TSA Banned Items: What Is Not Allowed in Carry Ons?

The Transportation Security Administration's "prohibited items" list was revised on Tuesday to include small knives and sporting equipment such as hockey and lacrosse sticks. Its website includes a link that allows fliers to provide their email address in order to be notified when updates are made to the list, as well as a "Can I Bring...?" mobile app that allows users to obtain information on any questionable items they wish to bring onto a plane. 

The site reminds fliers that discretion rests with TSA; so even if an item is generally permitted, it is still subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint. As always, it remains the passenger's responsibility to be aware that origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of certain items. Check out the revised list below.

Sharp Objects

TSA notes that any sharp items in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Permitted in checked baggage only

- box cutters

-ice axes/ ice picks

- knives (except for plastic or round bladed butter knives)

- meat cleavers

- razor-type blades such as small box cutters, utility knives and safety razor blades (disposable razors and their cartridges are however, permitted)

- sabers

- scissors (metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed)

- swords (cutting or thrusting weapons, including fencing foils)

Sporting Goods

Permitted in checked baggage only

- baseball bats

- bows and arrows

- cricket bats

- gold clubs

 -hockey sticks

- lacrosse sticks

- pool cues

- ski poles

- spear guns

Guns and Firearms

Please also review TSA's Firearms and Ammunition Section for more detailed information regarding items such as ammunition and firearms.

Permitted in checked baggage only

- ammunition

- BB guns

- compressed air guns (to include paintball markers) - carried in checked luggage without air compressor attached

- Firearms (those carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container and declared to the airline at check-in)

- parts of guns and firearms

- starter pistols (can only be carried as checked baggage and MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container and declared at airline check-in)

- gun lighters (can be carried in checked baggage only if it does not contain lighter fluid)

NOT permitted in checked baggage OR carry-on

- flares

- gun powder including black powder and percussion caps

Tools

TSA notes that any sharp items in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Permitted in checked baggage only

- axes and hatchets

- cattle prods

- crowbars

- hammers

- drills and drill bits (including cordless portable power drills) 

- saws (including cordless portable power saws)

- tools (greater than seven inches in length)

Permitted in checked baggage AND carry-on

- tools (seven inches or less in length- unless otherwise prohibited)

- screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length)

- wrenches and pliers (seven inches or less in length)

Martial Arts and Self Defense Items

Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and Security Officers.

Permitted in checked baggage only

- Billy clubs

- black jacks

- brass knuckles

kubotans

- self-defense sprays (One 4 ounce (118ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. Self Defense Sprays containing more than 2% by mass of Tear Gas (CS or CN) are prohibited in Checked Baggage. For more information visit www.faa.gov., click on Passengers, then Preparing to Fly.)

- martial arts weapons

- night sticks

- nunchucks

- stun guns/shocking devices

- throwing stars

Explosive and Flammable Materials, Disabling Chemicals and Other Dangerous Items

Permitted in carry-on only

- common lighters (lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please leave it at home.)

Permitted in checked baggage AND carry-on

- small compressed gas cartridges (up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany the life vests and presented as one unit)

NOT permitted in checked baggage OR carry-on

- blasting caps

- dynamite

- fireworks

- flares (in any form)

- hand grenade

- plastic explosives

- realistic replicas of explosives

- aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities)

- fuels (including cooking fuels and flammable liquid fuels)

- gasoline

- gas torches

- lighter fluid

- torch lighters (torch lighters create a thin, needle-like flame that is hotter (reaching 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit) and more intense than those from common lighters. Torch lighters are often used for pipes and cigars, and maintain a consistent stream of air-propelled fire regardless of the angle at which it is held.)

- strike-anywhere matches (one book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.)

- flammable paints

- turpentine and paint thinner

- realistic replicas of incendiaries

- chlorine for pools and spas

- fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders

- liquid bleach

- spillable batteries (except those in wheelchairs)

- spray paint

- tear gas (self defense sprays containing more than 2% by mass of tear gas - CS or CN)

- vehicle airbags

Other Items

Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis ball size) will be permitted in checked and carry-on luggage if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag, as the passenger’s other liquids, such as shampoo, toothpaste and cosmetics.

Permitted in checked baggage only

- gel-type candles

- non-flammable liquid gel or aerosol paint (3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller container)

NOT permitted in checked baggage OR carry-on

- marijuana (medical and non-medical)

- flammable liquid gel or aerosol paint

Liquids Rules


3-1-1 for carry-ons: 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.

Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.

Tip: most drug stores sell airplane carry-on kits like this one for your convenience.

When in doubt, leave it out (in your checked luggage)!

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Sylvia Camaj

21. Daughter. Sister. Girlfriend. Lover of life.

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