Flying with Christmas crackers 2017: 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 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

Xmas packing quiz
Will you pass airport security

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
Aer Lingus Checked and cabin luggage Sealed in original packaging
BMI Regional Checked and cabin luggage 1 box sealed in original packaging
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
Jet2 Checked luggage 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
Thomas Cook Checked luggage but not US flights 1 box sealed in original packaging
TUI Checked luggage Sealed in original packaging
Virgin Atlantic Checked luggage 1 box sealed in original packaging

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.

Air France KLM
Air India Norwegian Airlines
Air New Zealand RyanAir
American Airlines SAS Scandinavian
Cathay Pacific Singapore Airlines
Delta South African Airlines
Emirates United Airlines
Etihad WestJet
Icelandair Wow

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 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.

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.”

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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2 comments for “Flying with Christmas crackers 2017: Find out if your airline will let you travel with the festive faves this Xmas

  1. Brklyngal
    December 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    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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