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What Can I Carry on a Plane?


Packing for a holiday can sometimes be stressful. There are a number of things that you need to consider — ‘how many items of clothing shall I bring?’, 'will there be sunshine or rain at my destination?’, ‘did I pack my toothbrush?’ and the tortuous subject of ‘what can I carry on a plane?’.

The topic on things that you can’t take on a plane is a never-ending discussion between travellers — one that’s had people checking how many millilitres is in their deodorant can for years! With carry-on luggage rules being different to checked luggage rules, things can get confusing.

A-Z Overview

What can I take on a plane in hand baggage?

A
✔ Alcohol (less than 100ml)

B
✔ Baby formula (more than 100ml)
✔ Ballons (deflated)
✔ Bike chains
✔ Bike pumps
✔ Blood sugar test kit
✔ Boxing gloves
✔ Breast milk (more than 100ml)

C
✔ Cigarettes
✔ Cigars
✔ Clothing
✔ Creams (less than 100 ml)

D
✔ Deodorant (less than 100ml)
✔ Disposable razors
✔ Dry shampoo (less than 100ml)

E
✔ E-liquids (less than 100ml)
✔ Electric razors
✔ Electronic cigarettes
✔ Essential liquid medicine (more than 100ml)

F
✔ Frozen food (packed with ice & fully frozen)

H
✔ Hairdryer
✔ Hair gel (less than 100ml)
✔ Hair wax (less than 100ml)
✔ Hairspray (less than 100ml)

I
✔ Ice skates (remove blade & dependant on airlines)
✔ Insulin pump (if accompanied by liquid medicine)
✔ Irons

K
✔ Knitting needles

L
✔ Liquid food (less than 100ml)
✔ Liquid soaps (less than 100ml)
✔ Live fish & lobster (check with airline)

M
✔ Makeup remover (less than 100ml)
✔ Musical instruments (need screening and dependant on airlines)

N
✔ Nail clippers

P
✔ Perfume (less than 100 ml)

R
✔ Roller skates

S
✔ Safety pins
✔ Skateboards
✔ Solid food
✔ Sport balls
✔ Steamers
✔ Straighteners
✔ Syringe (if accompanied by liquid medicine)

T
✔ Tablets
✔ Tents (remove tent pegs & poles)
✔ Toy weapons
✔ Tweezers

U
✔ Umberellas

V
✔ Vaping devices

W
✔ Water (less than 100ml)
✔ Water for babies (more than 100ml)

What can I take on a plane in checked baggage?

A
✔ Alcohol 24% or less
✔ Alcohol between 24—70% (no more than five litres/1.3 gallons)
✔ Axes

B
✔ Baby formula
✔ Balloons (deflated)
✔ Bike chains
✔ Bike pumps
✔ Blood sugar test kit
✔ Bowling pins
✔ Box cutters
✔ Boxing gloves
✔ Breast milk
✔ Bug spray

C
✔ Cigarettes
✔ Cigars
✔ Clothing
✔ Creams

D
✔ Darts
✔ Deodorant
✔ Disposable razors
✔ Dry shampoo

E
✔ E-liquids
✔ Electric razors
✔ Essential liquid medicine

F
✔ Frozen food

H
✔ Hairdryer
✔ Hair gel
✔ Hair wax
✔ Hairspray
✔ Hiking poles

I
✔ Ice skates
✔ Insulin pump
✔ Irons

K
✔ Knitting needles
✔ Knives

L
✔ Liquid food
✔ Liquid soaps
✔ Live lobster

M
✔ Makeup remover
✔ Musical instruments (need screening and dependant on airlines)

N
✔ Nail clippers

P
✔ Perfume
✔ Pool cues

R
✔ Razor blades
✔ Roller skates

S
✔ Safety pins
✔ Saws
✔ Skateboards
✔ Skiing poles
✔ Snow cleates
✔ Solid food
✔ Sport balls
✔ Sport bats & clubs
✔ Steamers
✔ Straighteners
✔ Syringes

T
✔ Tablets
✔ Tent pegs
✔ Tent poles
✔ Tents
✔ Tweezers

U
✔ Umberellas

W
✔ Walking stick
✔ Water
✔ Water for babies

A busy airport terminal

To give a bit more detail, we’ve highlighted some of the most frequently asked items that you can and can’t bring on a plane, as well some pretty absurd ones that you might not have even considered.

