Can You Bring a Shoe Horn On a Plane? TSA Rules

If you are like me, and you don’t like to spend time squeezing your foot in your shoes at the airport or in your hotel room, then a shoehorn is the proper solution.

But can you bring a shoe horn on a plane? And what are the TSA rules for shoe horns?

Yes, you can carry a small shoe horn on a plane in both carry-on and checked baggage, but it’s up to the TSA officer at the gate whether or not you will be allowed to bring a long shoe horn in carry-on baggage.

In this article, I’ll answer all your questions about traveling with your shoehorn and share some tips to avoid any inconvenience at the airport.

Let’s dive right in.

Can You Bring a Shoe Horn on a Plane?

If you don’t own or misplace a shoe horn, you can always use a tablespoon, business card, credit card, a sheet of paper or make your own shoehorn like Peter did.


Can You Bring a Shoe Horn Through TSA?

Even though shoe horns come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, the TSA did mention shoe horns on its website, that they are good to go in both carry-on and checked bags.

Shoe horn TSA rules

They will not stop you from taking a small shoe horn through the security checkpoint.

But a long handle metal or an extra long shoe horn will always be subject to additional screening, or even not allowed on board the airplane if it trigger the alarm or the TSA agents perceive it as a potential weapon.

This clarification was given to Joey about his 18″ metal shoe horn.

“even if an item is generally allowed, it may be subject to additional screening if it triggers an alarm or poses other security concerns based on its size or weight.”

the TSA answer about taking an 18 inches  shoe horn in carry-on
Screenshot from Twitter

If you show up with a large shoe horn the final say will always rest with the TSA officers at the airport.

If the TSA guys didn’t approve it on board, you have the option to transfer it to your checked bag, ship it back home or let the TSA guys confiscate it ( it will be a disappointment if you have a luxury shoe horn.)

long  metal shoe horn
A guy with bad temper might use a long shoe horn ( like a golf club ) to hurt someone by kicking them in the head.

So you need to make sure that your shoe horn is not too large or too sharp, otherwise you can always pack it in your checked bag.

Remember that even if your shoe horn is small you need to be prepared for extra screening or questions from the TSA agents.

small metal shoe horn
A small shoe horn is safe to bring on broad the airplane

Can You Take a Shoe Horn On Carry-on Luggage?

Airlines regulate the size and weight limits for carry-on bags.

The average size of a shoe horn is 25″ in length which is way above what airlines allow as a standard carry-on (22″ × 14″ × 9″).

But, most small shoe horns will fit nicely inside a standard carry-on bag.

You can always put a long shoe horn in your checked bag, but it’s not a good idea to send an expensive or fancy shoehorn in the cargo hold. it might get broken or even stolen.


How To Travel With a Shoe Horn

Here are some tips on how to travel with a shoe horn without any trouble:

  • If possible choose a shoe horn that is small, lightweight, and durable.
  • Avoid metal shoe horns that are too long or too pointed. Plastic or wood shoe horns are usually safer and easier to pack.
  • Place your shoe horn in an accessible place in your carry-on bag. wrap it in a cloth to protect it from scratches and dirt. Don’t place in the bottom of the suitcase under other items or hide it in a secret compartment for easy access at the security checkpoint.
  • Be polite and cooperative with the TSA clerks. Explain to them that it is just a shoe horn and how you use it. Show them that it is harmless and not intended as a weapon. Don’t argue or joke with them.

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

Key Takeaways

You can bring a shoe horn on a plane as long as you follow the TSA rules and use your common sense.

If you don’t have any medical or back issues, it’s advisable to choose a small and safe shoe horn if you plan to carry one in your carry-on bag. Pack it properly and be nice to the TSA agents during the security screening process.

A long shoe horn will depend on the discretion of the TSA, so it is better to place it in your checked bag.

I hope this article has answered all your questions and gives you some useful tips on how to travel with a shoe horn.

Happy travels

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