Flying with Christmas crackers : Find out if your airline will let you travel with the festive faves this Xmas

Far from being a case of simply popping Christmas crackers into their hand luggage or checked bags, airports and airlines impose tough rules on how passengers can carry these festive essentials.

christmas crackers

Christmas crackers at a glance

Click below to find what you’re looking for…

Fly- or no-fly list
Are your crackers allowed to fly

Cracker infographic
All about crackers and flying

Airports and Xmas Crackers
What the airports say

Xmas packing
Essential info for flyers

Heightened security measures have resulted in many airlines completely banning passengers from carrying Christmas crackers, with the likes of Ryanair, Etihad, Emirates and Norwegian Airlines all putting them on the no-fly list, according to our research.

Can I take Christmas crackers on a plane?

Look below to see the airlines that will and those that won’t allow Christmas crackers on their planes. You’ll also find the conditions you must comply with.

Airlines that will accept Christmas crackers

How many you can take, where to pack and any other essential information you’ll need.

Airline Where to pack your crackers Details
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
Jet2 Checked luggage 12 small or 6 large 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
South African Airlines Checked luggage 1 box of 12 sealed in original packaging
TUI Checked and cabin luggage Sealed in original packaging
Virgin Atlantic Checked luggage – but not on US flights 1 box sealed in original packaging
Air New Zealand Checked and cabin luggage No limit on permitted quantities
Etihad Airways Checked Luggage Clearance must be obtained before departure

Even if the airline hasn’t pulled crackers from its flights, there are many rules and regulations that need to be complied with before the Xmas favourites are cleared to board.

Anyone attempting to travel without crackers sealed in their original packaging will be forced to leave them behind. This also applies if passengers exceed the carrier’s limit on how many can be taken. Many airlines allow no more than a single box of 12 crackers.

For those travelling to America, don’t even think about packing crackers. A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration provided the following unequivocal statement: “These items are prohibited from flying in checked or carry-on bags. They are flammable and should not be brought on airplanes. They fall in the same category as sparklers and fireworks.”

Christmas cracker no-fly zone

These airlines have banned the carriage of Christmas crackers on their flights. Failure to comply could result in delays or luggage not being loaded.

Aer Lingus Icelandair
Air France Wizz Air
Air India KLM
Air Canada Swiss Airlines
American Airlines RyanAir
Cathay Pacific SAS Scandinavian
Delta Singapore Airlines
Emirates United Airlines
Lufthansa WestJet

Additionally, passengers shouldn’t simply look at airline policies in isolation when it comes to packing Christmas crackers. Budget carrier easyJet will allow them in both checked and cabin luggage, but most major UK airports won’t permit them in carry-on bags – resulting in confiscation at the security desk.

For those who’ve confirmed their airline will carry crackers, they’ll still need to inform the check-in staff they’re in their bags. Failure to do so could create problems as the bags progress through the airport system – resulting in delays or even failure to load!

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

Anyone following the craze of making their own crackers should stick to shop-bought items when flying. Homemade versions of the festive favourites are banned from the skies in both checked and hand luggage.

Passengers should also remember that party poppers are banned on all aircraft leaving UK airports.

What the airports say

Along with the airlines’ policies relating to carrying Christmas crackers, it’s just as important to know what your departure airport has to say about them.

Gatwick allows up to two boxes of unopened crackers to be placed in hand luggage, whereas Manchester and Stansted will allow them subject to airline regulations.

Liverpool, East Midlands and London City airports also ban crackers from the cabin, so checked luggage only. Bristol Airport also advise travellers to keep crackers in checked luggage.

Heathrow Airport will not allow crackers to be carried through security, Luton Airport takes the same approach.

Birmingham Airport allow passengers to carry Christmas crackers through security subject to airline regulations.

However, passengers must ensure crackers being carried in hand luggage do not contain gifts such as large scissors or screwdriver sets.

Christmas crackers… essential information

Even if your airline accepts Christmas crackers onboard, you’ll need to be aware of these additional packing tips and regulations.

*Airport security: While a few airlines accept crackers in cabin luggage, this is largely irrelevant because many UK airports won’t allow them through security in hand luggage. Only pack in checked luggage seems like the best advice.

Packing: Crackers must be carried in their original, sealed packaging.

Declare your crackers: You must tell check-in staff if you’ve packed crackers in your checked luggage.

Banned in the USA? Don’t pack the crackers when heading to the USA. A US Transportation Security Administration spokesman said: “These items are prohibited from flying in checked or carry-on bags. They are flammable and should not be brought on airplanes. They fall in the same category as sparklers and fireworks.”

Don’t make your own: Homemade Christmas crackers are banned on all airlines.

Check what’s inside: Check the novelty gifts inside your crackers. Luxury versions may contain items such as scissors and screwdrivers, which are banned in hand luggage.

Party poppers: These are banned from all flights leaving the UK.

Don’t make your own: Craft fans will be disappointed, but homemade Christmas crackers are not permitted.

Sparkle-free: Don’t attempt to pack sparklers, they’re on the naughty list.

Know your limits: Make sure you know how many crackers your airline will allow you to carry.

At-a-glance guide to flying with Christmas crackers

Please feel free to use this graphic on your site, we only ask you provide a link back to this page. Thank you.

Flying with Christmas Crackers 2022 infographic

*the naughty list also includes CityJet, Alitalia and Luxair.

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6 comments for “Flying with Christmas crackers : Find out if your airline will let you travel with the festive faves this Xmas

  1. Jen says:

    I posted a box full of Christmas fun including two boxes of crackers to Budapest. The box is waiting to be picked up at a post office in Budapest now. Whether the crackers have been removed I do not know. I also had to take them out of original packaging to enable me to fit them in the box.

  2. T Slater says:

    Hi – Do you think I will be able to take the Christmas crackers in hold luggage with Ryan air if I remove the ‘crack’ part’? Thanks

  3. Jojo says:

    Any ideas on the policy for Air China? – I can’t find anything online

  4. Brklyngal says:

    My Christmas crackers were confiscated on a Virgin flight to the US yesterday, even though I had them in my checked luggage as indicated above.

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