Can You Bring a Lighter On A Plane 2023? The TSA Rules

We may receive a small commission (with no additional cost to you) if you purchase an item using links in this page, Thank you.

Whether you are a smoker or just need to take a lighter on your carry-on for camping or outdoor activities, it’s important to know the regulations and restrictions for taking lighters on planes. 

Here is a quick answer: cigarette and disposable or Zippo type lighters are permitted on planes in carry-on and checked baggage.

Lighters with gas or fuel are not allowed in checked bags if they have fuel on them, the TSA does not permit some other types of lighters like torch lighters or any lighter that comes in a weapon shape. 

In this blog post, we will look at the TSA and FAA rules regarding taking lighters in both carry on and checked baggage, what types of lighters are allowed, and how to pack a lighter for your flight. 

Let’s dive right in. 

can you bring lighters on a plane-01

Please note that these rules are mainly applicable in U.S airports where the TSA and FAA regulates what items to take on airplanes. If you are traveling in another country, ensure that you check the regulations of that country.

Can You Take Lighters On A Plane Carry-on?

The TSA cigarette lighter rules are fairly clear.

According to the TSA cigarette lighters (disposable lighter or zippo-type lighter ) are allowed in your carry-on luggage, except Arc Lighters, Plasma Lighters, Electric Lighters.

Only one lighter per passenger is permitted and you are not allowed to use it during the flight, ensure that you keep the lighter in your pocket or personal item.

Here is a screen grabs from the TSA:

can you bring lighters on a plane-03
Lighters on a plane / The TSA Rules

Brandon asks the TSA if his BIC lighter is allowed on planes and here is the answer.

The TSA customer service replied that you are allowed one disposable lighter or zippo-type lighter in carry-on bags.

can you bring lighters on a plane-04
lighters in carry on

For safety reasons it is advisable to place permitted lighters in your personal item, or in your pocket during your flight.

Please note that the TSA agents have the full authority to accept or ban an item from the airplane, so make sure to review these regulations carefully.

Type of lighters Carry-on baggage Checked baggage
Lighter containing flammable gas (butane , including disposable lighters like BIC lighters) Allowed Not Allowed
Arc LightersAllowed with special instructionsNot Allowed
Lighter containing flammable liquid absorbed in a lining (Zippo-type ) Allowed Not Allowed
Electronic LightersAllowed with special instructions Not Allowed
Lighter containing unabsorbed liquid (includ s many larg and antique wick lighters) Not Allowed Not Allowed
Torch lighter (known as blue flam lighter, jet lighter, cigar lighters) Not Allowed Not Allowed
Plasma LightersAllowed with special instructionsNot Allowed
Torch lighter or additional lighters in a DOT Special Permit containerNot Allowed Allowed In the US
Lighter shaped like a gun or other weapon Not Allowed Not Allowed
E-LightersAllowed with special instructionsNot Allowed
Lighter gas refills (butane) and lighter fluid Not Allowed Not Allowed
Chef torch, micro torch, utility torchNot Allowed Not Allowed
Flammable gas cylinders or canisters (butane, ro ane, etc.) Not Allowed Not Allowed

Can You Pack Lighters In Checked Luggage?

You can bring up to two 2 additional lighters in your checked baggage but you have to place them in a DOT approved case airtight travel containers for lighters.

Most lighter manufacturers such as Colibri, Prometheus, and Zippo have secured DOT special permits for their lighter travel containers.

As a reminder lighters with unabsorbed liquid; Torch lighter known as (blue flame lighter, jet lighter, cigar lighter); Lighter shaped like a gun or other weapon are not permitted in either carry-on and on hold.

You may also like : Can You Bring Matches On a Plane?

Are Electric Lighters Allowed On Planes?

I wanted to find more info about taking Electric lighters on a plane.


The TSA does really allow electronic lighters in certain conditions in carry-on baggage only ( as you can see in the table) and with special instructions.

Even though in reality they do not allow them and they do not provide additional info.

Here are some answers from the TSA customer service on Twitter.
The TSA says that USB rechargeable lighters and electronic lighters are not allowed in either carry-on or checked baggage.


Can I Take Refills Or Fuel On a plane?

NO !! you can’t bring refills or extra fuel for your lighter on the airplane.

And even in a closed DOT approved travel bag, just make sure that your lighter is fully filled before taking It with you on board.

Also you don’t have to worry, you can refill your lighter in almost any destination.

Can You Bring Empty Lighters On Planes?

You can take empty Lighters without limits in either carry on and checked baggage, However it is advisable to take them in checked baggage (if they are necessary).

