With the rules and restrictions imposed by the airlines in terms of what to carry and what not to carry on a plane, buying a ticket seems to be easier than packing! Many times, we are surprised by the restrictions towards the normal everyday items like toothpaste and sprays, but you really can't blame the airlines for that! Most of the airlines follow the rules issued by the Travel Security Administration (TSA). Although some items may appear harmless while on the ground, the very same items can prove to be harmful when in an airplane, due to variations in the pressure and the temperature. This is why 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 that may be 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.
Carrying sharp objects like box cutters, cigar cutters, corkscrews, ice axes are strictly prohibited in the carry-on bags. However, this can be allowed in checked bags provided that they are 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 both 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 medicines provided they are screened and checked thoroughly. The medications you carry should have prescription with the passenger's name written 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. Labeling 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 between 24% - 70% are allowed in checked baggage. Only 5 liters of alcohol per passenger, in unopened retail packaging are permitted. Mini bottles (100ml) of alcohol are permitted in carry-on baggage. Cooked meat, seafood, vegetables and other non-liquid items are allowed but it should be completely frozen when brought for screening.
The TSA allows to carry firearms in a checked baggage, provided it is unloaded and packed in a hard sided container. However, according to the 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 the same. Ammunition, starter pistols, BB guns, parts of guns and forearms, etc., are allowed under checked baggage. Do check with your airline beforehand.
Tools like hammers, screwdrivers, drills are not allowed in carry on. Tools longer than 7 inches when measured from end to end are not allowed in carry-on bags. 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, etc., are allowed in the checked baggage. Camping stoves are allowed in all baggage, provided there is no fuel residue inside. However, it is best to get in touch with your airline to check their checked and carry-on luggage size restrictions for items that are 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 strictly prohibited. Lithium batteries, are not allowed in the 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.
Due to security reasons, an additional screening procedure is introduced for electronics items in the 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
The TSA recommends the 3-1-1 (3 ounces, 1 quart, 1 bag) liquid policy in this category. It means you can carry 3.4 ounce or less volume of these items, packed in a 1 quart-sized transparent plastic made zip-top bag. This includes items like perfumes, lotions, liquid soaps, scented oil, snow globes, and creams. For more than 3 ounces worth of volume, keep these items in the checked baggage. Gel shoe inserts, shoes with gel heels, gel type candles are permitted in checked luggage.
Self Defense Items
All the martial arts items like billy clubs, brass knuckles, weapons, etc., are allowed only in the checked baggage and not in the carry-on baggage. However, the TSA allows carrying self-defense sprays provided 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.
This article gives you 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.