded as your one item that is allowed in the cabin)

Before Security

All shops and catering outlets are open to all passengers. Hand baggage is now allowed BUT any liquids and gels must be packed into your hold luggage for check-in. Any other purchases must fit into your hand baggage.

After Security

All shops and catering outlets are open to all passengers. Passengers can take all items purchased in the departures lounge into the aircraft cabin unless they are travelling to the USA. For more information, please visit

Duty-Free and Departure Lounge Purchases

 Security at Heathrow Airport
Any liquid items purchased in Duty-Free can be taken on board the plane, but be sure to retain any proof of purchase as this may be required at transfer points. The above requirements are enforced by HM Revenue & Customs, whilst airlines and airports may have additional measures in place. It’s always advised that you check the additional requirements when you book your flight.

Presents and Gifts

Wrapped Christmas presents are not exempt from the current aviation security measures and are subject to searching and screening measures by airport security staff when flying from the UK. It is possible that passengers may be asked to unwrap any presents by security staff at the airport before their journey. Therefore, passengers should travel with any presents unwrapped.

Presents in liquid form (e.g. perfume, toiletries or alcohol) can be carried in cabin baggage but this is subject to the current measures. It would therefore be advisable to place such presents – unwrapped – in hold baggage. Liquids of any amount can still be stored in hold baggage.


Gatwick Premium Passport Control

Gatwick Premium Passport Control

Gatwick Airport offers a Premium Passport control service for those arriving in the UK. It’s available to pre-book online and is only open for up to 50 passengers an hour, to ensure you get the speedy service you pay for. Gatwick Premium Passport Control is open daily from 06:00-24:00, except Christmas Day.

To find it head towards Passport Control and follow the signs for Premium. It costs £9.99 a person and should be booked online, at least 24hrs in advance.

Gatwick Airport Security – Prohibited Items

Here are a number of other items that must not be taken on board an aircraft or through security, either as hand luggage or in the hold. Please do not pack the following anywhere in your carry on or check-in luggage:

Prohibited Items
Flammable liquids and solids Oxidisers
Organic peroxides Gas cylinders
Infectious substances Wet car cell batteries
Instruments containing magnets Instruments containing mercury
Magnetrons Fireworks
Non-safety matches, firelighters, lighter fuel Paints, thinners
Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkiller Acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
Creosote, quicklime, oiled paper Radioactive materials