Can you take Christmas crackers on planes? What airlines say

Christmas 2023 is almost upon us many will be thinking about booking festive flights to visit friends and loved ones   but will your airline allow you to take Christmas crackers and party poppers in cabin bags or checked luggage for the plane? Here travel journalist and expert Pete Barden has created a guide to find out if airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair, BA and Virgin allow you to pack Christmas crackers  and what their rules are. 

Look out for other sites that have not updated their information for 2023.

Christmas crackers rules on planes from British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Virgin and other airlines in 2023

Security issues have resulted in many airlines banning Christmas crackers from cabin bags and in many cases, the entire flight. Here's a quick guide to flying with Christmas crackers and where you can pack them - if at all…


Where to pack crackers


Air New Zealand

Call for details

Sealed crackers are permitted, but homemade crackers and snacker crackers prohibited, 

British Airways

Hold luggage but not US flights

2 boxes sealed in original packing

Eastern Airways

Hold luggage

1 box sealed in original packing


Hold and cabin luggage

2 boxes sealed in original packing


Ceased trading

Ceased trading


Ceased trading

Ceased trading


Hold luggage

2 boxes sealed in original packing


Hold luggage but not US flights

2 boxes sealed in original packing

South African Airlines

Hold luggage

1 box of 12 sealed in original packing

Thomas Cook

Ceased trading

Ceased trading


Hold luggage

Sealed in original packing

Virgin Atlantic

Hold luggage

1 box sealed in original packing

Crackers are not permitted on the following airlines

Aer Lingus Air France
Air India  
American Airlines Cathay Pacific
Delta Emirates
Etihad Iceland Air
KLM Norwegian
Ryanair SAS
Singapore Airlines United Airlines
WestJet Wow
Wizz Air  

What the airports say about carrying Christmas crackers

It is not just airlines that matter when it comes to policies on packing crackers, here is what some of the UK’s airports say about travelling with them.
Gatwick tells us you can pack a single unopened box of crackers, which must be in hand luggage.
Manchester Airport is said to ban them from being packed in hand luggage.
Stansted Airport has said that crackers are banned in hand luggage.
Liverpool Airport – no crackers in hand luggage
East Midlands Airport – no crackers in hand luggage
London City Airport – no crackers in hand luggage
Bristol Airport has said that travellers should restrict crackers to checked luggage.
Exeter Airport – No crackers in hand/cabin baggage.
Heathrow Airport says one sealed box of crackers can be taken through security in hand luggage if the passenger’s airline permits them.
Birmingham also has said one sealed box of crackers can be taken through security in hand luggage if the passenger’s airline permits them.
Passengers must also remember that crackers in hand luggage cannot contain gifts such as large scissors or screwdrivers.

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If you're heading abroad for the holiday season with the likes of Ryanair or Norwegian Airlines, you're likely to find yourself a victim of the cracker snatchers when you arrive at check in.

And, even if your airline does accept crackers in the cabin, travellers with high-end versions of the Xmas treat could find them confiscated due to the gifts inside. Many contain sharp objects, such as scissors and screwdrivers, that are banned from flights.

It's not just Christmas crackers on the no-fly list, either. Many other essential festive accessories are also banned from many flights. Party poppers, sparklers and homemade crackers are among the items banned from all flights.

Chestnuts won't be welcome aboard, so don't let this festive essential leave you 'stuffed' at the check-in desk.

Flying to the US with crackers is likely to get them pulled from your luggage, with a spokesman for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saying: "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."

Remember to mention that you have packed Christmas crackers when you reach the check-in desk. Failure to do so could result in bags not being loaded.

Christmas crackers - important guidelines

Even if your airline permits the carriage of Christmas crackers on board, it's crucial to be well-informed about the following packing tips and regulations: 

Airport Security: Although a few airlines may allow Christmas crackers in your cabin luggage, this is often inconsequential since many UK airports do not permit them through security in hand luggage. It is advisable to pack them only in your checked luggage.

Packaging: Christmas crackers should be transported in their original, unopened packaging.

Declaration: Notify check-in personnel if you have included Christmas crackers in your checked luggage.

Not Allowed in the USA: When travelling to the USA, it's best not to pack Christmas crackers. A spokesperson from the US Transportation Security Administration has stated that these items are prohibited in both checked and carry-on bags due to their flammability, equating them with sparklers and fireworks.

Homemade Crackers: Crafting your own Christmas crackers is prohibited on all airlines.

Inspect Contents: Be sure to examine the novelty gifts within your Christmas crackers. High-end versions may contain items like scissors and screwdrivers, which are prohibited in hand luggage.

Party Poppers: These are not allowed on any flights departing from the UK.

Handcrafted Crackers: Unfortunately, homemade Christmas crackers are not permitted, even for crafting enthusiasts.

No Sparklers: Attempting to transport sparklers is not advisable, as they are prohibited items.

Know the Allowance: Familiarise yourself with your airline's specific limits on the number of Christmas crackers you can carry.

  • Information correct at the time of writing. Please check with your airline before packing Christmas crackers.

Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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