What Are the New Luggage Rules for International Flights?

Sept. 11 brought about safety regulations to ensure that nothing dangerous, or nothing that could be combined to produce something dangerous, was brought on board an aircraft. The Transport Security Administration (TSA) keeps an updated list of these items on tsa.gov but the following regulations are correct as of November 2010.

  1. Liquid Rules

    • Follow the 3-1-1 rule for taking liquids on-board. This essentially allows you to take liquid under 3.4 ounces (100ml) on-board as long as it is displayed in a one-quart, clear, plastic zip-topped bag. One bag is allowed per passenger and the quart size limits the amount of liquids taken on-board. Exceptions are made for medication, baby formula, baby food and breast milk. These items do not need to be placed in a plastic bag but must be declared when going through customs. Any other liquids above 3.4 ounces should be placed in your check-in luggage.

    Sharp Objects

    • Sharp items are not permitted in your hand luggage with the exception of metal scissors, with a pointed tip and blades less than four inches long. These should be wrapped securely to avoid any injury to baggage handlers and inspectors. All other sharp items should be packed in your check-in luggage.

    Sporting Equipment

    • These, such as base-ball bats or pool cues, are not allowed in hand luggage but allowed in the hold.

    Guns and Firearms

    • Guns and firearms should all be placed in check-in luggage. Flares and gun powder are not allowed anywhere on the aircraft.


    • Tools, screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches below seven inches are allowed in your carry-on bag, with all other tools to be placed in your check-in bag. These should be wrapped securely to avoid any injury to baggage handlers and inspectors

    Martial Arts and Self Defense Items

    • Items such as self-defense sprays and throwing stars all must be checked in.

    Explosive & Flammable Material

    • None of these items are allowed in either carry-on or check-in luggage. A common lighter without fuel is the only exception and is allowed in your carry-on luggage. Some lighters with fuel are allowed in the hold if enclosed in a suitable Department of Transportation container. Check before you fly and if in doubt, leave your lighter behind.

    Disabling Chemicals

    • Items such as chlorine, bleach or car airbags are not permitted either in carry-on or check-in luggage. The exception here is a small compressed gas cartridge used in life vests which is allowed in both carry-on and check-on luggage. The spares should always accompany the vest itself.

    Other Items

    • Printer toner is not permitted anywhere on the aircraft, nor is any kind of flammable liquid, gel or aerosol paint. Non-flammable is, as long as it meets the liquids guidelines above. You cannot bring gel shoe inserts in your carry-on but you can check them in, whereas heels made with gel must be removed and scanned before being permitted on-board. You must check in gel-type candles, snow-globes and similar decorations containing liquid.

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  • Photo Credit airplane image by JLycke from Fotolia.com

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