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Which Items Are Not Allowed In A Hand Luggage

Which Items Are Not Allowed In A Hand Luggage

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Many travelers opt to bring a carry-on bag on board the aircraft, and some people travel exclusively with hand luggage instead of checked bags. However, before you pack your bags, it's important to be aware of items not allowed in hand luggage.

For safety and other reasons, there are various prohibited items in hand luggage that you need to watch out for and make sure you don’t pack in your carry-on bags. Otherwise, you may have a problem when getting through the airport security lines.

But what items are prohibited in hand luggage? And what can you take in hand luggage? Well, in this guide, we'll clear up everything you need to know about what can you take on as hand luggage, listing all of the prohibited items to avoid.


What Is Prohibited in Hand Luggage 

 Couple checking a list of prohibited items in hand luggage

So, what can you carry in hand luggage and what's not allowed in hand luggage? Well, some of the items that are not allowed in hand luggage are quite obvious, like guns and other weapons, but others are a little less obvious and may surprise you. Let's take a look at the main categories of items you can’t take in a carry-on bag.



When it comes to "What can I take in hand luggage?" liquids are one of the first things to focus on. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that liquids like bottled sodas or body lotions are fine to take on-board a flight, but the truth is very different. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict rules in regard to liquids in carry-on bags; you are allowed to take liquids on board, but they need to be in very small quantities. Specifically, you can only take containers of 3.4 oz (or 100ml), maximum.

The reason why liquids are restricted in carry-on bags goes back to 2006, when an attempted terrorist attack in the UK involved a group of people attempting to take liquid explosives onto a plane.

If you're wondering "What can I take in my hand luggage in terms of liquids?" then the trick is to simply make use of small or travel-size containers of things like make-up items and cosmetics, or just put liquids in your checked bag to avoid any issues.


Sharp Objects or Blades

Another category to talk about in regard to what is allowed in cabin baggage and what isn't is sharp objects

Almost any sharp object you can imagine will not be allowed on-board a plane in your hand luggage. This includes obvious items like knives, saws, swords, and machetes, but also small items with blades like pairs of scissors that are 4" or longer in size. 

Razor blades also aren't allowed on, although you can take disposable razors or safety razors. It's also possible to take plastic knives and cutlery items on board a plane if you plan to eat with them.


Guns and Ammo

 Airport control employee explaining things that are allowed in hand carry baggage

This might seem like an obvious one, but TSA agents regularly find guns or ammunition in passengers' carry-on bags at airports across the US, and other security agents around the world also experience this issue. 

To be clear, you cannot take any kind of firearm or ammunition in a cabin bag. This also includes BB guns, paintball guns, gun replicas, and even toy guns for kids.

Guns are definitely unlikely to feature on the list of things allowed in hand carry baggage, but what about checked baggage? Well, there are some states and countries that will allow guns and ammo in checked bags, but you'll need to verify the laws in the places you're flying to and from to be sure.


Other Weapons

Along with the likes of knives and guns, it's also forbidden to take other weapons on board as part of your hand luggage. This includes things like batons, night sticks, clubs, and brass knuckles, as well as self-defense weapons like pepper spray and mace.


Agricultural Items

This is one that sometimes catches people out. You may not be aware that the TSA has rules in place to restrict travel with certain food items, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and more.

This doesn't mean that you can't travel with any food in your hand luggage, but there are strict rules to adhere to. For example, fruits and veggies need to be in solid form (not in liquids or gels) for domestic flights around the continental US.

For flights into the US, you’re usually not allowed to bring any fresh farm produce, and this even applies on flights from Hawaii to the US. Similar rules also exist in other parts of the world regarding fruit, vegetables, and meat products in hand luggage.

The reason behind all of this is that food items can spread pests and diseases, and there’s a risk of serious agricultural consequences if a certain pest or disease is transported from one country to another.


Flammable Items or Explosives

This is another logical one which is easy to understand, but it's still worth noting, as some people make the mistake of bringing flammable or explosive items to airports, not knowing that those items are dangerous and prohibited.

This is because some examples of explosive and flammable items are very obvious, like dynamite, gun powder, plastic explosives, and hand grenades. However, others may be less obvious, like fuses, matches, or lighter refills.

Fireworks, blast caps, and bear caps are other examples of items that fall into this category and are not allowed on board a plane in your carry-on luggage.


Sporting Goods

Last but not least, we have sporting and outdoor equipment. This is quite a broad category, and it's important to note that there are some sporting and outdoor items you can bring onto a plane, but there are also many items that are forbidden.

Some of the sporting items that are never allowed onto plans include baseball bats, ski poles, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and hiking poles. Bowling pins are also banned, as well as rollerblades, javelins, windsurfing boards, canoes, paddles, and darts.

In terms of outdoor equipment, it's also worth noting that camping stoves and accessories like fuel containers also aren't allowed, as they're part of the "flammables and explosives" category, listed above.



As you can see, there are many items which are not suitable to bring along in your hand luggage, and there are clear reasons and explanations for each one. It can be inconvenient to leave some of these items behind, but the rules are in place to keep passengers safe and prevent accidents, injuries, and crimes on-board.


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What Can You Take in Hand Luggage?

Every airline has its own rules and rules also vary from place to place, but there are many items that you can take in hand luggage like snacks, small bottles of liquids, papers, books, handheld gaming devices, phones, and more.


What Is Not Allowed in Checked Baggage for International Flights?

There’s a  long list of items that are not allowed in checked baggage on international flights, and the rules vary from place to place. Some of the main items that are usually banned include weapons and explosives.


What Items Are Not Allowed in Checked Luggage in the UK?

Some of the items that aren’t allowed in checked bags in the UK include flammable liquids, guns, explosives, tear gas, and car batteries.


Can You Bring Hand Sanitizer on a Plane?

Yes, the TSA does allow hand sanitizer in carry-on luggage, but it needs to be in a small bottle, up to 12oz in size.


Can I Bring Disinfectant Wipes on a Plane?

Yes, all common types of wipes, like disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, makeup wipes, and face wipes are allowed in your carry-on bags.


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Sevensardines 24.12.2023

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