Prohibited Items

Dom Herrera, 19.06.18

Alternative travel tips: 8 min read

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.

To make it more simple for you, 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.

Airport Signs

What can I carry on a plane?

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 accompanied 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!

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

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.

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).

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:

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

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.

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, you should check with your airline.

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 pins, hiking poles, skiing poles, pool cues and snow cleats.

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.

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.

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 they're less than four inches from the pivot point.

Scissors diagram

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Airport-Security-Checks
Photo credit: Poltikaner

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.

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.

Walking sticks

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

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.

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
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)

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
Syringe (if accompanied by liquid medicine)

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

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
Hair gel
Hair wax
Hairspray
Hiking poles

I
Ice skates
Insulin pump

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
Syringe

T
Tablets
Tent pegs
Tent poles
Tents
Tweezers

W
Walking stick
Water
Water for babies


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