Checked luggage, is the black hole for our bulky and heavy belongings.
However; there are some items that are not permissible to have in your checked bag, thus; it is important to ensure that those items do not get confiscated or thrown by the airport security (like TSA) or the airlines clerks.
In this post I will cover all the items that are not allowed in checked luggage, including dangerous goods, flammables, and other restricted items,
I also discussed some alternative options to transporting restricted or prohibited items on airlines.
Let’s dive right in.
The TSA Checked Luggage Rules
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for searching all bags at the U.S airports, and their mission is to ensure the safety and security of travelers and the aircraft.
And during the search process, the TSA offices encounter items from clothes, toiletries and obviously some unique and unusual items.
So to ensure that passengers do not take any dangerous or prohibited items on their flights, the TSA has a list of items that are strictly forbidden in checked baggage ( which is more detailed below ).
If the x-ray screening detects one of these items in your bag the TSA clerks will confiscate it from your bag.
On the other hand if the x-ray screening cannot detect what is inside the bag , they will perform a manual inspection to see whether the items are a threat or not.
In case they opened your bag , the TSA officers are required to place a note to inform you that they opened the bag.
That is why we also provided a list of items that you need to avoid packing in your checked bag even though they are allowed.
The notice will look like in the screenshot below.
What’s Not Allowed In Checked Baggage?
These things are not allowed in checked baggage:
- Hair Straightener, flat iron (cordless)
- Curling Iron (cordless)
- Butane Curling Irons (cordless)
- Power Charger: External battery chargers must be packed in carry-on bags
- Power Banks: Just like other types of external batteries power banks need to be transported in carry on baggage only.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7
- Lithium batteries with more than 100 watt hours: Lithium-ion batteries that are no more than 100 wh are permitted in carry-on bags with no quantity or packaging limitations. However, lithium-ion batteries that are between 101–160wh are allowed in carry-on bags only with prior airline approval.
- Lithium Battery Powered Lighters
- Gun Lighters: filled lighters are not allowed in checked baggage, but any type of replica guns are not allowed on planes.
- Spillable Batteries
- Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices: Battery-powered e-cigarettes must be packed in carry-on bags.
Food and drinks:
- Cooking spray : cooking spray is not allowed in checked baggage
- Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof
- Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof or 70% ABV – Strong liquor like grain alcohol is flammable
Flammable Liquids and Solids:
- Liquid Bleach: Liquid bleach isn’t allowed on airplanes in both carry-on or checked bags.
- Arc Lighters, Plasma Lighters, Electronic Lighters, E-Lighters
- Fuel Cells Used to Power Portable Electronic Devices and Spare Fuel Cell Cartridges (Flammable Gasses or Water-Reactive Material)
- Fuels : Flammable fuels forbidden in checked baggage, to see if flammable, check the label or manufacturer’s material safety data sheet (MSDS). A flash point at or below 140°F indicates a flammable liquid. MSDS Section 14 indicates if the product is regulated for transportation.
- Spray Starch: Spray starch is flammable and isn’t allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.
- Flammable Liquid, Gel, or Aerosol Paint
- Flammable Paints
- Propane: Containers of fuel are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags.
- Bang Snaps
- Blasting Caps
- Chlorine for Pools and Spas
- CO2 Cartridge
- Engines and Engine-powered Equipment with Residual Fuel
- English Christmas Crackers
- Fire Extinguishers and Other Compressed Gas Cylinders
- Gas Torches
- Gel-Type Candles
- Lighter Fluid
- Party Poppers
- Recreational Oxygen
- Spray Paint
- Tear Gas
- Vehicle Airbags
- Hand Grenades
- Weapons and firearms: unless you’re a law enforcement officer you can’t place these things in checked baggage, and if you do they must be unloaded.
- Realistic Replicas of Explosives
- Strike-anywhere Matches: Waterproof matches aren’t allowed in either carry-on or checked bags.
