Travel is a passion, with millions of people travelling each year on business and pleasure. However, the travel industry has drastically changed in the last few decades. It was in the ’70s when you were allowed to even smoke inside the aeroplane. Now, you aren’t even allowed to carry a bottle of water with you. We will be taking an in-depth look into all the things that you are not allowed to carry on a plane and finally answer the question, what can you not carry on a plane?
When it comes to packing, it really is an art form with rolled-up socks, double packed toothbrushes and the stack of t-shirts and jeans. However, with all the security formalities which accompanies flying these days, there are complicated questions that you ask yourself when you start packing. Am I allowed to carry this on the plane? Will I get into trouble if I pack this in my carry-on? Should I just not pack my razor and grow a beard for my stay? These are all questions that go through one’s mind when packing. It is important to remember that when you pack for a trip, there are certain things which you are allowed to carry on the plane, but they have to be checked in with your baggage. There are also some items, which you are allowed to not have in person with you, but are allowed to carry on the plane in your carry-on. All in all, the task of packing has become more complicated in this day and age. So to help you better understand what and how to pack, let’s dive straight in. First, let’s get an idea of what you can and cannot pack in your carry-on.
What Can You Carry in Your Carry-on
Liquids and Gels
As a word of warning, to prevent any hassle at the airport, make sure you don’t pack any liquids or gels in your hand carry. If you do consider packing these items, such as shampoo or sunscreen, make sure that the liquids or gels are no larger in volume than 100 millilitres (3.4 Ounces). These gels and liquids have to be sealed in a single zip-top plastic bag (litre size). If you don’t have a zip-top plastic bag while packing, you will have to declare these items to airport security before you board the flight. Usually, when they scan your carry-on, they will ask you to open the bag to check the contents. They will then hand you the zip-top plastic bag if the contents of your bag have liquids and gels which have a volume of fewer than 100 millilitres. You are to place all the bottles into the one litre-sized zip-top plastic bag. If you are carrying more than what can fit into this single bag, then you will be forced to throw the contents away. This is why, we do not recommend that you pack liquids and gels in your carry-on, to prevent hassles at the airport. If you do pack a necessary liquid or gel with you, such as a pain ointment, then make sure to follow the instructions that have been herewith stated for your benefit.
This simply means that you aren’t allowed to carry a bottle of water or carbonated drink or even coffee for that matter. You are to finish consuming the contents of these goods before you reach security. At the security check-in, if you are carrying any bottles or cups of liquids, you will be instructed to throw them away. Hence keep that in mind before you buy a bottle of soda before the flight. You will simply not be allowed to carry that on the plane. Don’t simply bury the items in your carry-on and hope that airport security won’t find them; they will find it and you will have to either throw the contents away or carry them with you in a zip-top plastic bag if you are within the volume limits.
There are some exceptions to this rule, which include medication and food for infants.
The list of prohibited items with which you are not allowed to board a plane differs from country to country. However, there are some items which as a general rule, you should not pack in your carry-on. The list obviously includes firearms and explosives. These are considered obvious items which you are simply not allowed to carry with you on the plane. However, there are also items such as baseball bats or other sporting bats or rackets; simply anything that can be used as a weapon. Hence it is advised to pack that sporting item in your main luggage, to prevent any loss at airport security.
You are also not allowed to carry self-defence items such as sprays (mace) or sharp objects such as knives or swords. That being the case, it is generally fine to carry a small pair of scissors or some nail clippers. That being the case, knives of all sorts, including Swiss Army knives are on the prohibited list. You should never pack these items in a carry-on.
If you are worried about the country-specific items which are on the prohibited list, it is best to do a Google search by country to get a better idea of what you are not allowed to carry on a plane.
When it comes to razors, everyone asks the question as to whether you are allowed to carry razors on an aeroplane. There are two sides to the answer to this question, and as to whether you are allowed to carry razors in your carry-on; this will depend on two things. Usually, straight razors and blades are on the prohibited list for items you can pack in your carry-on. That being the case, if you are carrying a disposable razor, then chances are that it won’t be an issue. The disposable razors are the ones where the blade is actually attached permanently to the handle. When it comes to electric razors, there really isn’t an issue with them, you are allowed to carry them with you in your carry-on.
If you are carrying tools with you, it is best that you pack them in your checked luggage as opposed to packing them for your carry-on. This is because tools often tend to be valuable and are not items that can be easily tossed away into the trash like a bottle of soda. Due to the reason that many tools can be used as a weapon, you are simply not allowed to carry them with you in your carry-on. Hammers, screwdrivers and drill bits are all sharp and dangerous objects which could be used as a weapon, hence you are not allowed to carry them in your carry-on with you.
Matches and Lighters
Considering the trajectory of the arguments which have already been set forth, I think it’s easy to see that matches and lighters are too things you are not allowed to have with you in person. This is because, someone could easily start a fire inside the plane, which could be very dangerous and put the lives of all the passengers in peril. That being the case, though you are not allowed to have the lighter with you in person, you are allowed to carry a lighter on a plane in your carry-on; however, only one is allowed.
