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 at a glance
Click below to find what you’re looking for…
|Fly- or no-fly list|
Are your crackers allowed to fly
|Airports and Xmas Crackers|
What the airports say
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|
|Flybe||Checked luggage||1 box 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|
|South African Airlines||Checked luggage||1 box of 12 sealed in original packaging|
|TUI||Checked luggage||Sealed in original packaging|
|Virgin Atlantic||Checked luggage – but not on US flights||1 box sealed in original packaging|
|Jet2||Checked Luggage||12 small or 6 large, in original packaging|
|Swiss Airlines||Checked Luggage||Sealed in original packaging|
|Wizz Air||Check Luggage||Sealed in original packaging|
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.
|Air New Zealand||Norwegian Airlines|
|Cathay Pacific||SAS Scandinavian|
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 one unopened box of crackers to be placed in hand luggage, whereas Manchester won’t allow them in any hand luggage.
Stansted, 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.
Exeter Airport tells passengers travelling to friends and relatives for the festive period that Christmas crackers are not permitted in hand/cabin baggage.
Heathrow Airport will allow one sealed box of crackers to be carried through security, provided they’re permitted on the passenger’s airline. Birmingham also follows the same line.
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
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*the naughty list also includes CityJet, Alitalia and Luxair.
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.
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
Any ideas on the policy for Air China? – I can’t find anything online
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.
Hi – I would take this up with Virgin! Our information was confirmed by Virgin Atlantic and can be found clearly stated on its website here http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/baggage-allowance/dangerous-articles.html (under the hand luggage tab).
It does say “but not on US flights”