What can I carry on a plane?

Aerosols

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Aerosols such as deodorant, dry shampoo and hairspray are allowed in your carry-on bag, as long as it doesn’t exceed the 100ml/3.4oz limit. There are no restrictions on the amount that you can take in your checked baggage.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
While bug spray is not allowed in your carry-on, it’s allowed in your checked baggage as long as its not labelled as a hazardous material. So, check before you pack if you want to keep those mosquitos from biting.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
As it's highly flammable, spray paint is not allowed in either your carry-on or checked luggage.

Airport security gates with 'do not enter' signs

Alcohol

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Alcohol in carry-on must be less than 100ml/3.4oz.

Alcoholic drinks between 24% and 70% alcohol are allowed in checked baggage, but you can’t take more than 5l (1.3 gallons) and it must be in its original, unopened packaging. If alcohol is 24% or less, you can take as much in your checked baggage as you like (Alternative Airlines do not encourage irresponsible drinking). Alcohol may also be subject to duty-free allowances, so make sure to read our guide to duty free rules here.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
You can’t travel with alcoholic drinks that are more than 70% alcohol.

Please note that the following countries have an alcohol prohibition and do not allow you to enter the country with alcohol:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh (excluding non-Muslims)
  • Brunei
  • India — only in the states of Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, Manipu and Lakshwadeep.
  • Iran (excluding non-Muslims)
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Libya
  • Maldives (excluding non-Muslims)
  • Mauritania
  • Pakistan (excluding non-Muslim)
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • UAE — only Sharjah
  • Yemen

For more information on travelling with wine and alcoholic beverages, please visit our flying with wine and alcohol page.

Balloons

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Balloons are allowed in both your carry-on and checked baggage but — and sorry to be a party pooper — they must stay deflated.

Car parts

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Car parts are allowed in your carry-on and checked baggage as long as they don’t have any traces of fuel. Check with your airline for size and weight restrictions.

Cigarettes and lighters

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Cigarettes and cigars are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. E-liquids are allowed in carry-on and checked bags, but they must hold less than 100ml/3.4oz.

Disposable and zippo lighters without fuel are allowed in carry-on bags. Lighters with fuel must be put in your checked bag.

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✖
Electronic cigarettes and vaping devices must be put in your carry-on or held on person and are not allowed in your checked baggage.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
Torch, gun, arc, plasma and electronic lighters are allowed in neither your carry-on or checked baggage.

Please note that smoking or vaping electronic cigarettes is not allowed on the plane.

Clothing

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
There are no restrictions on clothing that you can travel with. We suggest that you wear something comfortable and loose for long-haul flights.

English Christmas crackers

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
You’re not allowed to travel with English Christmas crackers. So, bare that in mind if you’re travelling over Christmas or bringing some back for a Christmas market.

Fireworks

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
You’re not allowed to travel with fireworks in your carry-on or checked baggage.

Food

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
The usual 100ml/3.4oz limit for carry-on applies for liquid food. However, there’s no restriction on the amount of solid food you can pack in your carry-on luggage. If you’re bringing ice-cream in your carry-on, it must be fully frozen when going through security. Other frozen food is permitted in carry-on, as long as the ice that it’s packed with has not defrosted.

The TSA have no restrictions on the type or amount of food you can bring in your checked baggage. However, it’s best to check with the food regulations of the country that you’re travelling to as some countries have restrictions on the food that is allowed to be brought in from certain places.

Hairdryers and Straighteners

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
We all like to make sure we aren't having a bad hair day, luckily you can bring both hairdryers and straighteners onboard with you. These can be packed in either your checked luggage or cabin baggage.

Irons and Steamers

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
You are permitted to bring a travel iron with you onboard an aircraft. These can be carried in either your checked baggage or in your cabin luggage. The iron must be free of any liquids it can hold for security reasons

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
You are also allowed to bring a clothes steamer with you. This can be part of your cabin baggage or your checked luggage. However, you need to ensure that the steamer doesn't have any liquids inside.

