Properly packing luggage helps save time and hassle when boarding a plane. Certain items are not allowed in carry-on luggage, while others are not allowed at all. Not knowing what the Transport Security Administration (TSA) prohibits can result in having to repack items or in having to leave them behind.
Banned Carry-On Luggage
Take items not allowed in carry-on luggage and pack them in checked luggage. Firearms and ammunition are allowed in checked luggage. Report them first at the ticket counter. All sharp objects like knives and ice picks need to be placed in checked luggage. Sheath them to protect your belongings and security personnel who might search through your baggage. Tools like hammers and crowbars must be placed in checked luggage. Tools that are 7 inches or less in length may be carried on. Equipment used for martial arts, sporting goods like baseball bats and golf clubs, and hunting and fishing equipment have to be packed in checked luggage. Camping equipment may be allowed in carry-on luggage as long as no gas or vapors are emitted.
Items Banned From both Carry-On and Checked Luggage
Remove and leave behind all gasoline and flammable liquids. Aerosol insecticides are not allowed, and so are animal repellents over 4 oz. Do not pack chlorine used for pools, fire extinguishers, liquid bleach, paint thinners, spray paint, tear gas and vehicle airbags.
Items that are explosive in nature are banned. This includes dynamite, blasting caps, fireworks, hand grenades and plastic explosives. Flammable material is also not allowed. Leave behind flare guns, torches and strike-anywhere matches. Spillable batteries are prohibited, except when used for wheelchairs.
Remove liquids larger than 3 oz. from carry-on luggage and pack them with checked luggage. Medication and baby formula containers can be larger than 3 oz. after security has been informed. Alcohol products containing greater than 70 percent alcohol content must be packed in checked luggage; 70 percent alcohol content is equivalent to 140-proof. Alcohol between 24 and 70 percent alcohol content may be taken in your carry-on luggage. They must be sealed and be less than 5 liters. If you are concerned about what liquids are allowed as carry-on, avoid taking liquids with you. Plan on buying them when you reach your destination.
Airlines and different countries have their own rules about what is prohibited. Contact them to learn more about their regulations. If you are traveling outside of the United States, contact the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about what you are allowed to bring back into the country.