Generally, following items are completely banned from aircrafts: explosives, flammables, pressure containers, oxidizers and peroxides, poisons, infectious, magnetic and radioactive materials… So nothing that any sane person would try to put into a plane. Ah, well, marijuana is also off, even if it’s legal in your country. Sniffer dogs go crazy for it and the whole plane would be searched through and the flight delayed… Just don’t. Period. And it is worth mentioning that every country has its rules when it comes to souvenirs made of animals – it applies both to ivory and sometimes even to feathers or specific bird species. Check it!
There are some rules regarding hand luggage. Except for the size and weight (which is a totally different story to tell), there are restrictions. First of all – no dangerous stuff. And “dangerous” is taken quite paranoid here (for your safety, though!), so even a pocket knife, scissors, nail file or Zippo lighter would be confiscated. As well as any hazardous substances – read the paragraph above. Generally, it’s a common sense rule, with a leery sprinkles on top. BUT! Every airline has its own policy and the rules might slightly differ, so be sure to read through the rules.
The general rule in Europe is that fluids are not allowed on board. And word “fluid” applies to almost anything that is not brick solid, that is also to: gels, syrups, lotions, toothpaste etc. They are not allowed except for 100 ml (3 ounces) containers, each wrapped in a transparent plastic bag of maximum 1 litre capacity. You can take up to 10 pieces. In practice, if you buy you a drink in the duty-free zone, no one would trouble you but the security check is a whole different story. It has to be strict for your own safety!
Well, the drill is usually the same for every airport. First you have to check-in your luggage (be sure to arrive at the airport earlier to do this, sometimes the line is really long and you have to wait). Then comes the security check, the famous screening through your stuff, taking off your shoes and your metal blink-blink. If you are a good person and pass the security test, you will be allowed to roam through the duty-free zone. It’s time to buy souvenirs, drinks and chow as you wait for your flight. Then you can go straight to your gate. Don’t let the whole plane wait for you as you look for the right gate! On the other hand, you don’t have to be first at the gate – everyone has the seat reserved!