Manchester Airport security delays: what can and can’t go in your hand luggage to help clear security faster

With security and baggage delays posing an ongoing headache at Manchester Airport terminals, we look at hand luggage sizes, restricted items and liquids, plus how to pack your carry-on bags to try to speed up your airport journey.

Passengers at Manchester Airport are continuing to vent their upset at lengthy queues and delays affecting operations there.

More travellers have taken to social media today (5 April) to share frustration at long lines and slow progress through security procedures.

The airport has apologised, blaming a combination of staff shortages due to Covid, the length of time it takes to recruit extra workers, a recent spike in passenger numbers - and on some occasions, a high number of carry-on bags being rejected at security.

An airport spokesman told ManchesterWorld last week that, as many people haven’t flown in months because of the pandemic, they may have forgotten what is allowed and what is forbidden in their hand luggage.

On that note, we’ve made a handy video guide of our top tips to try to ease your passage through the airport a little - plus you can find more advice on when to arrive at the airport from airport bosses here - plus a daily update on delays here.

Check if your hand luggage still meets your airlines size requirements Credit: bnenin -

What can I carry on board in my hand luggage - and what items are forbidden?

First off, check with your individual airline what is the maximum bag size and weight allowed in the cabin, and how many bags your ticket allows you to bring on board. Some airlines - including Easyjet - have changed this during the pandemic, so double-check on your airline’s website and grab your measuring tape, before you pack.

Next, what can’t go in your hand luggage? The most common one to note is liquids in containers of more than 100 millilitres, unless it’s for medical needs or baby milk.

For liquids of 100ml or less, they need to be in a clear, resealable plastic bag no bigger than 20cm by 20cm in size. Liquids include drinks, make-up, toiletries, toothpastes and aerosol sprays.

You will need to take this bag out and put it in a tray at security, so have it handy. Manchester Airport said the most common item people forget they are carrying is hand sanitiser.

Airlines also have a list of dangerous items which can’t go in your hand luggage: the most common being sharp things like scissors and razor blades, and flammable items like lighters.

Eletronic items like tablets will need to be removed at security Credit: sebra -

You may want to minimise the number of electronic items such as tablets and laptops you put in carry-on bags, as you’ll also be asked to take those out at security - make sure they are charged if you do in case you’re asking to turn them on.

On the day, it might help to avoid wearing things that could set off security scanners such as belts with metal buckles - and you might be asked to take your shoes off, so a pair that is easy to remove will make life easier.

You can check out the full list of restricted items for UK airports at the website.