How to Know What You Can and Can't Carry on Board an Aircraft
Increasing airport security regulations are making it more and more difficult to know what can and can't be carried on board an aircraft. You may leave a country with your gel pack, only to have it confiscated upon return. This article provides you guidelines for staying informed and minimizing the risks of losing something to security, being subjected to additional screening, missing your flight, or ending up in trouble.
Know which organization you may need to be in contact with.Keep a list with their websites and phone numbers handy while travelling. Useful organizations include:
- The Bureau of Consular Affairs
- Transportation Security Administration
- the airline(s) you are travelling with
Know the Basics
Know the 3-1-1 rule.For travel in the US, a passenger is allowed in their carry-on no more 3 bottles containing no more than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of liquid. Bottles must be placed in a quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag.
Rethink packing potentially problematic items.Certain items that are generally permitted may still be subject to additional screening or prohibited at security's discretion (such as if it triggers an alarm or appears to have been tampered with). Items that can potentially pose security concerns include:
- sharp objects
- sporting goods
- firearms and martial arts weapons
- foods including creamy dips, jams, and salsa
- liquid contain decorative items such as lava lamps or snow globes
- Cannabis, even if it is legal in your state/country
Always take prescriptions with your medication, and try to carry on medications in their original packaging.This will not only enable you to carry the item on the aircraft with you, it will also assist with any questions a customs officer might raise in your country of arrival.
Play it safe.If you are unsure about an item, mail it ahead of time or leave it at home.
Be Prepared and Aware
Know what you have.You are responsible for your belongings and what's in them, so double-check pockets and compartments of clothing and bags for items that may have been forgotten about such as lighters, swiss-army knives, bottle openers, etc.
Be aware that the list of prohibited items is constantly being updated, especially when there is a security scare.Refer to the relevant websites to find out immediately before travelling what restrictions are in place.
Declare larger quantities of liquids.There may be exemptions for certain items such as medications, baby formula, breast milk, and certain foods. You can declare these items but should know that officers may need to conduct additional screening which can take longer.
QuestionHow many prescription medicines can I carry on board?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCall the airline and ask them about their policy. I've seen people carrying quite a lot of medication. I doubt they will say no if you absolutely have to take them with you. Many times passengers will take the pills they need before the flight and put their prescriptions into their checked luggage, so this could be an option for you as well.Thanks!
QuestionCan I bring a small sewing scissors on for knitting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf the ends are rounded instead of pointed, like kids' craft scissors, then you might be able to. Keep in mind that most scissors are not allowed on planes and will be confiscated by security. It would be best to call the airline or airport and double-check.Thanks!
QuestionWill a tin opener pass security?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThey will likely not pass security as they often have sharp edges on the cutting blades. In general, you should try to avoid bringing anything sharp, especially in carry-on baggage.Thanks!
QuestionCan I take shoes with me on board?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Your biggest concern when carrying shoes on board is your own convenience. Put them in a plastic bag or shoe bag so that nothing else gets soiled. Put them at the bottom of your bag if you are not going to use them frequently.Thanks!
QuestionCan I bring DVDs on a plane?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes you can! You can bring DVDs, DVD players, basically any electronic device that fits into a carry-on bag. Just make sure to put it into the tray/buckets during security.Thanks!
QuestionCan I carry on lotion, such as face cream or sunscreen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers and must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.Thanks!
QuestionCan I carry on deodorant and insulin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Just put them in a quart bag and keep them in their original containers.Thanks!
QuestionIs alcohol restricted as a carry on item?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. If the alcohol is under 24% you can usually pack it in your checked baggage, but check with your airline as they do not all have the same rules (since liquor is flammable & a safety hazard). If you are flying internationally, you will also have to see if the country's customs rules allow bringing alcohol.Thanks!
QuestionCan I bring an internet radio on board an aircraft?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAn internet radio should be allowed on board aircraft. You will likely not be able to use it on board due to restrictions on networking equipment, but it falls under the same category as other electronic devices.Thanks!
QuestionCan I bring a fruit, such as a coconut, onto an airplane?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends. If you are flying domestically, then in most cases you can. If you are flying internationally, then you can't because of customs rules. This is because of the possibility of foreign fruits and vegetables carrying pests, foreign species, etc.Thanks!
Can I take bottle of wine in checked bag?
Can I carry on a mop handle?
Can I take a snow globe on the plane
Need some tips while returning from another country, should we put exit stamp on passport.?
Can I pack a silver baby cup, spoon and rattle in my carry on? Delta
- Check the TSA website frequently for a list of what you can and can't bring.
- Don't expect to be compensated for lost items. If the item is valuable, make sure it is insured in case of loss.
- Arrive at the airport and check through security early enough to ensure time to repack or mail belongings that security may have issue with.
- Use common sense and do not carry anything that is obviously illegal or intended for use as a weapon or a fire starter (including matches).
- If you feel faint or ill during the bustle of the screening process, let somebody know immediately. Deep breathing is a big asset in times of stress and long waits.
- If in doubt, leave it, mail it, or pack it in your cargo baggage.
- It is okay to carry AA & AAA batteries on board.
- If you are travelling with a child (or even yourself!) it may be a good idea to bring gum or chewy sweets for when you are going for lift off because of ear popping.
- Never make a joke about having prohibited items. Airport security isrequiredto take such statements seriously.
- You are responsible for what's in your bags, so keep an eye on your belongings at all times and know what's inside of them. Keep an eye on children's packing and make sure you know what they have packed.
- Avoid making any jokes about guns, bombs, terrorism, weapons, knives, stabbings, murders, suffocation, crime, illegal/illicit conduct, inefficiency of TSA, or anything else that could be taken as a threat.
- Airport security views safety issues very seriously and will not tolerate people behaving badly. Try to be patient and understanding and don't argue, make a fuss, or throw a temper tantrum.
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