4 things TSA really doesn’t want you to bring on an airplane
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
TSA often tweets hilarious but sobering content about what they find during the standard security screening. You’d be surprised to learn what some travelers try to bring on aircraft. However attempting to bring banned items through security and onto an aircraft — regardless of intention — has real-world consequences.
When prohibited items are flagged during security screening, it slows everything down. Police are called, your items are searched, and you may even face arrest and a fine.
As we enter the busy holiday travel season, you might want a refresher on what is — and definitely is not — allowed on an aircraft, including these four things you shouldn’t pack in your carry-on luggage.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
This seems like a no-brainer, and yet so many people seem to forget this one. Folks, you cannot bring your gun into the cabin. Even if your firearm is unloaded, it is not allowed. A large majority of the illegal finds from TSA’s Twitter feed involve illicit firearms.
“A Philadelphia woman was caught by @TSA officers with this loaded handgun in her carry-on bag at a checkpoint at @PHLAirport yesterday,” Farbstein tweeted. “She said she forgot she had her loaded gun with her. That’s no excuse. If you own a firearm, you need to know where it is at all times.”
Another recent tweet involved a man with a loaded gun stopped by security at Washington National Airport (DCA). He was cited by police and faces a federal civil penalty, Farbstein tweeted.
Firearms must be unloaded and checked in a locked hard-sided container and declared to the airline at check-in.
Also, bullets, magazines and clips are in the same category. You can bring them in checked luggage, just not in your carry-on. Ammunition must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or another packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
Finally, TSA says toy guns are “generally permitted” but that it recommends travelers pack them in checked baggage. Items that look like realistic firearms — like Nerf guns — are prohibited.
Full-size hygiene products
One of the most confusing restrictions is the “3-1-1” liquids rule. This rule means you can carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers onto a plane. But there’s a limit. Each container can only hold 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and they all have to fit in a single, one-quart, resealable bag.
So, your travel-size toothpaste and lotion are fine. That full-size bottle of mouthwash? Not permitted. A large bottle of shampoo? Leave it at home.
We’ve all seen the horror stories of disruptive passengers on flights this year. It hasn’t been pretty — and far too many incidents involved the use of alcohol on board.
You can actually bring your own alcohol on a flight — but with several limitations. According to TSA, alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to five liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger. They must be in unopened retail packaging. Miniature bottles of alcohol can be brought in your carry-on but must be able to fit into a single quart-sized bag comfortably.
However, it’s imperative to note that you may NOT consume your own alcohol onboard — a flight attendant must serve alcohol.
And the fines for breaking this rule can be significant: The FAA has fined a handful of passengers more than $1 million this year alone for incidents such as bringing their own alcohol onboard, getting drunk and ignoring flight attendants’ instructions.
I had to look this one up. If you have a green thumb, I’m sorry to inform you that fertilizer is not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage as it can be flammable. However, you can bring plants (and planting seeds), provided your plant fits in the overhead bin or underneath your seat.
Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees