Like other airlines, British Airways maintains a list of items that are prohibited or restricted on flights. Some of these restricted items may require prior approval from the airline before being brought on board, while others--like basic toiletries -- require no prior approval and are limited only in their quantities. The list of approved and prohibited items is subject to change, however, so passengers should always contact the airline directly if they have questions about a specific sensitive item.
British Airways prohibits a number of items from being carried anywhere on the airplane. These items include disabling devices, such as mace or pepper spray, strike-anywhere matches, substances that are able to spontaneous combust and substances that emit flammable gases when in contact with water. Flammable materials, such as gas cylinders, paint, petrol, lighter refills, solvents, varnish and firelighters are also completely prohibited. Additional banned items include oxidizing materials, organic peroxides like bleach, and toxic substances like weedkillers and insecticides.
There are a number of items that British Airways allows to be carried on planes on a restricted basis. Travelers are required to notify and receive approval from the airline before carrying such items on board. Examples of restricted items include explosives, dry ice, avalanche rescue packs, camping stoves, fuel containers, mercury-filled items, chemical-agent-monitoring equipment and heat-producing items, such as underwater torches and soldering irons. Other restricted items include insulated packages containing refrigerated liquid nitrogen, non-flammable gas cylinders, oxygen and other small cylinders for medical use, and mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or battery-powered devices.
Other items, while restricted in size or quantity, are still allowed on British Airways flights and require no prior notification. These items include aerosols, alcoholic beverages, devices containing lithium cell batteries, spare lithium batteries, safety matches and non-radioactive medical or toilet articles like hairsprays, perfumes and medicines. Other permitted-but-restricted items include radio-isotopic cardiac pacemakers, safety matches, cigarette lighters, hair curlers containing hydrocarbon gas, and non-flammable, non-toxic gas cylinders.