Britain Changes Carry-On Rules For Carry On Bags…….sort of, kind of, well some of the airports

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08/01/08 – Britain Changes Carry-On Rules For Carry On Bags…….sort of, kind of, well some of the airports

For more than a year passengers flying from airports in the United Kingdom, or transiting between flights via an airport in the United Kingdom, have been forced to deal with a strict restriction of flying with only one carry-on bag. This has been particularly challenging for photographers. We often fly with a loaded camera bag and a smaller laptop bag, or personal bag and hate to part with our equipment.

As of yesterday, Monday, January 7th 2008, the British Government removed this restriction for the flying public, however the reinstatement of flying with one “carry on” and one “personal item,” does not apply to all UK airports. In fact to make it more confusing at some airports the rules are not the same from Terminal to Terminal!

Confused yet? I know I am. For passengers flying from London’s Gatwick (LGW), you need to now which terminal your flight is departing from, if on a connecting flight, to know the cabin baggage rules.

Passengers flying from LGW’s South Terminal can now fly with one “carry-on” bag and one “personal item,” ONLY ON CONNECTING FLIGHTS. Passengers flying from LGW’s North Terminal will continue to be limited to only one carry-on bag on all departing flights. Passengers originating from LGW may only travel with one carry-on at this time.

At this time you may fly with a “carry-on bag” and a “personal item” fro the following airports:
London Heathrow (LHR)
London City (LCY)
London Stansted (STN)
Birmingham (BHX)
Cardiff (CWL)
Manchester (MAN)
Glasgow (GLA)
Aberdeen (ABZ)
Edinburgh (EDI)
Inverness (INV)
Newcastle (NCL)

As of today the following airports are still restricted to one carry-on bag only:
London Gatwick (LGW)
London Luton (LTN)
Leeds/Bradford (LBA)
Liverpool (LPL)
Belfast (BFS)
Jersey (JER)
Newquay (NQY)
Durham Tees Valley (MME)
East Midlands (EMA)
Norwich (NWI)

To make this even more confusing, airlines are able to overrule the eased carry-on baggage restrictions and maintain the single carry-on bag restrictions.

If your airport is not listed above, please check with the Department for Transport’s web site at:

The following UK airlines will allow two carry on cabin bags, from airports that allow two carry on cabin bags
British Airways
BMI / British Midlands
Eastern Airways
Air Southwest

The following UK airlines will continue to only allow one carry on cabin bag
Virgin Atlantic
Easy Jet
Ryan Air
Monarch Airlines

Check with your individual airline for additional information

Hopefully the British Government can get this sorted out quickly so there is a universal set of rules throughout the United Kingdom.

Happy Flying!


  1. No wonder I’ve been confused about it. I recently moved to the UK and thought the one bag per person was still in place. Thanks for clarifying this “sort of, kind of” to the best of your knowledge. At least, I know more now than I did yesterday.

  2. This is some of the best news I’ve received (outside of bookings) this week! I’ll be flying BA to/from Heathrow next week. Would you advise calling or getting anything in writing to bring to Dulles before departing the states being this early in the new regulations?

  3. You could always bring one carry on and one personal item on flights headed to the UK, it was the return flight that would trip require you to check one item.

    You do not need anything in writing that should allow you two pieces of cabin baggaeg at this time. You should however check the baggage size requirements for BA

    These are the current carry on restrictions for British Airways and British Airways Connect
    British Airways (BA) 8L x 16W x 22H
    **BA Connect (TH) 10L x 18W x 22H
    **BA Connect (TH) “Personal Item” 6L x 13W x 17H

    Happy Flying!


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