If you are planning to take a flight in the near future, knowing what you can carry and what you can’t will save you a lot of grief at the airport security checkpoints. Think of this post as your mini-guide to airline luggage regulations.
Liquids, Gels, and Aerosols
On 26th September 2007, the TSA (Travel Security Administration) adjusted the ban on liquids, gels, and aerosols by allowing travelers to carry them in their carry-on bags when going through airport security checkpoints. However, the important point to note is that all of these items must be carried in 3-ounce or smaller containers, in a single quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. All flight passengers must remove their quart-sized, zip-top, clear plastic bag from their carry-on bag, and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening.
There are exceptions to the above procedures for baby formula, breast milk, and other essential liquids, gels, and aerosols, including prescription and over the counter drugs. (See the tips section of this post for the link to the TSA site that has further information)
Laptop computers, cell phones, pagers and PDAs (Personal Data Assistants) are all allowed both in checked as well as carry-on baggage. The X-ray screening machine used to scan checked luggage might possibly damage undeveloped film in camera equipment. So, it’s a good idea to carry your camera in your carry-on luggage.
DO NOT attempt to carry sharp objects such as box cutters, ice axes, knives, meat cleavers, razor blades (non-safety razor types), sabers, or swords in your carry-on luggage. You run the risk of a security officer confiscating these items, and you may find yourself being questioned in a back room at the airport instead of boarding your flight.
You may carry these objects as part of your checked luggage, but make sure they’re sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent damage to your luggage and injury to baggage handlers.
Baseball bats, bows and arrows, cricket bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, pool cues, ski poles, and spear guns are all prohibited on-board. If you really need to, you can carry these in your checked luggage.
Guns And Firearms
Each individual airline has their own policy on weapons, so it is a very good idea to call the airline before your trip, and ask about any limitations or fees that apply.
In general, you are not allowed to carry guns and firearms in your carry on luggage as per airline luggage regulations. The items that you may carry in checked luggage (but not in carry on luggage) include: ammunition, BB guns, compressed air guns, firearms, gun lighters, pellet guns, replicas of firearms, and starter pistols.
You are allowed to carry on or check in: tools (if seven inches or less in length), screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers. Items that you can check but not carry on include: axes, hatchets, cattle prods, crowbars, hammers, drills, and saws.
Airline flight regulations strictly prohibit explosive or flammable material of any type in either carry on or checked luggage. These include, but are not limited to, blasting caps, dynamite, fireworks, flares, hand grenades, plastic explosives, and plastic replicas of explosives.
You may not check or carry on the following items: chlorine, fire extinguishers, bleach, spray paint, and tear gas.
Note : The information provided in this blog post is applicable to all domestic and international flights departing from U.S. airports. Travelers are advised to check with transportation security authorities in their country of origin for flights originating at non-U.S. airports.