Luton Airport Security

Here’s our hints and tips on how much time to leave for security, how to access fast-track passes, what to pack in hand luggage and what goes in the hold (from medicines to wrapped Christmas presents and/or gifts).

Here’s our advisory times to help you arrive at the airport in plenty of time to pass security and begin your holiday:

For domestic arrivals leave 90 mins at Luton Airport Departures
Leave 2 hours for European Flights from Luton Airport
Leave 3 hours when travelling internationally from Luton

We suggest that you leave 90 minutes to make your way through Airport security and on to your gate for Domestic Flights (within the UK), 2 hours for European Flights and 3 hours to check in before boarding on International Flights.

It’s always safer to leave extra time to clear the airport security than to try and cut it fine. This means you’ll have plenty of time to travel through the Luton airport as well as leave enough time to deal with any delays or long queues.

And it means more time for browsing Duty Free or picking up those pre-flight mocktails! Have a sneak peak at the Luton Airport Bars and Restaurants.

Fast Track your way through Security at Luton Airport

Fast Track through Security for as little as £3 a person

Luton Airport offers a fast track service that you can pre book online or at an official airport kiosk on the day. It costs just £3 per person at Luton and can save you queueing with everyone else getting through security between 4am-9pm.

Who are fast track tickets for? Anyone can purchase a fast track pass, so long as you also have your boarding pass ready to go. Just remember it’s one per person, rather than one for your whole party. We highly recommend booking this if you’re travelling with young children or vulnerable passengers such as someone with autism or in a wheelchair.

How does the fast track service at Luton Airport work? In short, you show your fast track pass at security and you’ll be directed to appropriate station. Priority Lanes are open 4am-9pm daily so you should miss the main airport rush hour. Something to bare in mind: these are non-refundable and can only be purchased by official airport outlets.

Hand luggage: What are the rules?

Lugagge piled up at Security
  • It is best to check with your airline for any restrictions that they have in place for hand luggage, as the size and how many pieces you are allowed will vary.

  • All items of luggage which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size must be checked in to be placed in the aircraft hold.
  • Musical instruments which do not fit in the permitted cabin baggage size are allowed as a second item of cabin baggage, they will need to be screened and passengers should check with their airlines if special arrangements (e.g. purchasing an extra seat) for these large instruments will be required.
  • Laptops and other large electrical items (e.g. a large hairdryer) have to be removed from cabin baggage and screened separately. A laptop bag will often be regarded as your one item that is allowed in the cabin.
  • Pushchairs, walking aids and wheelchairs are permitted but will be screened.


Beer and bottled soap included in Liquids at Security

Some liquids (e.g. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams and foodstuffs) are now allowed through airport security check points. There are the following restrictions on the quantity of liquids:

  • Liquids may only be carried within separate containers each of which with a capacity not greater than 100ml.
  • These containers must be brought to the airport contained in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which itself must not exceed 1 litre in capacity (approximately 20cms x 20cms). The contents of the plastic bag must fit comfortably and the bag must be sealed.
  • Each passenger may carry only one such bag of liquids. The bag must be presented for examination.

Liquids that can not be placed inside the re-sealable bag must be packed into the hold luggage and checked in. Liquids of any amount can still be carried in luggage checked into the aircraft hold.

Please note ‘Liquids’ include:

  • All drinks, including water, soup, syrups
  • Creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara etc
  • Sprays and pressurized containers including shaving foam and spray deodorants
  • Pastes, including toothpastes
  • Gels, including hair and shower gel
  • Any other solutions and items of similar consistency


Essential medicines and baby food may be permitted in larger quantities above the 100ml limit, but will be subject to authentication.

Restricted items at Security: medicines

Duty free / departure lounge purchases

  • You may take on board liquid items of any size that are purchased after the security check in the Departure lounge.
  • Most duty free or similar purchases will be given to you in a special sealed bag. Do not open this bag until you have reached your final destination. You should also retain your proof of purchase throughout your journey. You will be required to show it at all transfer points. Take a look at what Luton Airport’s Duty Free has to offer.

**Please note restrictions apply to duty free purchases made on return journeys where passengers change flights at an EU airport. These are explained in detail on the Department of Transport’s website

These are the requirements set down by the Department for Transport. Airlines and Airports may have additional measures in place. Passengers are strongly advised to check the website of their carrier or airport before travelling.

Christmas Presents

Christmas Presents at the Airport

  • Wrapped Christmas presents are not exempt from the current aviation security measures.
  • Passengers’ hold and cabin baggage are subject to searching and screening measures by airport security staff when flying from the UK.
  • For this purpose, it is possible that passengers may be asked to unwrap any presents by security staff at the airport before their journey. Therefore, passengers should travel with any presents unwrapped.
  • Presents in liquid form (eg. perfume, toiletries or alcohol) can be carried in cabin baggage, but this is subject to the current measures. It would therefore be advisable to place such presents – unwrapped – in hold baggage. Liquids of any amount can still be stored in hold baggage.

Hand Luggage – What Not To Pack

You should always check the exact hand luggage allowance with your airline prior to packing. Most airlines have a hand baggage measurement gauge at check-in.

One of the main things to remember is your liquid allowance. Luton Airport Security will not let you take too much liquid through to the gate. Our best advice, is if you’re taking a bottle of water for the plane journey, buy it in duty free, if you’re packing deodrants or perfumes, leave it in your hold luggage.

The national liquid policy across airport security is you can take no more than 100ml and it has to be presented to security seperately in a clear plastic bag. You can usually pick these up at the airport at stations before you reach security.

Also make sure that your hand luggage does not contain these items. If you attempt to take them through security, they will be confiscated and it’ll slow your journey through the airport.

Prohibited Items
Scissors Razor blades
Knives with blades of any length Household cutlery
Tweezers Hypodermic needles (unless required for medical reasons)
Tools Toy/replica guns (metal or plastic) Catapults
Knitting needles Sporting bats
Corkscrews Walking/hiking poles
Billiard, snooker or pool cues Darts

If items are confiscated at Luton Airport security control, you will not be compensated and, with the exception of unusual circumstances, the confiscated items will not be returned.

Syringes that are needed for diabetics and other medical reasons will only be allowed in hand luggage if you can prove the medical necessity. You may wish to phone the airline in advance to find out what they require as proof of your medical condition.

All Luggage, including hold bags – What Not To Pack

In addition to the restrictions on what is allowed in hand luggage, there are a number of items that must not be taken on board an aircraft, either as hand luggage or in the hold.

Please do not pack the following anywhere in your carry on or check in luggage:

Prohibited Items
Flammable liquids and solids Oxidisers
Organic peroxides Gas cylinders
Infectious substances Wet car cell batteries
Instruments containing magnets Instruments containing mercury
Magnetrons Fireworks
Non-safety matches, fire lighters, lighter fuel Paints, thinners
Poisons, arsenic, cyanide, weedkiller Acids, corrosives, alkalis, caustic soda
Creosote, quicklime, oiled paper Radioactive materials

For a full list of things to pack and do before you fly, see our Travel Checklist for Luton Airport, covering more than just security.