With the promise of summer vacation comes the anticipation of long lines at the airport. Security lines are busier than ever, and no one wants to get stuck with an extra bag search. In general, the carry-on No-No’s apply to major categories like weapons (sorry, nunchucks!), liquids and gels over 3.4 oz/100 ml, and flammable items. But, as with most things in life, there are always exceptions to the rule. We’ve put together a list of lesser-known banned items to review before heading to the airport. Save yourself a potential headache and double check your luggage: you’d be surprised what can end up in that suitcase.
1. Cigarettes and Vaping Pens
In April 2016 the Department of Transportation officially banned the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices on all commercial flights in and out of the United States. Be sure to note that these smoking instruments were never allowed in checked baggage – the batteries that power them contain elements that generate heat.
2. Gel Shoe Inserts
Yes, even the gel in your shoes needs to stay packed in a checked bag. That being said, the rule on gel-filled products gets a little complicated. For example, shoes with gel-filled hells are permitted through (with further screening). Medical devices like bras filled with gel and/or gel prosthetics are allowed but may require further inspection as well. Unless you need these products for health reasons, consider packing them in checked baggage and save the hassle.
While this may seem like a no-brainer, not all corkscrews are banned on flights. In the actual words of the TSA, “Fancy schmancy corkscrews with knives, no [not permitted in flight]. Cheap corkscrews with no knife, yes [they are permitted].” The bigger question here: What 100ml bottle of wine requires a corkscrew to open?
4. Pets Under Eight Weeks of Age
Major carriers like United, American, and Southwest all ban pets under the age of eight weeks (or ten weeks if the pet is less than one pound in weight) in a plane cabin. There are other restrictions for carry-on pets, including some breed restrictions due to health reasons, so considering doing a safety check before jetting off with Fluffy.
Sorry, kids, unless your snowglobe is less than the size of a tennis ball (and fits in a quart-sized bag) you will need to leave these vacation mementos in the suitcase. The TSA is serious about any carry-on liquids more than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml – not matter how cute!
Still not sure what you can bring? In an effort to avoid having anything confiscated before even getting on the plane, the TSA has this handy tool that allows you to type in your concern and will generate an answer.