What Can You Take On A Plane?

Apr 26, 2019

The most frequently asked question regarding air travel is, “Can I bring lighter on a plane?” or “How much liquid can I bring on a plane?” or “Can I take food on a plane?”. To find these answers we researched the busiest airlines regarding “What can you take on a plane?”, and here we share our findings.

Imagine, you’ve bought plane tickets for your much awaited holiday or business trip. Now you are at the airport getting your luggage checked in. But the security personnel are tossing your items in the trash. That will certainly test your patience.

Understand that these measures are taken to ensure travelers’ safety. If you know the permitted items and their quantities on the aircraft, the airport screening process can be much faster and easier.

There are several apparently harmless household items that are prohibited on the plane. If you take them to the airport, it will not only waste your time with the additional screening process but they will be discarded or thrown in the trash at the airport screening process.

To travel on time, you need a positive screen test, or you may be denied to board your flight. The usual questions in this regard are, “how much liquid can I bring on the plane?” or even “can I bring weed?

So what can you take on a plane? Let’s take a look at some of the questions in this regard:

Before we dig into details, let’s understand the difference between carry-on and checked luggage.

  • You can take the carry-on bag with you into the airplane

  • The checked baggage is moved to the cargo area of the plane.

And when your plane lands, it is returned back to you via the conveyor belt.

Can you bring a Lighter on a Plane?

Airlines, in general, are strict about taking Cigarette lighters on the plane.

According to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), you can carry butane or Zippo lighters in carry-on luggage.

However, butane torch lighters (blue flame lighters/jet flame lighters) are prohibited items in the cabin under TSA security rules.


If you are carrying a lighter in your pocket it must stay there. It is understandable why airlines are wary of lighters and flammables. For this reason, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has set standards for cases in which lighters can be kept safely for air travel.

Lighters with fuel are generally not allowed in the checked baggage, but if you put these in a DOT approved cases, these are permitted, but maximum two lighters.

How much liquid can you bring on a plane?

According to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquids rule, each traveler can bring carry on liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers of 3.4 oz. (about 100 mL) or less, inside one quart-size (almost 1 liter) clear, sealable (such as ziplock) bag. This policy is usually referred to as the 3-1-1 TSA Liquids Rule.

3-1-1 TSA Liquids Rule

The rule goes like;

  • “3” – Each liquid must be contained in 3.4 ounces (or less) containers
  • “1” – All liquid containers must be inside one clear quart size (about 0.94 liter) bag
  • “1” – Each passenger can carry one such bag
TSA liquid rules

As a general rule, drink or discard any beverages in containers of more than 100 ml, before reaching the screening checkpoint, that includes the beverage in your water bottle.

Can you bring Makeup on a Plane?

sun cream
That’s almost 100% Yes.

You can bring almost all kinds of makeups and toiletries.

However, there are restrictions regarding the quantity of liquid makeups (nail polish, moisturizers, eyeliner, and foundation).

The 3-1-1 rule applies to liquid makeup as well.

Liquid cosmetics must be in 3.4 oz (or less) containers, and they all must fit in a clear quart-sized (about 0.94 liter) bag. You can use a ziplock baggie to pack them.

Don’t worry too much about the ounces since most makeup sizes are usually under 3 oz.


For convenience, you can pour your must-haves from large bottles into travel-sized containersleaving their large bottles (such as shampoo, shower gel) at home.

Don’t try to stuff your medications in the same bag – you can put them in a separate one. Try to keep it in your carry-on as you will need to put it in the security tray for clearance.

Toiletries such as liquid soap, mouthwash, hair gel are also subject to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. But just like makeup, you can easily purchase these items in travel sized containers that adhere to the TSA 3-1-1 rule.

Liquid gel and aerosol sprays must be kept in the same quart-sized bag with other liquids.

Can you bring Deodorant on a Plane?

Stick deodorants do not have any restrictions but better keep them in the quart bag to pass the screening process at security checkpoints.

