Things You'll Need
Box for painting
Not everybody is comfortable with throwing a precious painting into the luggage compartment of an airplane. If a painting is tossed in with other heavy luggage, it could possible get damaged. Don't take a chance. Carry the painting on the plane and store it yourself. Since it is not on the TSA's list of prohibited travel items, you can carry a painting onto a plane as long as it meets a few requirements. There are size restrictions for carry-on items, so you can only take small paintings on the plane.
Measure the dimensions of the painting with a measuring tape and record the measurements.
Go to the website for the airline on which you are flying and review the carry-on luggage size limitations. Airlines restrict passengers from carrying large items on a plane. Each airline has different size restrictions, but the rule of thumb is that carry-on items can't be more than 22 inches tall, 14 inches wide and 9 inches deep. If the painting is larger than the restricted dimensions, you won't be allowed to carry it on the plane.
Package the painting in a box that meets the carry-on size requirements for the airline. Put foam or cloth inserts on the face of the painting to keep it from getting scratched during the flight.
Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. Get in line and check the luggage you won't be carrying on the plane. Once your bags are checked, take your painting to the security checkpoint.
X-ray the painting and walk through the metal detector. An X-ray machine won't damage the painting. When you're done with the security check, head to the gate from which your flight is leaving. Hand your ticket to the employee at the counter by the gate, wait for the plane to arrive, and then board the plane when you are told by an airport employee.
Ask a flight attendant where you should store your painting. Each airline has different rules for storing carry-on items. Often times, you store your painting in the overhead compartment above the seats, but if the painting is small enough, you may be able to fit it underneath the seat.