Flying with Gifts

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Flying with a gift

Find out information on flying with a gift, including what you can and can't take on a plane. And advice on the best way to pack the gift or present in your case. 

Flying with gifts and wrapped presents

Three red wrapped gifts

There are no rules against flying with gifts and presents, as long as whichever item you're flying with is in accordance with airport security's rules and regulations. 

Flying with a gift in carry-on baggage

It's advised that when flying with a valuable gift, whether it's money, a laptop, a camera or any other valuable item, that you pack it within your carry-on baggage. This is because checked baggage is often out of sight and — although unlikely — there's no guarantee that it won't end up in the hands of the wrong person.

It's important to check that the gift that you're flying with is allowed to be taken in carry-on baggage, as airport security will confiscate any items that aren't allowed on the plane at security.

Flying with a gift in checked baggage

If the gift that you're flying with is prohibited from carry-on baggage, you'll have to pack it in your checked baggage. If this is the case, we recommend locking it with a travel sentry lock which is approved by and can be unlocked by security if they need to open your baggage in case they find a suspicious item. 

When will I not be allowed to take a gift in carry-on baggage?

The following gift items are not allowed in carry-on baggage and should be packed in your checked baggage instead:

- Any liquid that is more than 100ml/3.4oz, including alcohol, perfumes etc.
- Alcoholic drinks that are more than 70% alcohol
- Any item that could be used as a bludgeon, including sports equipment such as bats and clubs
- Any toy that resembles a weapon, such as toy guns or toy swords
- Sharp objects, including kitchen knives and knitting needles 
- Certain food, travelling between certain areas of the world
- English Christmas crackers
- Fireworks

If you're unsure whether your gift item is allowed in carry-on baggage, we recommend checking with airport security prior to departure.

When will I not be able to take a gift in checked baggage?

Although rarer than carry-on baggage, there might be cases where you can't carry gift items in your checked baggage. These include:

- Alcohol with more than a 70% alcohol percentage 
- Any item with a lithium battery (however, these can be transported in carry-on baggage)
- English Christmas crackers 
- Certain food, travelling between certain areas of the world
- Fireworks

If you're unsure whether your gift item is allowed in carry-on baggage, we recommend checking with airport security prior to departure.

Be careful with delicate items

If you have to pack your gift in checked baggage, it's important to protect and carefully wrap your items, particularly if they're delicate. Checked baggage is not always be handled with care. Therefore, items can break if they're not protected correctly. 

Flying with a wrapped gift

Here's some advice on flying with wrapped gifts and whether it's worth the hassle. 

Three wrapped gifts

Can I fly with wrapped gifts?

There's nothing that says you can't fly with a wrapped gift. However, be warned – airport security has the right to unwrap your gift if they believe it to be a suspicious item and they won't necessarily do a good job of re-wrapping it. Further to this, if you've decided to wrap your gift in carry-on baggage and you're flying with the person you're gifting it to, you run the risk of being unwrapped in front of them!

Wrap your gift after you've flown

We recommend wrapping your gift after you've flown and landed. If airport security unwraps your gift, your wrapping efforts will be wasted. Wrapping paper isn't hard to come by, so you shouldn't have trouble finding any. And if you do happen to be flying to somewhere extremely remote — wrapping paper, tape and scissors are not prohibited from checked baggage!

Store your gift in a gift bag

Another alternative to wrapping your gift is to store it in an unsealed gift bag. This allows for airport security to easily check the item without the need to unwrap anything but also keeps your gift in a nice, presentable bag.