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Airline Carry-on Restrictions - What Can I Take on a Plane?

Airline Carry-on Restrictions - What Can I Take on a Plane?
Airline security has never been the same since the attacks of 9/11. A LOT of restrictions on what can be carried on board a plane have been imposed since. Here's a look at what you can and cannot carry with you on a plane.
Stephen Rampur
Last Updated: Feb 9, 2018
Hand-luggage Specifications
Dimensions - Up to 45 in/115 cm (14 x 9 x 22 in or 36 x 23 x 56 cm)
Weight - Up to 40 lbs/18 kg
Note: These are the standard guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration followed by most major airlines in America.
The 9/11 attacks were the worst known tragedy to have hit the aviation industry. These attacks changed the outlook of airline security not only in the US, but the world over. Before the attacks, people traveling by air only needed to worry about the size of the luggage that they used to carry; now the size, the weight, and most importantly, the contents of your handbag matter. Here's a guide about all the basics you need to know about the carry-on luggage while traveling by air.
Baggage Restrictions
One of the major inconveniences faced by passengers in the past few years is the limits and restrictions fixed on items which you may carry on board. In most cases, these conditions have imposed severe restrictions on several different personal hygiene items, which can be peculiarly taxing if you are traveling on a really long flight. Nevertheless, all these ordinances are exclusively for the purpose of passenger safety. It is very crucial to know the fact that the items themselves are not banned, but instead the containers and tubes that they are stored in. It is however allowed to carry such items in a plastic bag where possible. You should also ensure to ascertain particular ordinances of the airline or the country you are going to, as their ordinances might vary.
Sporting Goods
Item Carry-On Check-In
Baseball Bats * No Yes
Bows and Arrows No Yes
Cricket Bats * No Yes
Golf Clubs No Yes
Hockey Sticks No Yes
Lacrosse Sticks No Yes
Pool Cues No Yes
Ski Poles No Yes
Spear Guns No Yes
* Condition:
Bats < 24", Bats > 24" and < 24 oz, limited to 2 golf clubs
Sharp Objects
Item Carry-On Check-In
Box Cutters No Yes
Ice Axes/Ice Picks No Yes
Knives * No Yes
Meat Cleavers No Yes
Razors No Yes
Sabers No Yes
Scissors * No Yes
Swords No Yes
* Condition:
Scissors - Blade < 4"
Knife - Blade < 2.36", Width < ½", no locking or fixed blade, no molded grip
Note: All sharp objects in check-in baggage should be securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.
Guns & Firearms
Item Carry-On Check-In
Ammunition* No Yes
BB guns No Yes
Compressed Air Guns
(w/o cylinder)
No Yes
(unloaded, packed)
No Yes
Flare Guns
(unloaded, packed)
No Yes
Flares No No
Gun Lighters
(w/o lighter fluid)
No Yes
Gun Powder No No
Firearms Parts No Yes
Pellet Guns No Yes
Realistic Replicas of Firearms No Yes
Starter Pistols
(unloaded, packed)
No Yes
* Airline dependent
Item Carry-On Check-In
Axes and Hatchets No Yes
Cattle Prods No Yes
Crowbars No Yes
Hammers No Yes
Drills and drill bits No Yes
Saws No Yes
(length > 7")
No Yes
(length = 7")
Yes Yes
(length = 7")
Yes Yes
Wrenches and Pliers
(length = 7")
Yes Yes
Note: All sharp objects in check-in baggage should be securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.
Martial Arts & Self Defense Items
Item Carry-On Check-In
Billy Clubs No Yes
Black Jacks No Yes
Brass Knuckles No Yes
Kubatons No Yes
Self Defense Sprays * No Yes
Martial Arts Weapons No Yes
Night Sticks No Yes
Nunchucks No Yes
Stun Guns / Shocking Devices No Yes
Throwing Stars No Yes
* Condition:
Self Defense Sprays - 1 (4 oz) container < 2% Tear Gas
Note: All sharp objects in check-in baggage should be securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.
Explosive Materials
Item Carry-On Check-In
Blasting Caps No No
Dynamite No No
Fireworks No No
Hand Grenades No No
Plastic Explosives No No
Realistic Replicas of Explosives No No
Flammable Items
Item Carry-On Check-In
(other than toiletries)
No No
Fuels No No
Gasoline No No
Gas Torches No No
Lighter Fluid No No
Common Lighters
(w/o fuel)
No Yes
Torch Lighters No No
Strike-anywhere Matches * No No
Flammable Paints No No
Turpentine and Paint Thinner No No
Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries No No
* 1 book of safety matches are allowed as a carry-on item
Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items
Item Carry-On Check-In
(for pools and spas)
No No
Small compressed gas cartridges * Yes Yes
Fire Extinguishers / Compressed gas cylinders No No
Liquid Bleach No No
Spillable Batteries * No No
Spray Paint No No
Tear Gas
( > 2% Tear Gas) *
No No
Vehicle Airbags No No
* Conditions:
Compressed gas cartridges - a maximum of 2 in life vests, and two spares, Spillable Batteries - except the ones in a wheelchair, Tear Gas - Self defense sprays > 2% Tear gas
Other Items
Item Carry-On Check-In
Gel-type candles No Yes
Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint No No
flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint
( < 3.4 oz)
Yes Yes
Marijuana No No
Snow globes
( < 3.4 oz water in it)
Yes Yes
Do remember though, that the rules and regulations for international flights may greatly vary from the ones mentioned above; this may depend on the destination, and the carrier. The safest practice would be to declare all your luggage at the check-in. The rules and ordinances of carry-on luggage are stricter in case of flights to international destinations. The airline carry-on luggage restrictions for first-class travelers vary from those traveling in coach and business class. These ordinances may seem very complicated, but is certainly better to be safe when it comes to air travel. So long then. Bon voyage!
Family Packing Suitcases
Luggage With Clothes And Other Items