What Can I Take On a Plane with Me?

One of the most frequent questions people ask about air travel is "What am I allowed to carry on a plane with me?"

Most often this can refer to food, drink, cigarettes and fluids. It is common for most people to be unsure about what is allowed and what isn't, or if permitted, how much they can carry with them. Let's take a look at answering the most commonly asked questions when taking flights from the U.S, whether it's for a well-deserved vacation, or for an overseas business trip.

The 3-1-1 TSA Liquids-rule

Firstly, you should familiarize yourself with the 3-1-1 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquids rule. This is important because people are often confused about carrying personal care items and make-up that is made of liquids, gels and aerosols.

You are allowed to take liquids in containers of 3.4 oz. (about 100ml) or less per person. You must carry these inside a one quart-size (nearly 1 liter) clear, sealable bag, such as a zip-top bag as an example.

This policy is commonly referred to as the 3-1-1 TSA Liquids Rule. This is how it's broken down:

(3): Each liquid must be contained in 3.4 ounces (or less) containers

(1): All liquid containers must be inside one clear quart-sized bag

(1): Each passenger can carry one such bag

You are not able to bring beverages through security. However, you can bring beverages you purchased after going through security onto the plane.

Can you bring deodorant on a plane?

Who wouldn't want to travel without their favorite deodorant, right? Luckily, stick deodorants don't have any restrictions placed on them so are the better choice for travel.

However, it would still be a good idea to place them into a quart sized zip-top bag to lower the risk of not passing the screening process.

Aerosol spray deodorants must be kept in the same quart-sized bag as with other liquids.

Can you bring make-up on a plane?

Yes, pretty much all make-up products are allowable, including most toiletries.

However, you still need to stick to the 3-1-1 TSA liquids-rule with regard to the quantities of liquid-based make-up you can carry. So, check the size of your cleanser, moisturizer, foundation and nail polish bottles or containers.

For example, liquid make-up must be in 3.4 oz (or less) container, and they all must fit into one clear quart-sized zip-top bag.

If you use big-bottle toiletries, then pour these into more convenient travel-sized bottles or containers. This includes any shampoo, shower gel, and mouthwash that you want to carry with you.

Can you take food on a plane?

Of all the questions asked about air travel, this has to be one of the most commonly asked. Here it is worth checking with your individual airline because many will have their own limitations as what foodstuffs you can carry and how much you are allowed.

As with any liquid food and drink, the 3-1-1 TSA liquids-rule will still apply. Liquid-based food and drink items should be no later than 3.4 oz as anything above this will not be allowed as carry-on luggage. However, you can check larger items into your baggage.

As a general rule, thickened liquid foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, jellies, yogurt, and oils are not allowed. However, whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and prepared foods such as baked cakes, cookies, sandwiches, burgers, donuts and snack foods such as potato chips are allowed.

Can you bring cigarettes on a plane?

If you are a smoker, then yes you can carry your cigarettes on a plane with you. You can carry these in your carry-on bags for convenience, or you can choose to pack it with your checked bags.

As with anything that you are planning to carry with you, the final decision will rest with the TSA officer about whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint and onto the plane.

Can you take a lighter on a plane?

Smokers will also be glad to know that you can take a lighter on the plane with you. This can be kept in your carry-on bags for convenience, or you can choose to pack it with your checked bags.

However, only disposable lighters without fuels are allowed to be carried in your checked bags. This is unless they comply with the Departments of Transportation exemption, which allows up to two fully-fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case.

For a quicker and smoother security check before your flight, please check airline's baggage policies as these are subject to change.

Better to make sure of the rules ahead of time before packing for your flight.


This information is current as of 05/02/2019. This advice is provided for informational purposes only. This information is subject to change and you should always verify the most current information with the TSA and your airline before your travel. https://www.tsa.gov/

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