Live fish & lobster

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
You’re allowed to take live lobster in your checked baggage. Live lobster are allowed through security, but check with your airline on whether you can take it on the plane. Live lobster must be kept in a clear, plastic, spill proof container.

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✖
Live fish are allowed in carry-on baggage but not checked baggage. The fish must be kept in water and a transparent, spill proof container.

Liquids

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
The golden rule with liquids is that they can go in your carry-on bag as long as they aren’t over 100ml/3.4oz. This includes most type of liquids, such as water, makeup remover, perfume, as well as hair wax, hair gel, liquid soaps and creams. With breast milk, formula, water for babies and essential liquid medicine, you’re allowed to take more than the 100ml/3.4oz limit in your carry-on bag. However, these items must be removed from your bag and screened separately from your other items.

There’s no limit on the amount of liquid that you can carry on a plane in checked baggage, as long as it doesn’t exceed the weight of your baggage allowance (different rules apply for alcohol).

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
The only liquids that you’re not allowed to fly with at all are flammable liquids, such as fuels and gels, as well as liquid bleach.

Medicines

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
If liquid medicine is essential to your health, it can exceed the 100ml/3.4oz carry-on bag limit for liquids. You can bring insulin pumps and syringes in your carry-on baggage as long as they’re accompany by injectable medicine. All of these medicines must be screened by airport security. For information on flying with medical marijuana, please visit our flying with medical cannabis page.

Other medicines, such as tablets and blood sugar test kits are fine to bring in your carry-on bag.

There’s no restrictions on the amount of medicine that you can take in your checked baggage, so if you’re prone to allergies and you’re going away for a long time, don’t hesitate to stock up on the stuff you need!

Musical Instruments

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Musical instruments will need to be screened. Whether you can take musical instruments in your carry-on baggage and checked baggage will depend on which airline you fly with, so always check. For more information, read more about flying with different musical instruments here.

Plants

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔

The rules regarding taking plants on a plane depend on the airline, type of plant and rules of the country you are flying into. If they are allowed, then they may be carried in either hand or checked luggage. For more information on flying with plants, visit our page here.

Razors

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
There are no restrictions on taking disposable razors or electric razors in your baggage.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
Box cutters and razor blades that aren’t in a cartridge are not allowed in carry-on bags.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✖
After reports of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching fire, all Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s have been banned from flying. 1-0 to the iPhone.

Sharp objects

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Knitting needles, nail clippers, safety pins, tweezers and any other sharp objects that can’t be used as a weapon are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage.

Scissors are allowed in carry-on baggage as long as the end of the blade is less than four inches from the pivot point.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
Any sharp object that can be used as weapon is not allowed in carry-on luggage. This includes knives, axes, darts, saws etc.

All sharp objects in checked baggage should be wrapped up as to not cause injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Sports equipment

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Sport balls, such as footballs, golf balls, bowling balls, basketballs etc. are allowed in your carry-on and checked baggage, as are boxing gloves.

Bike chains and bike pumps are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. However, for the bicycle itself, please visit our page on flying with a bike.

Ice skates and roller skates are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage with most airlines, however some airlines don't allow ice skates on their planes, so check first. Skateboards are allowed too, but you should check with your airline about size and weight restrictions if you plan to bring your skateboard in your carry-on bag.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
Items that can be used as a bludgeon are not allowed in your carry-on bag and must be put in your checked baggage. This includes all sports equipment such as bats and clubs, as well as bowling pinshiking polesskiing polespool cues and snow cleats.

Tents

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
Tents can be carried in both carry-on and checked baggage, but check with your airline on size restrictions.

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
Tent poles and tent pegs must be packed in your checked baggage.

Toy weapons

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
They may not be able to cause any damage, but for obvious reasons toy swords and toy weapons must be kept in your checked baggage and not in your carry-on.

low level shot of passengers walking through a terminal

Umbrellas

Carry-on bag ✔ Checked bag ✔
You can bring umbrellas onboard, but hopefully you won't need one at your destination! Airlines permit you to either bring these onboard as part of your checked luggage as well as part of your cabin baggage but please do check with your airline on size and weight restrictions.

Walking sticks

Carry-on bag ✖ Checked bag ✔
As walking sticks could be used as a bludgeon, they’re only allowed in checked baggage.

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