September 23

Q) Can you buy plastic bags at Bristol Airport for security?


Airport Security Bags - by graphiclunarkid
Airport Security Bags - by graphiclunarkid

A) At the time of writing (September 2009) yes, you can at Bristol as well as many other UK airports. Some airports give them out for free (London Gatwick Airport a few months ago) whereas other airports, such as Bristol and Manchester, charge £1 for either 3 or 4 bags.

Where Can You Buy Them?
Bags are usually sold from vending machines right before the final security clearance.

What Do You Need?

To buy the bags, you will need change, usually a one pound coin.

To check what needs to go INTO the bag, see this post on hand luggage restrictions.


It makes sense, therefore, to keep hold of any plastic bags you have for the next time you pass through airport security.

It also makes sense to see if you can club together with other passengers queueing up at the plastic bag dispenser as most people don’t need four plastic bags.


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  1. it is pretty easy just to take sandwich bags (or similar) with you though! You’re packing everything else, why not take your own plastic bag!!!

    1. It would seem like the sensible thing to do, wouldn’t it?

      Bringing your own bag does work sometimes – but the last time I flew (through Manchester airport) they were not accepting other plastic bags -even those bought directly from other UK airports.

      Their explanation was that other bags did not fit the specific requirements of their security machines. So every passenger had to queue up and buy one there and then.

      If you were running short of time or you didn’t have a £1 coin with you then this added complication could make you miss your flight.

      So, bring your own sounds like a great place to start. But maybe bring a handful of change with you as well…

      1. It is often said but now it is official – the world has gone mad! It sounds like a con to get more money out of people to me.

        Personally I’ve not had a problem (at Bristol & Heathrow in the last 6 mths) but I can believe what you’re saying. If the bag isn’t clear, isn’t resealable or isn’t roughly the right size then fair enough, but come on…

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