TSA Luggage Guidelines

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When preparing for a flight, be it domestic or international, it is important to pay close attention to what you can and cannot pack. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has established certain luggage guidelines for the purposes of airport and flight security.

Preparing for a flight.
Preparing for a flight. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Liquids and Gels

Liquids and gels weighing less than 3.4 oz. can be put into carry-on luggage, provided it is sealed in 1 qt. plastic bag. One qt. bag is allowed per person. Anything more must be placed into checked-in luggage.

Travel size liquids and gels.
Travel size liquids and gels. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Permitted Liquids

Medicines, life-support items, baby formula, food and breast milk are allowed in carry-on luggage in quantities that weigh more than 3.4 oz. These must be presented for inspection at security.

Baby formula is allowed in carry ons.
Baby formula is allowed in carry ons. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Sharp Objects and Firearms

Sharp objects, sporting goods, firearms, tools and self-defense items must be placed into checked-in luggage, provided they do not go against the airline's policy.

Permitted sharp objects can be carried in carry on.
Permitted sharp objects can be carried in carry on. (Image: macbrianmun/iStock/Getty Images)

Prohibited Items

Most flammable liquids, explosives and other chemicals are not allowed on flights. However, cigarette lighters may be placed into carry-on luggage or into checked luggage if they are put into an appropriate case. Two per person are permitted.

Cigarette lighter.
Cigarette lighter. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Duty-Free Liquids

Duty-free liquids and other liquids purchased at the airport can be brought aboard international flights. However, these must be placed into checked-in luggage when returning to the United States.

Duty free shop.
Duty free shop. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Size and Weight

Note that the airlines, rather than the TSA, set luggage size and weight requirements. Check with your airline if you are unsure.

Luggage sizes are set by airlines.
Luggage sizes are set by airlines. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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