US Airline Regulations - Carry-on or Check?

Can I Take It?

Important Update

Following the August 10, 2006 plot to bomb up to 10 passenger planes bound for the US from the UK, all passengers will be subject to new hand baggage restrictions and security screening, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Changes include - banning liquids and gels at security checkpoints and aboard flights. This means that you will not be permitted to bring any liquids or gels past the screening checkpoint or on board, with a few exceptions.

Security will allow small doses of liquid medications through the security checkpoint and onboard airplanes, a slight adjustment from the original ban.

All passengers will also be required to remove their shoes so they may be x-rayed with their carry-on bags.

Lighters are still prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.

For the complete list announced by TSI see New Airport Security Carry-on Regulations for an update of the new restrictions. The following older restrictions still apply.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items are weapons, explosives, incendiaries, and include items that are seemingly harmless but may be used as weapons - the so-called "dual use" items. You may not bring these items to security checkpoints without authorization.

If you bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint, you may be criminally and or civilly prosecuted or, at the least, asked to rid yourself of the item. A screener and or Law Enforcement Officer will make this determination, depending on what the item is and the circumstances.

This is because bringing a prohibited item to a security checkpoint, even accidentally, is illegal.

Your prohibited item may be detained for use in an investigation and, if necessary, as evidence in your criminal and or civil prosecution. If permitted by the screener or Law Enforcement Officer, you may be allowed to consult with the airlines for possible assistance in placing the prohibited item in checked baggage; withdraw with the item from the screening checkpoint at that time; make other arrangements for the item, such as taking it to your car; or, voluntarily abandon the item.

Items that are voluntarily abandoned cannot be recovered and will not be returned to you.

The following charts outlines items that are permitted and items that are prohibited in your carry-on or checked baggage. You should note that some items are allowed in your checked baggage, but not your carry-on. Also pay careful attention to the 'Notes' included at the bottom of each section as they contain important information about restrictions.

The Prohibited and Permitted Items Charts (below) are not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure everyone's security, the screener may determine that an item not on the prohibited items chart is prohibited. In addition, the screener may also determine that an item on the permitted chart is dangerous and therefore may not be brought through the security checkpoint.

The charts apply to flights originating within the United States. Please check with your airline or travel agent for restrictions at destinations outside of the United States.

  • Personal Items
  • Medication and Special Needs Devices
  • Electronic Devices
  • Sharp Objects
  • Sporting Goods
  • Guns, Firearms and Ammunition
  • Tools
  • Martial Arts/Self Defense Items
  • Flammable Items
  • Disabling Chemicals and Other Dangerous Items

    For updates and for more information, call Consumer Response Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673 or email

    Source: Transportation Security Administration