- Medically Necessary Personal Oxygen
- Medical Devices
- Bear Bangers
- Bear spray : Bear spray is permitted in checked bags if the volume is less than 4oz & the active ingredient is less than 2%. However, most bear repellents exceed these limitations.
- Small Compressed Gas Cartridges
- Toxic and infectious substances:
- Live Coral
- Live Fish
- Gun Powder
- Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries
- Rocket Launcher
- Safety Matches
- Turpentine and Paint Thinner
- Weather Barometer or Thermometer (Mercury)
- Torch Lighters
- Flare Guns
- Engine-powered Equipment with Residual Fuel
- Fertilizer: Fertilizer is not allowed in carry-on or checked bags, it can get ignited or heated and cause and explosion or fire.
- Bang Snaps
Things To Never Pack In Checked Luggage
According to Luggage Hero In the second half of 2021, almost 1,251,209 suitcases were reported as mishandled or lost by airlines.
So to minimize the risk of your luggage going missing, it is advisable to not place any precious items in your checked baggage.
While these items may be permitted in checked baggage, it is recommended to carry them with you in your carry-on luggage for added safety.
|Pack gifts in your carry-on, as they can get damaged or opened during airport screenings.
|Money & Credit Cards
|Keep your money and credit cards in your wallet or use a money belt, don’t send your money in checked baggage.
|Take your Jewelry in your carry-on or personal item, rather than risking damage or loss in checked luggage. You can ask for a private screening if you are taking any type of Jewelry if you don’t want other passengers to see your Jewelry.
|Keep necessary medication with you for easy access during the flight you may need them.
|To avoid loss, keep irreplaceable antiques with you in your carry-on bag.
|Electronics are delicate and easy to break, so it’s best to keep them in your carry-on to prevent damage or loss.
|Never pack both copy or original documents in checked luggage, as you could risk your privacy if the bag goes missing.
You can place a tag with your name, email or phone number in case the bag goes missing.
|It’s not recommended to pack cell phones in checked luggage, as it may get damaged or be lost.
|Keep film in your carry-on to prevent damage from x-ray screenings.
|keep any boarding pass with you, not in your checked luggage.
|Always place your important clothing items in your carry-on luggage not only protects them from potential damage during transit, but also there are more chances the security officers won’t return your clothes in the same way they were found in case they search the bag.
What Is Not Allowed In Checked Baggage For International Flights?
There are slightly different rules when traveling internationally, because some countries and airlines may not allow cartoon ties to be transported to their countries.
But in general here are some items that are not permitted in checked baggage for international flights:
- Dangerous materials, like explosives, chemicals, flammable objects.
- Illegal objects, like drugs, firearms: you should check with your airline and the country of your destination if you work in law enforcement.
- Sharp objects like knives, large scissors, and razor blades Lithium ion batteries over 101–160 wh ratings.
It’s always preferable to check with your specific airline for their checked baggage policies and regulations before traveling, as rules may differ from one airline to another.
What To Do With Restricted Or Prohibited Items?
While many items that are not allowed in check-in baggage are also prohibited in carry-on bags ( hand luggage ), because most of the items can pose a potential threat to the safety of passengers and the aircraft.
But here are some alternatives if you really need to take an item but it is restricted or prohibited in checked baggage.
- Contact your airline to see if they offer special packaging or storage options
- Pack them in your carry-on bag (like electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, hair Straightener, flat iron (cordless) and some types of medical devices for example )
- Find and shipping company and ask them if they can take it to your destination
- Leave them at your home and get them at your destination.
Final Thoughts On What Not To Pack In Your Checked Luggage.
By being aware of what can and cannot go in checked luggage, you can ensure the safety of the airplane and other passengers.
So it is a good idea to pack wisely to avoid any problems and inconvenience at the airport, and make your travel experience smooth and comfortable.
Also keep in mind that passengers taking some type of prohibited or dangerous items, they risk having the items confiscated with the airport security, and in some cases, they may even face fines or legal charges.
We hope this helps