E-cigarettes or Vaping Devices
These items usually have a liquid bottle, which falls into the category of gels and liquids. Hence the liquid bottles can be carried in your carry-on, in the zip-top plastic bag. Hence, all in all, you are allowed to carry them with you onboard an aeroplane, however, you are not allowed to use them in-flight.
Carrying Food on the Plane
If it is an apple that you are looking to carry with you on the plane, then this is allowed. However, if you try to carry a curry for instance in your carry-on, you may be held up at security. If the food can be considered closer to a liquid or gel, then the same rules as prior apply. If the volume is greater than 100 millilitres, then you will be forced to throw away the good curry that you made for your grandmother. Hence it is advisable to consider the type of food that you are carrying. Unless absolutely necessary, it is best to just pack them in your checked-in baggage.
Perfume and Nail-Polish
These both fall into the category of gels and liquids. You will be allowed to carry perfumes and nail-polish in your carry-on, however, will have to abide by the same zip-top plastic bag rule. When you carry many liquids and gels, make sure that whatever you are carrying can all fit into one litre-sized zip-top plastic bag. Otherwise, you may be forced to throw some of them away. Imagine reaching your destination without nail-polish. The horror!
Back in the day, you could carry a bottle of opened alcohol on the flight and drink yourself to a stupor on your way to your destination. However, nowadays you are only allowed to carry alcohol with you on the aeroplane if the bottles are in the unopened retail packaging. Further to this, the security at the airport will seal them into a separate plastic bag. Normally, these bags are different from the ones that you have for liquids and gels, and the amount of alcohol you are allowed to carry varies from one country to another. To ensure that you are not breaking any rules, it is best to check with the airline or the visiting country to be sure. That being the case, you are simply not allowed to carry alcohols with a concentration of more than 70% alcohol.
If these are regular batteries, then you are allowed to carry them on an aeroplane. Commonly found AAA, AA, C or D are examples of batteries that you are allowed to carry with you in your carry-on. Lithium batteries cannot be checked in with your checked baggage, hence you should choose to pack them with you in your carry-on.
Ideally, it is best to simply pack your medicine in your checked luggage. That being the case, when you do this, you run the risk of what would happen if you lose your luggage or if there was a delay with the airline. Hence it is important that you carry some of your medication with you in your carry-on. Most airlines make an exception on the gel and liquid rule for medication, while some simply incorporate the zip-top plastic bag rule. That being the case, if you are carrying a large quantity of medication, that wouldn’t fit in a one-litre zip-top plastic bag, then contact the airlines beforehand to get proper instruction and proceed accordingly.
Items you are NOT Allowed to Carry on a Plane
When it comes to these items, it is best that you leave them at home and not pack them in either of your bags, for you are simply not allowed to carry them with you. Neither on the checked-in luggage or carry on are you allowed to carry these items.
Secondly, a close tie to the first on the list is highly flammable items. Anything that can catch fire such as fuels and paints, gasoline or lighter fluid, you are simply not allowed to carry with you on an aeroplane.
Then there are chemicals. If you are thinking of carrying fertilizer with you on the plane in your check-in luggage, you will simply not be allowed to. When it comes to chemicals, be it bleach, chlorine, spray paint or fertilizers, you are not permitted to carry these items on a plane.
Alcohol over 70% in concentration, too are not allowed on the aeroplane. Hence if you are thinking of picking up some grain alcohol, you will not be allowed to carry this either in your check-in luggage or your carry-on.
WHAT TO DO AT THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT
If you are carrying something that is a liquid or a gel, don’t just hide it in the bag or pretend like it’s not there. Declare the goods at security, it will make for a more comfortable time passing through security. Hence take the liquids that you have with you, declare them and get a zip-top plastic bag from security services and place them in the bag; that simple.
Then place your tablet, camera or any electronic devices in a separate tray. If you are carrying medication, then it is best to carry the prescription with you to prove that they are your medication; especially if the volume of medication exceeds the 100-millilitre limit.
If you are carrying a lighter, it is best to show that to the security officer, and if they instruct you to pack it in your carry-on, follow the instruction.
You will then have to undergo a body pat-down, where your jacket and coat will too be inspected for undeclared items. Make sure to take all metal items such as keys and watches and place them in a separate tray. If you haven’t already placed your laptop in a tray, go ahead and do that with your laptop too.
Once you have declared everything and have been patted down, you will have cleared the security checkpoint.
Have a Safe Journey
When it comes to travelling these days, safety is key. It is why there are so many restrictions and guides on what you can and cannot pack and how to go about packing them. Many people find it a hassle to clear security and would like to be prepared in every way possible to prevent any hassle which may arise at the security checkpoint. Hence we hope this guide on what you can and cannot carry on a plane has been insightful and informative.