Can You Bring Charcoal On a Plane? 2024

Whether you want to pack charcoal in your suitcase to fire up a BBQ, a Hookah or for other purposes. 

You need to know what is the rules for taking charcoal on planes.

Here is a quick answer.

In general charcoal is permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage if it doesn’t contain any charcoal lighter fluid or fuel.

In this post, we will discuss the TSA rules regarding charcoal, how to pack it in your luggage, and if you can bring any type of charcoal on planes.

Let’s dive right in.

A pile  of black charcoal
Bring Charcoal On a Plane

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Can You Take Charcoal Through Airport Security?

The TSA guys didn’t have any information about taking charcoal through the security checkpoint on their website.

Which made me look for some answers on their social media.

In their social media account they have answered questions about taking several types of charcoal.

The AskTSA customer service replied to John that charcoal is allowed if it doesn’t contain pre-added litter fluid or fuel.

The TSA replied a passenger about taking charcoal through checkpoint

Quick light charcoal is not allowed in both carry on and checked bags.

The TSA replied a passenger about taking quick light charcoal in carry on
Charcoal types Carry-on Checked baggage
Lump charcoalAllowedAllowed
Charcoal briquettesAllowedAllowed
Hookah CharcoalAllowedAllowed
Quick light charcoalNot AllowedNot Allowed
Hardwood briquettesAllowedAllowed
Binchotan charcoalAllowedAllowed
Coconut shell charcoalAllowedAllowed
activated charcoal powderAllowed ( Read more about powdered items here )Allowed

It is important to note the TSA agent at the airport have always the final decision whether an item is permitted on board the airplane or not.

Can I Bring Charcoal In My Carry-On?

You can bring Charcoal on a plane in carry-on, just make sure that it is secured and packed so it can fit within your airline size and weight limits.

The TSA does not regulate how much Charcoal you can bring in your carry-on, but remember that the space on board the airplanes is limited so if you are planing to bing a large bag it is probably better if you send it in checked bag.

If you show up with a large bag that exceed the airline size limits they may force you to gate check in your bag, and you may also need to pay some whopping fees.

Stephen asked the TSA if this 20 lbs / 9.07 kg charcoal in checked baggage, the TSA replied that charcoal are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

The TSA replied a passenger about taking a bag of charcoal in checked baggage

You can notice that the TSA never mentioned the weight or the size of the bag, but this doesn’t mean that he can freely take this big block on board the airplane.

Can Charcoal Go In Checked Luggage?

The TSA and most airlines do recommend taking any type of Charcoal in checked baggage.

Quick light charcoal is not allowed in checked baggage, this means that you will need to leave any flammable items at home otherwise they will be removed from your bag.

Is Charcoal Allowed In International Flights?

The rules differ from one airline to another when traveling with charcoal on international flights.

So it is better to check with your airline, and the regulations for the country of your destination.

For example Air Canada do not allow matches, charcoal briquettes, and any other ignitable items in both carry-on and checked baggage.

How To Pack Charcoal For Travel?

Here are some tips to help you pack your Charcoal for your next fight:

  • Use a strong container: If you are not raveling with charcoal in its original packaging, a plastic or metal container with a tight fitting lid is a good option, ensuring there is enough space to prevent it from moving inside the container.
  • Wrap the charcoal: Wrap the charcoal in newspaper or aluminum foil to prevent it from messing your clothes or other items in your luggage.
  • Seal the container: Close the lid tightly to prevent any charcoal dust or powder from escaping.
  • Label your container: add a sticker to the container as containing charcoal to avoid any confusion during transportation, that will also help the TSA officers determine what is inside easily.

Final Thoughts Bringing Charcoal On a Plane.

Most types of charcoal are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags. 

This is because most charcoal is solid and not considered a flammable item or poses a safety risk during transportation.

It is important to note that the TSA officer has the right to ban taking any item on board the airplanes.

If you are taking charcoal on an international flight, it is better to contact your airline as they may have different rules on traveling with these items.

We hope this helps 

Happy travels

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