Can you bring a Razor on a Plane?

Yes, you can, but no straight razors or blades.

The principle is that theblade must be attached to the handle, the way it is in safety razors (disposable razors).

Electric razors are also allowed as carry-on.


Can you bring Food on a Plane?

This is one of the most common questions about flying.

Bear in mind that every food item is X-rayed before clearing it, just like your other belongings.

So, about food, exactly what can you take on a plane?


When it comes to solid foods, each airline has limitations as to “how much you can carry”.

Hence, when packing edibles, it’s important to know your particular airline’s policies on solid foods and liquids gels.

Solids can be packed in either check-in baggage or carry-on.

As a general rule food or liquid items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed as carry on luggage, they need to be checked in the baggage.

What foods are permitted through airport security?

Thickened liquid foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, jellies, yogurt, and oils are not allowed.

This means that the majority of food items such as wholesome natural foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts), cakes, cookies, sandwiches, burgers, donuts, potato chips and carrot sticks are allowed.

Nevertheless, carry food in a spill-proof container or wrap them securely.


Can you bring nail clippers on a plane?

The airport security avoids objects that can be used as a weapon. You can pack nail clippers with your carry on but if you are carrying nail scissors they should not be more than 4-inches long.

nail clipper

Can you bring batteries on a plane?

This is one of the more complex questions as to what is allowed and what is not since a lot depends on the type of battery and its size.

The TSA categorizes batteries as:

  • Type of battery (E.g. dry cell)
  • Battery size (Watt-hour rating)

As a general rule, spillable batteries (such as car batteries) are forbidden. An exception can be made If such batteries are used for wheelchairs but you need to inform the aircraft operator beforehand to ensure that it is safely packed for the flight. Lithium-ion batteries with more than 160 watt-hours are not allowed on a plane.

What kind of batteries can I pack in my bag?

types of batteries

*In device: These types of batteries are installed in equipment or devices.
*Spare: These types of batteries are not in use or not installed in equipment.

What about Battery Chargers?

You can pack battery chargers in checked bags and carry on luggage. As a precaution, do not pack non-rechargeable batteries in battery charger. This can be hazardous.

Is baby formula allowed on airplanes?

Baby formula, juices, and breast milk for toddlers and infants are allowed in reasonable amounts. 

These items are supposed to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings, therefore, remove them from your carry-on at the security checkpoint.

Inform the TSA officer before the screening process if you are carrying baby formula juice and breastmilk in excess of 3 ounces. Typically these fluids are scanned for clearance.

milk bottle

Can you bring knitting needles on a plane?

In the US, knitting needles are permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in carry-on luggage. TSA advises that you carry wooden or plastic needles over metal.

Each country has different rules. If you are traveling internationally be sure to check the guidelines of your airline and security agencies abroad.

knitting needles

The important thing to remember is that you are not in charge of what happens on a plane. The cabin crew has the power to ask you to stop doing anything that they think might pose a risk to other passengers.

As a general rule, you can knit away happily for your whole flight.

However, remember that your needles are the preference of the airport security. If security decides your needles come under the ‘sharp weapon’ category, they can seize them from you.

Knitting needles, crochet hooks, scissors with a blade shorter than 4″, these crafting tools are allowed in carry-on luggage and scissors with a blade longer than 4″, cutters are not allowed.

If an item appears to be in the grey area or does not seem to comply with the airlines’ policies, subject to additional screening it is discarded or permitted on the airline.

For a quick security process, please check your airline’s baggage policies as these are subject to change. Better to read them fresh before packing for your flight.

Safe travels!

Pramod Ram

Pramod Ram

Content Strategist

Pramod Ram contributed this post on April 26, 2019. He heads the Online Marketing and Content Marketing Team at Claim Flights GmbH. He loves to travel, read books, watch movies and do intensive research. This article was last updated on April 03, 2020.

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