Could heightened security measures ruin Christmas for thousands of passengers?

Christmas could be ruined for thousands of passengers with crackers, party poppers – and chestnuts – on many airlines’ naughty lists.

Strict rules imposed by airports and airlines mean passengers aren’t always allowed to travel with these seasonal essentials – either in their hand luggage or checked bags.

As a result of heightened security measures, the likes of Ryanair, Etihad, Emirates and Norwegian Airlines all have crackers on the no-fly list.

Even those using airlines which do allow them can usually only take them on board if they are sealed and in their original packaging.

Party poppers are banned on all flights leaving the UK while chestnuts are only permitted on arrivals from certain countries.

Nick Caunter, MD of Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd,, said: “Packing crackers in particular is a bit of minefield, with airlines and airports having their own, sometimes conflicting restrictions.

“So we’ve undertaken this research to hopefully make life a little easier for those flying this Christmas.”

Budget carrier easyJet, along with Aer Lingus and BMI Regional, permit passengers to bring crackers with them in both checked and cabin luggage.

But despite the stance of some airlines, UK airports have rules of their own on the festive favourites.

Gatwick, Heathrow and Birmingham allow one unopened box of crackers to be placed in hand luggage – as long as they are permitted by the passenger’s airline.

While Manchester, Stansted, Liverpool, East Midlands and London City airports allow them in checked luggage only.

Passengers carrying high-end crackers should also be wary of gifts contained inside as items such as scissors and screwdriver sets may need to be packed in checked luggage – depending on size.

And anyone travelling to America should leave the crackers at home.

A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said: “They are flammable and should not be brought on airplanes.”

Those who opt to make their own crackers should stick to shop-bought items when flying, as homemade ones are banned from the skies in both checked and hand luggage.

It also emerged passengers wanting to pack chestnuts should tread carefully – you can bring up to 2kg into the UK from anywhere in the EU, most European and Mediterranean countries, along with Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, but nowhere else.

Nick Caunter added: “If you do decide to bring crackers, with you when flying the best thing to do is pack them in checked luggage and avoid having them in hand luggage.

“But it’s really important you tell check-in staff you’ve packed them in your checked luggage.”

How many you can take, where to pack and any other essential information you’ll need.
Aer Lingus            Checked and cabin luggage                    Sealed in original packaging
BMI Regional            Checked and cabin luggage                    1 box sealed in original packaging
British Airways   Checked luggage but not US flights         2 boxes sealed in original packaging
Eastern Airways    Checked luggage                                    1 box sealed in original packaging
easyJet                   Checked and cabin luggage                    2 boxes sealed in original packaging
Flybe                   Checked luggage                                    1 box sealed in original packaging
Jet2                           Checked luggage                                    Sealed in original packaging
Qantas                    Checked luggage                                    2 boxes sealed in original packaging
Qatar                    Checked luggage but not US flights         2 boxes sealed in original packaging
Thomas Cook           Checked luggage but not US flights         1 box sealed in original packaging
TUI                           Checked luggage                                     Sealed in original packaging
Virgin Atlantic           Checked luggage                                     1 box sealed in original packaging

These airlines have banned the carriage of Christmas crackers on their flights. Failure to comply could result in delays or luggage not being loaded.
Air France
Air India
Air New Zealand
American Airlines
Cathay Pacific
Norwegian Airlines
SAS Scandinavian
Singapore Airlines
South African Airlines
United Airlines

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