Prohibited Items on a Plane: Carry-on and Checked Baggage Rules Explained

What are the things you cannot bring on a plane? Rules for both carry-on and checked baggage explained in one go

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Every time you fly abroad, you’re bound to search the internet to find out what’s allowed in your hand baggage and what has to be checked. In order to ensure your safety on board, airlines have various regulations and guidelines. Don’t worry about remembering them all, just read this article before you pack your bags!

What to Carry On and What to Check-in?

Liquids, gels and aerosols:
Sprays, gels and lotions must be in containers of less than 100 millilitres to be allowed in carry-on luggage. In addition, all liquid containers must be placed in a clear plastic bag with a maximum capacity of 1 litre and dimensions of 20×20 centimetres. Each passenger is allowed one carry-on liquid bag.
Containers containing sprays, gels or liquids larger than 100 millilitres must be placed in the hold baggage.
For checked aerosol containers, each item must not exceed 500 millilitres and the total volume per passenger must not exceed 2000 millilitres.
Travellers to Hong Kong and Macau should note that aerosol cans are not accepted in checked baggage.

Baby food and medication:
If you need to bring baby food (milk) or liquid medication, it must be declared to security staff for approval and may be carried in your hand baggage.
Meat products and fresh fruit and vegetables are not allowed into the destination country due to quarantine restrictions. It is advisable to consume them locally or on the flight.
Travellers to the United States should note that, with the exception of powdered medicines, powdered milk and human remains (ashes) which have been checked by the airline and confirmed as non-hazardous, all other powdered substances in excess of 350ml must be placed in checked baggage.

Lighters are not permitted in checked baggage and may only be carried in carry-on baggage, limited to one per person.
Blue flame windproof lighters are considered more dangerous and are prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.
Travellers to China should be aware that lighters are now strictly prohibited.

Laptops, tablets, cameras and other electronic devices:
Power banks and spare batteries not installed in devices, regardless of size, are not allowed in checked baggage and must be placed in carry-on baggage.
Lithium metal batteries in carry-on baggage must not exceed 2 grams of lithium content, while lithium-ion batteries must not exceed 100 watt-hours.
Laptops, tablets and other electronic devices may be placed in checked baggage as long as they are turned off. However, due to the risk of damage during handling, it is advisable to carry them in the cabin.

Selfie sticks and camera tripods:
Selfie sticks with a diameter of less than 1 centimetre and a retractable height of less than 60 centimetres may be carried in cabin baggage.
Selfie sticks with a diameter of more than 1 centimetre and a retractable height of more than 60 centimetres must be checked.

Foldable umbrellas may be carried or checked in.
Long umbrellas are considered potentially dangerous items and are not allowed in cabin baggage; they must be checked.

What to Carry On and What to Check-in

All knives and cutting tools are prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be checked.
Nail clippers are also considered cutting tools and are not allowed in carry-on baggage and must be checked.
Electric razors are allowed in carry-on baggage, but disposable razors with exposed blades are prohibited.

Sporting goods:
Baseball bats, golf clubs, billiard cues and other sporting goods are not allowed in carry-on baggage and require the purchase of an additional oversized bag.

Hand warmers:
Disposable hand warmers made from iron powder and salt may be carried in small quantities, but will be screened and may be subject to each country’s carry-on security regulations.
Rechargeable hand warmers are considered lithium batteries and must be carried in your hand bag or carry-on and are not allowed in checked baggage.