When you're planning to take an airplane, you may already know that there are two categories of items you can carry—checked baggage and cabin baggage. One item/article per passenger in the cabin may be marked as cabin baggage and only includes items suitable in the cargo compartment. These items are the passenger's own supervision and responsibility.
Meanwhile, checked or registered baggage consists of weighed and carried items in the baggage or cargo hold. Passengers do not have access to them during the flight.
Particular tags are attached to each article of baggage and indicate the destination and serial number. Part of this tag is affixed to the passenger's boarding pass for identification purposes only.
Even if the checked and cabin baggage are equally *on* the plane, there some rules applied for prohibited items to be carried on both baggage.
In this article, I'd like to share a list of restricted and prohibited items to take on the cabin. You may also check the previous post about 8 Prohibited Items to Take on Checked Baggage for a complete understanding.
Some of these items are allowed with some requirements and some are not allowed on the aircraft at all. These items will be detected when we pass the security check before entering the boarding area. So what are they? Here we go!
Liquids, aerosols, and gels (LAGs, Aerosols, Gels) are items that I often see being taken by security check officers. These include drinking water, perfume, liquid soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving foam, hand and body lotion, eucalyptus oil, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and more.
You can take them to the aircraft cabin long as they are in containers of 100 milliliters (volume), 100 grams (weight), or less. Containers larger than 100 milliliters or 100 grams, even if only partially filled, must be handed in to checked baggage. That's why travelers usually move their soap and other liquids to special bottles under 100ml.
These bottles should also not be stored carelessly. Everything must be put into clear plastic with a lid or Ziplock. The total of all LAGs one brings into the cabin must not exceed 1 Liter.
As mentioned above, even if you use containers bigger than 100 ml but it's only filled partially, it's still prohibited. My husband told me that the security officer at Changi Airport Singapore once took his toothpaste because the weight was about 120 grams, though it was half full.
How about LAGs items bought from duty-free shop?
Liquid, aerosol, and gel items obtained from a duty-free shop should be kept in the sealed bag called a security tamper-evident bag (STEB) provided at the time of purchase. Purchasers must also show acceptable proof of purchase at the airside at that airport.
Another liquid item, like alcohol, is only allowed if it's below 70%. Any alcohol with an ABV over 70% (or 140 proof) is strictly prohibited on the aircraft. Either onto your carry-on or the baggage.
A power bank is such a life-saver for many travelers! It becomes our best friend when we're miles away from anywhere and gives an extra burst of battery life to our devices, ensuring to stay in touch with the world! However, we need to be cautious when taking it for travel.
Since 2018, almost all airlines and airports have banned passengers from bringing power banks with a capacity of over 160 Wh. Either onto their carry-on or baggage. Even some of the power bank capacities are only allowed on board but depend on the airline's approval.
Then, how do we know if our power bank can go on board?
Make sure to check the label of your power bank when you buy it. It usually provides information about its battery capacity (either in Wh or MAh). If you can't find it, the easiest way is not to buy or bring a power bank with a capacity over 30.000 mAh because it won't exceed 160 Wh anyway.
Can I charge my phone using a power bank during a flight?
No. Using a power bank during a flight is strictly forbidden. You can only take it with you, not use it. So, make sure to charge your phone before a flight.
Another frequently asked question when one's going on board is whether they can or can't bring a pocket lighter or one book of matches. This regulation may vary for every airline. Some airline allows their passengers to take them, and some aren't.
So, the best thing to do is to display the lighters or matches when you pass the security check and let them decide it for you. Another choice is not to take them at all to your destination. You can buy them in your destination city/country, I guess.
Sharp objects or any sharp-edged objects are not allowed on an aircraft. These items should be packed in your checked baggage and be covered or securely wrapped to avoid injuring others. These items include scissors, knives, swords, razor blades, axes, penknives, corkscrews, wine openers, and many others.
Can I bring my nail clippers on the plane?
Yes. You can bring your nail clippers in your carry-on bags. However, some airlines don't allow you to take a nail clipper that includes a sharp nail filer. So, the final decision falls on the officer on whether that item is allowed through the checkpoint.
Most households and tools are not allowed on carry-on bags but are permitted on checked baggage (with special instruction). These items include drills, screwdrivers, chisels, crowbars, saws, hammers, pliers, and other tools commonly used by builders.
Some sporting tools like baseball bats, golf stick, nightstick, Billy club, and any other sticks are not permitted on carry-on bags because they can be used as a bludgeon. It can be potentially-injuring tools that can hurt others. That's why they must be transported to your checked baggage.
Also remember that not all other tools are allowed to bring, so again, the final decision falls on the officers at the checkpoint.
This should've been familiar to everyone that items containing hazardous chemicals or materials are strictly prohibited on an aircraft. Even though the volume is below 100ml, these dangerous materials are not allowed to bring at all, either into the cabin or checked baggage.
Items that usually fall into this category include, but are not limited to, bleaching powder, pesticides, arsenic, cyanide, alkali, butane, propane, acetic acid, chlorine, tear gas, formalin, and others. You can check them out here for further information. Feels too much? Yes. Then, when in doubt, leave it out!
Flammable items are also prohibited in the aircraft cabin, including including fuels, lighter fluid, solvents, and some paints and adhesives. Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) or beverages with a Flameless Ration Heater (FRH) system should also be avoided to take.
Butane gas canisters that are often used for portable stoves are also prohibited on the airplane. You can take the stove, though, but not the gas.
Well, this is obvious because we must have been arrested before getting on board lol. These items include air pistols, pellet, flare gun, and others. All types of toy guns or non-gun weapons are also not allowed. Some of these include industrial nail guns, crossbow darts, and firearm-shaped lighters.
Some airlines that you fly with may often refer to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for these kinds of rules. They also include information about bringing firearm on an airplane. You can check it out for more detailed information.
Flowers or plants that are still in pots are also prohibited either on the cabin or checked baggage. Only dead and dried flowers or plants are permitted. However, always check with your airline before attempting to bring plants on board because they might have different rules.
Generally, when transporting plants by air, they should fit in overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. So, always do your research well ahead of time before your flight!
Bringing food or drinks is usually permitted for domestic flights. However, for international flights, there are some restricted food and beverages. The food depends on the regulations of your destination country.
Some of the items are ready-to-eat meals and animal-derived foods such as raw meat, milk, yogurt, and others. Foods with strong, pungent smells, such as durian and jackfruit are also banned in either checked or cabin baggage.
Well, that's what we can share about restricted and prohibited items to take on the airplane. My advice is never to bring these items (or when you're in doubt to take them) when you plan to use some aircraft to avoid them being taken by airport security officers. In some cases, we might have to deal with some legal issues.
Note that every airline, airport and country has different regulations. There may be items above that are allowed in one country but prohibited in another. So, I will never be tired to remind you to always do well your research about these before flying.
I hope you find this post useful, especially for those who will take an airplane for the first time. If you need a tutorial on how to board on the aircraft for a first-timer, please see our post about how to board a plane for beginners that has been written.