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Understanding the Airline Carry-on Restrictions in 2019

Shalu Bhatti Sep 9, 2019
Wondering what are the airline carry-on restrictions in 2019? Given further is a guide through the do's and don'ts of carry-on baggage, to help you understand what you should carry, (and in what quantities) to save yourself from the drama during the check-in; after all, everyone wants a happy journey.

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With the rules imposed by airlines in terms of what to carry and what not on a plane, buying a ticket seems easier than packing! Many times, we are surprised by the restrictions towards normal everyday items like toothpaste and sprays, but you can't blame the airlines! Most airlines follow the rules issued by the Travel Security Administration (TSA).
Although some items may appear harmless on the ground, they can prove harmful in an airplane, due to variations in the pressure and the temperature. Thus the airlines issue rules and restrictions to ensure a safe travel! The carry-on restrictions vary from airline to airline. While some airlines go easy on the policies, there are some, very strict.
To know the exact restriction policies, it is best to check with your travel agent, or the airline that you are flying with. The rules and restrictions may also vary depending upon the airport you are flying from or to. Nevertheless, the following section will give you an idea about the items that should be avoided in your carry-on bag. Have a look.

Sharp Objects

Objects as box cutters, cigar cutters, corkscrews, ice axes are strictly prohibited.This can be allowed in checked bags if properly wrapped, to avoid injury to the handler.
Disposable razors, nail clippers, pencil sharpeners, safety pins, and scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed in check in and carry-on bags. Sharp items are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked bags with proper wrapping.


You can carry screened and checked medicines. They should have prescription with passenger's name on it. If they are non-prescribed then make sure that their packaging is original.
If you have medical devices then you need to declare them while screening. You can carry medically necessary liquids, medications, and creams in reasonable quantities. Labelling all the items properly will help facilitate the screening.

Traveling With Children

Baby formula, breast milk, and juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml are allowed in carry-on luggage.
They will be screened and checked thoroughly and sample of the liquids can also be asked for explosive screening. Items like toys, bags, strollers and baby carriers need to be screened and checked. If your child has a medical disability, you need to inform the TSA officers prior to the journey.


Beverages with alcohol content of 24% - 70% are allowed in checked baggage. Only 5 liters alcohol per passenger, in unopened retail packaging are permitted.
Mini bottles (100ml) of alcohol are permitted. Cooked meat, seafood, vegetables and non-liquid items are allowed if completely frozen.


The TSA allows to carry firearms in a checked baggage, provided it is unloaded and packed in a hard sided container.
However, as per American Airlines, firearms from / to United Kingdom in checked baggage are not allowed. This rule does not apply to military / government personnel, unless they don't have a proper documentation for it. Ammunition, starter pistols, BB guns, parts of guns and forearms are allowed under checked baggage. Do check with your airline beforehand.


Hammers, screwdrivers, drills, and tools longer than 7 inches from end to end aren't allowed.
Larger tools like hammers and axes are allowed but they should be properly wrapped, to prevent damage or injury to the baggage handling people. To be on the safer side, it is strongly advisable to carry these objects in your checked luggage.

Sports and Camping

Items like baseball bat, cricket bat, hockey sticks, spikes are allowed in checked baggage. Camping stoves are allowed in all baggage,if there is no fuel residue inside. It is best to contact your airline to check their checked and carry-on luggage size restrictions for items large in size. This will help you prevent a scene during check-in.


Most of the flammable items are not allowed by the TSA. However, items like cigars and cigarettes are allowed.
Carrying explosives like dynamites, flares, fireworks and flammable items like gasoline, aerosol, fuels, lighter fluids, etc., are prohibited. Lithium batteries are not allowed in checked baggage. However, the TSA may allow you to take spare batteries in carry-on baggage, provided they are within the acceptable size and weight limits, and are packed well.

Electronics Items

For security reasons, additional screening process is introduced for electronics in carry-on baggage.
All the electronic devices larger than a cell phone like tablets and e-readers are placed in separate bins for X-ray screening. The procedure is similar to the way how laptops are screened for years.

Liquids, Aerosols and Gels

TSA allows 3-1-1 (3 ounces, 1 quart, 1 bag) liquid policy. You can have 3.4 ounce or less in 1 quart-sized transparent plastic bag. This includes perfumes, lotions, liquid soaps, scented oil, snow globes, creams. For more than 3 ounces, keep these in checked baggage. Gel shoe inserts, shoes with gel heels, gel type candles are allowed in checked luggage.

Self Defense Items

All martial arts items like billy clubs, brass knuckles, weapons are allowed only in checked baggage and not in carry-on baggage. The TSA allows self-defense sprays if they are less than 2% by mass of tear gas. If so, 1 bottle of 118 ml (4 Oz) of pepper or mace spray is allowed in the checked baggage, provided it is safe to prevent accidental discharge.

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This was a brief idea about what are the items that are allowed in the carry-on and checked baggage. But it is still wise to consult with the respective airline prior journey, as rules might differ from airline to airline. Have a safe and hassle-free journey.