Carrying multiple empty lighters may cause delays for you in the checkpoint security, so pack your lighters wisely and they don’t contain gas or fuel so the Security agent will notice that early.

Can You Bring Lighters On An International Flight?

You may need a lighter for personal use or just you want to take one on your vacation, but before you pack your bag and put your own lighter, you need to know about the rules involving taking lighters on planes in international flights.

Most airlines allow lighter for personal use, for example here is what British Airways said about traveling with lighters:

You can carry one small pack of safety matches or a small cigarette lighter that does not contain unabsorbed liquid fuel (other than liquefied gas) on your person but not in your hand or checked baggage. These items need to be for personal use.

Lighter fuel, lighter refills, ‘Strike anywhere’ matches, ‘Blue flame’ or ‘Cigar’ lighters are forbidden.

British Airways

The FAA and aviation authorities do not allow taking hazardous items on checked baggage, including butane lighters.

The majority of airlines advise to bring one lighter per passenger and must be kept on one’s person in a pocket (as stated above ), and cannot contain unabsorbed liquid fuel, other than liquefied gas.

Airlines Rules

Airlines Rules
American airlinesAccording to AA The TSA allows personal and common lighters in carry-on bags, but not torch lighters.
When traveling to/from/through Japan, you can carry one lighter per person.
For all other travel, you can also carry-on: Common “Bic style” and unsealed “Zippo style” lighters. You cannot travel with: Torch/wind-proof lighters; “Strike-anywhere” matches; Lighter fluid
United AirlinesAccording to United Airlines The TSA allows common lighters for personal use in carry-on bags, but not torch lighters.
Internationally you’re departing from Beijing
All matches and lighters are banned from checked and carry-on bags on flights departing from Beijing.
If you’re departing from Japan
There are more restrictions for traveling with lighters from Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) restricts travelers to only one lighter when departing from Japan. Oil lighters are banned, but if a lighter features fuel absorbed as a sorbent, it’s allowed .
Emirate According to Emirates Matches, safety (one small packet) or a small cigarette lighter that does not contain unabsorbed liquid fuel, other than liquefied gas, intended for use by an individual when carried on the person. Lighter fuel and lighter refills are not permitted on one’s person or in checked or carry-on baggage. Note: “Strike anywhere” matches, “Blue flame” or “Cigar” lighters are forbidden.
British AirwaysAccording to British airways You can carry one small packet of safety matches or a small cigarette lighter that does not contain unabsorbed liquid fuel (other than liquefied gas) on your person but not in your hand or checked baggage. These items need to be for personal use.
QantasAccording to Qantas Cigarettes, Zippo, Arc, Plasma lighters or safety matches are not allowed in either carry on or checked baggage.
Passengers can bring One lighter in carry-on baggage, and it is preferable to place it in a passenger pocket or personal item.
The Lighter cannot contain unabsorbed liquid fuel, other than liquefied gas.

How To Pack Lighters For A Flight?

Lighters are easy to pack but here’s some helpful tips for packing a lighter in your luggage:

If you’re carrying it on the plane with you:

  • Take just one lighter for you to use.
  • Put the lighter in a pocket that’s easy to reach, so it’s simple to take out when going through security.

If you’re checking your luggage:

  • Make sure the lighter is empty before you put it in your bag.
  • Put the lighter inside your luggage, but wrap it in clothes or use a tie to keep it safe.
  • If you have more than one lighter, put them all in a clear plastic bag so they’re easy to find at security.

You may also like: Can You Bring Cigars On A Plane?

You may want to try to have a cigarette on your long flight, but please keep in mind that smoking is strictly prohibited on board the airplanes and may result in legal consequences.


What About Other Flammable Items?

Almost 20% of airplane incidents are caused by fire, So hazardous items are obviously not safe when transported in both carry on and checked bags.

If you are planing to bring one of these items on your next flight, you will need to rethink about it because it will confiscated at the security checkpoint, she sure that you leave at your home or get another one at your destination:

  • Fuel
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Liquid bleach
  • Strike-anywhere Matches
  • Gas Torches
  • Fireworks and crackers
  • Dynamite
  • Flammable Liquid, Gel, or Aerosol Paint
  • Gasoline, propane any laid that could ignite a fire

Find the full list here.

Final Thoughts

In general, the TSA does allow some types of lighters in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Disposable lighters or cigarette lighters are allowed in carry-on baggage for personal use.

Electronic powered lighters are not allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

If you want to have a cigarette or a vape it is better to do it before you get to the airport or after you leave the airport as most airport areas do not allow smoking.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

People also ask: