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Pack your bags

Dangerous articles

Restrictions apply to the items you can bring onboard your flight.

Some items cannot be brought into the cabin but are permitted in your check in baggage, while others are barred from any kind of baggage at all. Full details are below.

Dangerous articles in hand baggage

In addition to the information provided in our hand baggage pages, please note that the following items are seen as potentially dangerous and cannot be carried in your hand baggage:

  • Toy or replica guns (plastic or metal)
  • Catapults
  • Household cutlery
  • Knives with blades (of any length)
  • Paper knives/letter openers
  • Razor blades
  • Darts
  • Sporting bats
  • Billiard, snooker, pool cues
  • Christmas crackers (while not allowed in hand baggage, one box may be included in check in baggage if they are in their original sealed retail box)

Additionally, the following items are not allowed in your hand baggage, with the exceptions noted below:

  • Scissors *
  • Matches (for passengers travelling to and from Caribbean) **
  • Hypodermic syringes ***
  • Tradesmen's tools ****

*Scissors with blunt or round-ended blades (metal or plastic) less than 6cms in length, or scissors with metal blades and pointed tips under 3cm are permitted. US airports will allow metal scissors with pointed tips and a cutting edge four inches or less (measured from the pivot), metal scissors with blunt tips, plastic scissors and ostomy scissors.

**Matches: Safety matches are permitted in limited quantities to destinations outside the Caribbean.

***Hypodermic syringes are permitted in the cabin if you have a medical condition that requires you to inject during the flight. If this is the case please ensure you can produce medical evidence such as a doctor’s letter when you check in, and at security screening. You should keep this with you at all times. Please also ensure that your medication is labelled with the name of the medication and the person it is prescribed to.

****Tools: US airports will allow screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and other tools (but not crowbars, drills, hammers or saws), as long as they are seven inches or less in length.

Please note that regardless of these exceptions, security personnel are entitled to confiscate any item that may, in their reasonable opinion, be used or adapted to cause injury or incapacitation.

Articles banned from all baggage

Safety considerations mean the items listed below (and other similar items) are not allowed in your baggage at all, whether hand baggage or check in baggage:

  • Cigarette lighters with a blue flame and cigar lighters are banned on all flights
  • Safety matches*
  • For flights to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Tabago, Havana and Delhi, you cannot bring cigarette lighters, including butane, absorbed fuel (Zippo style), battery-powered and novelty lighters*
  • Party poppers
  • Compressed gases, whether deeply refrigerated, flammable, non flammable or poisonous - such as butane, oxygen, liquid nitrogen and aqualung cylinders
  • Corrosives such as acids, alkalis, mercury and wet cell batteries
  • Explosives - fireworks, flares, sparklers or other explosives of any kind
  • Flammable liquids and solids such as lighter fuel, paints, thinner and firelighters
  • Radioactive material
  • Briefcases and attaché cases with alarm devices installed
  • Oxidising material such as bleaching powder and peroxides
  • Weapons such as disabling sprays - tear gas, mace, pepper spray and so on
  • Firearms and ammunition**
  • Poisons and infectious substances such as insecticides, weed killers and live virus materials
  • Solids such as carbon dioxide and solid dry ice
  • Other dangerous articles such as magnetised, offensive or irritating materials

*While safety matches and lighters are not permitted in hand baggage or checked baggage, you may carry them on your person. ‘Strike anywhere’ matches are prohibited.

**It’s possible to bring a firearm and limited quantities of ammunition, but you must contact us in advance. For details on packing firearms and ammunition, please see our sports equipment page.

While these items are prohibited in hand baggage or hold baggage, many can be carried as cargo, provided they are packed in accordance with cargo regulations. For more information, contact Virgin Atlantic Cargo.


There are some items of dangerous goods that are permitted on our aircraft under certain conditions. Further information on this is available by accessing the following link:

Please note: Certain items are prohibited from both carry on and checked in baggage on flights to/from Vancouver. More information (opens in a new window).