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What Is, And Is Not, Allowed On An Airplane

Whether it’s visiting family, business trips, or escaping to the emerald hills of Ireland, commercial airlines are a common occurrence in nearly everyone’s life.

They can also be an extremely stressful one if left unprepared. Are you going to have to down a whole bottle of vintage wine because you can’t bring it back with you? What about your firearm? You medicine? I’ve scoured through all of the TSA regulations to put together a simplified but comprehensive guide to what you can bring with you when you fly.

Everything is broken down into four categories: Allowed, Not Allowed, Checked Bag Only, and Special Circumstances. You should consult your airline if you have any questions regarding a special circumstance.

Not Allowed
  • Electronic Lighters
  • Bang Snaps (those tiny things you throw on the ground to make a banging noise)
  • Bear Spray/Bangers
  • Blasting Caps
  • Butane
  • Pool Chlorine
  • Co2 Cartridges
  • Cooking Spray
  • Dynamite
  • Fertilizer
  • fireworks
  • Flammable liquids, gels, airosols, and paints
  • Gun Powder
  • Hand Grenades
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Marijuana – Medical or otherwise
  • Party Poppers
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Smart Phone
  • Spray Paint
  • Strike Anywhere Matches
  • Tear Gas
Allowed
  • Air Mattress with Pump
  • Alcohol – Less Than 100 ml if a Carry On. Must be less than 140 proof
  • Antlers
  • Fake Bones
  • Baby Food, Formula, Powder, and Wipes
  • Sports Balls (football, soccer, etc)
  • Binoculars
  • Body Armor – Allowed, but TSA officers may ask you bag it anyway.
  • Beverages of all kinds – Carry-ons must be under 100 ml
  • Bowling Ball
  • Cell Phones
  • Cigar Cutters – Generally allowed, but be cautious, best to check it instead
  • Electric Blankets
  • EpiPens
  • Fidget Spinners – That’s right, they have an official stance on these.
  • Flashlights
  • Geiger Counters
  • Glow Sticks – under 100 ml
  • Hand Warmers/Heating Pads – Only if non-gel based. If they are, then it has to be checked.
  • Laptops
  • Game Consoles
  • Life Vests
  • Lithium batteries with 100 watt-hours – any more than that, and they aren’t allowed in checked bags.
  • Lockpicks
  • Pill Medicines
  • Multitools – As long as there’s no blade
  • Night Vision Goggles
  • Plants and Seeds
  • Rifle Scope – JUST the scope
  • Rope
  • Screwdrivers – If longer than 7 inches, must be checked baggage.
  • Sewing Needles
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Fishing Lures – Small ones
  • Snow Shoes
  • Solar Panels – Allowed, but you may want to check if it’s not too large
  • Tampons
  • Thermometers
  • Utensils
Checked Bag Only
  • Axes/Hatchets
  • Sports Gear (specifically anything used to potentially bludgeon, like a bat)
  • Self Defense Blackjacks
  • Bowling Pins
  • Bow and Arrows
  • Box Cutter
  • Brass Knuckles
  • Canoe paddles
  • Cast Iron Cookware
  • Corkscrew
  • Drills and Drill Bits
  • Toy Swords/Weapons
  • Hammers
  • Hiking poles
  • Firearm Holsters
  • Ice Axes/Picks
  • Knives
  • Magic 8 Ball
  • Martial Arts Weapons
  • Night Sticks
  • Nail Guns
  • Pepper Spray
  • Blade of All Varieties
  • Self Defense Spray
  • Shoe Snow Spikes
  • Ski Poles
  • Spear Guns
  • Stun Guns
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Tent – Just the stakes and poles, but might as well keep it all together.
  • Walking Sticks
Special Circumstances
  • Bug Spray – Allowed in checked bags if NOT labeled as hazmat.
  • Ammunition – If stored correctly in a checked bag.
  • Bicycles – Ask the airline if it’ll fit first.
  • Blender – Allowed as a Carry on if blades are removed, otherwise, it’s checked baggage.
  • Brass Instruments – Checked is safe, Carry On varies by airline.
  • Camp Stove – Only allowed if empty of fuel and cleaned of all fuel residue.
  • Car Parts – only if in original container and free of any gas or oil.
  • Paintball/Compressed Air Gun – Not as a Carry On, must not have the canister attached.
  • Cremated Remains – Consult Airline on this one.
  • Drones – Consult Airline
  • Dry Ice – The FAA limits you to 5.5 pounds of dry ice that is properly packaged (the package is vented) and marked. Airline approval is required.
  • Vape Pen – Allowed in Carry On, NOT in checked bags.
  • Firearms – NOT IN CARRY ON. Firearms carried in checked bags must be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Check with your airline to see if they allow firearms in checked bags.
  • Guitars – if size allows
  • Medically Necessary Liquids/Gases/Gels – allowed in greater quantities, but you need to declare them to the TSA officer at the checkpoint.
  • Live Coral/Fish – Only as a carry-on.
  • Metal Detectors – Consult Airline
  • Parachutes – Allowed, but complicated, consult the airline for details
  • Portable Chargers/Power Banks – Carry On Only
Special Notes

Realistic replicas of anything on these lists are to be considered and treated as the items they are imitating, including explosives and firearms.

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