Bristol Airport Security Information

Bristol Airport Security header

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

Bristol Airport recommends leaving 3 hours before departing on international flights
Bristol Airport recommends leaving 2 hours for european flights
Bristol Airport recommends leaving 90 minutes before taking a domestic departure flight

Cabin baggage and size allowed

  • As with all UK airports, Bristol Airport security allows ONE item of hand baggage; dimensions: 56 centimetres long [approximately 22 inches], 45 centimetres high [approximately 17.5 inches], 25 centimetres deep [approximately 9.85 inches] including wheels, handles, side pocket.
  • All items of luggage which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size must be checked in to be placed in the aircraft hold.
  • Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are permitted but will be screened.
  • Musical instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size are allowed as a second item of cabin baggage, they will need to be screened and passengers should check with their airlines if special arrangements (e.g. purchasing an extra seat) for these large instruments will be required.
  • 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.


Some liquids (e.g. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams and foodstuffs) are now allowed through airport security check points. There are the following restrictions on the quantity of liquids:

  • Liquids may only be carried within separate containers each of which with a capacity not greater than 100ml.
  • These containers must be brought to the airport contained in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which itself must not exceed 1 litre in capacity (approximately 20cms x 20cms). The contents of the plastic bag must fit comfortably and the bag must be sealed.
  • Each passenger may carry only one such bag of liquids. The bag must be presented for examination.

Liquids that can not be placed inside the re-sealable bag must be packed into the hold luggage and checked in. Liquids of any amount can still be carried in luggage checked into the aircraft hold.

Please note ‘Liquids’ include:

  • All drinks, including water, soup, syrups
  • Creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara etc
  • Sprays and pressurized containers including shaving foam and spray deodorants
  • Pastes, including toothpastes
  • Gels, including hair and shower gel
  • Any other solutions and items of similar consistency


Essential medicines and baby food may be permitted in larger quantities above the 100ml limit, but will be subject to authentication.

We recommend taking a doctor’s note to explain your medication. Bristol Airport security guards aren’t specialist doctors and some medicines may look suspicious to them – you don’t want to risk them getting confiscated!

Duty free / departure lounge purchases

  • You may take on board liquid items of any size that are purchased after the security check in the Departure lounge.
  • Most duty free or similar purchases will be given to you in a special sealed bag. Do not open this bag until you have reached your final destination. You should also retain your proof of purchase throughout your journey. You will be required to show it at all transfer points.

**Please note restrictions apply to duty free purchases made on return journeys where passengers change flights at an EU airport. These are explained in detail on the Department of Transport’s website

These are the requirements set down by the Department for Transport. Airlines and Airports may have additional measures in place. Passengers are strongly advised to check the website of their carrier or airport before travelling.

What to pack

What to pack in your hand luggage at Bristol Airport
What to pack in your hold luggage at Bristol Airport

What Not To Pack

You should always check the exact hand luggage allowance with your airline prior to packing. Most airlines have a hand baggage measurement gauge at check-in.

Take only one piece of hand luggage and make sure that your hand luggage does not contain:

Prohibited Items

If items are confiscated at security control you will not be compensated and, with the exception of unusual circumstances, the confiscated items will not be returned.


Razor blades
Knives with blades of any length Household cutlery
Tweezers Hypodermic needles (unless required for medical reasons)
Tools Toy/replica guns (metal or plastic) Catapults
Knitting needles Sporting bats
Corkscrews Walking/hiking poles
Billiard, snooker or pool cues Darts

Syringes that are needed for diabetics and other medical reasons will only be allowed in hand luggage if you can prove the medical necessity. You may wish to phone the airline in advance to find out what they require as proof of your medical condition.