TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items List 

TSA Permitted and Prohibited Items List

Holiday Travel Tips from TSA

Before you pack that hostess gift or favorite holiday treat in your carry-on, remember liquids, gels, and aerosols in containers larger than 3 ounces are not permitted through the security checkpoint. Never fear, cakes and pies are permitted, but may be subject to additional screening.

TSA's list of holiday items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if above 3.4oz:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cologne
  • Creamy dips and spreads (cheese spread, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams, and sauces)
  • Gravy
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Lotions
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Perfume
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Snowglobes
  • Soups
  • Wine, liquor, and beer

 

Gifts

While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, it is best to keep gifts unwrapped, whether they are in your carry-on or checked luggage.  TSA officers may need to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. Either ship wrapped gifts ahead of time or wait until you arrive at your destination to wrap them.

Family Lanes

If you are traveling with small children or elderly adults, consider using the family lane to go through security with ease. Family Lanes, located at every security checkpoint, allow families and travelers with special needs to go through security at their own pace. Individuals carrying medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in excess of three ounces will be directed to these lanes. So, if you are traveling with liquid medications, baby formula, or baby food, look for the signage with the green circle at each security checkpoint.

Snow Globes

TSA will allow snow globes that contain less than 3.4 fluid ounces in carry on luggage (approximate size of a tennis ball).  This is determined and allowed only if the entire snow globe is small enough to fit in one clear, quart sized plastic bag, in accordance with the rules for other liquid items.  Snow globes are permitted in checked baggage.  

Overview

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows for passengers to carry-on small amounts of toiletries under certain conditions. You must follow the 3-1-1 for Carry-Ons rule. Each of your toiletries must be 3 oz. or less, and you must place all the toiletries in a single quart-size zip-top bag. (Note, the container itself must be 3 oz. or less; a 4 oz. container that is half-full will not be allowed through the security checkpoint.) You must remove this zip-top bag from your carry-on for screening at the security checkpoint. Read more about the TSA Regulations.

Remember not to wrap gifts that are either in your carry-on or checked baggage. Security officers may have to unwrap gifts if they need to take a closer look. Either ship wrapped gifts ahead of time or wait until you are at your destination to wrap them. If you plan on traveling with food, make sure liquid, aerosol, and gel items are in your checked baggage. You can bring pies and cakes as carry-on items through the security checkpoint, but be advised that they might be subject to additional screening.

When traveling in the USA, the TSA enforces rules on what type of items can be carried aboard your flight in your carry-on bags, as well as what can be packed in your checked baggage. The following lists detail which items are allowed, and which are prohibited.

Quick Link to Lists:

Make-up & Toiletries ( > 3 oz. and not in a clear bag)

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
All creams and lotions including Neosporin or first-aid creams and ointments, topical or rash creams and ointments, suntan lotions, moisturizers, etc. No Yes
Bug sprays No Yes
Bubble bath including gel- or liquid-filled bubble bath balls, bath oils, or moisturizers No Yes
Gel deodorants No Yes
Gel cap type pills No Yes
Hair styling gels No Yes
Hair sprays of all kinds including aerosol No Yes
Hair straightener or detangler No Yes
Lip gels, glosses, or liquids No Yes
Liquid foundations No Yes
Liquid soaps No Yes
Make up removers or facial cleansers No Yes
Mascara No Yes
Mouthwash No Yes
Nail polish and removers No Yes
Perfumes or colognes No Yes
Toothpaste No Yes

Food & Drinks

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
All beverages No Yes
Liquid Medications (These items should be separated from your zip-top bag, and they must be declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.) Yes Yes
Empty Camelbaks, similar backpacks and water bottles Yes Yes
Gel-based sports supplements No Yes
Jellos No Yes
Puddings No Yes
Yogurts or gel-like substances No Yes
Non-liquid, non-gel foods (such as sandwiches) Yes Yes
When traveling with an infant or toddler: baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice in reasonable quantities exceeding 3 oz. (Recently, the TSA has amended this rule to allow you to carry on baby formula even if you are not traveling with an infant. These items should be separated from your zip-top bag, and they must be declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.) Yes Yes

Personal Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Baby teethers with gel or liquid inside No Yes
Children's toys with gel inside No Yes
Cigar Cutters Yes Yes
Corkscrews Yes Yes
Cuticle Cutters Yes Yes
Eyeglass Repair Tools (including screwdrivers) Yes Yes
Eyelash Curlers Yes Yes
Gel candles No Yes
Gel shoe inserts No Yes
Knitting and Crochet Needles Yes Yes
Knives - prohibited as carry-on except for plastic or round bladed butter knives. No Yes
Nail Clippers Yes Yes
Nail Files Yes Yes
Personal care or toiletries with aerosols, in limited quantities (such as hairsprays, deodorants) Yes Yes
Safety Razors (including disposable razors) Yes Yes
Scissors - plastic or metal with blunt tips Yes Yes
Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length Yes Yes
Toy Transformer Robots Yes Yes
Toy Weapons (if not realistic replicas) Yes Yes
Tweezers Yes Yes
Umbrellas (allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed) Yes Yes
Walking Canes (allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed) Yes Yes

Medication and Special Needs Devices

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Blood sugar treatment up to 8 oz. of liquid or gel Yes Yes
Braille Note-Taker, Slate and Stylus, Augmentation Devices Yes Yes
Diabetes-Related Supplies/Equipment, (once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed) including: insulin and insulin-loaded dispensing products; vials or box of individual vials; jet injectors; pens; infusers; and preloaded syringes; and an unlimited number of unused syringes, when accompanied by insulin; lancets; blood glucose meters; blood glucose meter test strips; insulin pumps; and insulin pump supplies.  Insulin in any form or dispenser must be properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication or manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label. Yes Yes
Nitroglycerine pills or spray for medical use (if properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication or manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label) Yes Yes
Ostomy Scissors - All scissors with blades four inches or less Yes Yes
Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket Yes Yes
Non-Prescription medicine up to 4 oz. Yes Yes
Prosthetic Device Tools and Appliances, including drills, allen wrenches, and pullsleeves used to put on or remove prosthetic devices, if carried by the individual with the prosthetic device or his or her companion Yes Yes

*For those passengers traveling with Disabilities and Medical Conditions, please click here for additional informaiton and to learn more about other services or amenities that may be available to you.   

Electronic Devices

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Camcorders Yes Yes
Camera Equipment - The checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film in camera equipment. We recommend that you either put undeveloped film and cameras containing undeveloped film in your carry-on baggage or take undeveloped film with you to the checkpoint and ask the screener to conduct a hand-inspection. Yes Yes
Laptop Computers Yes Yes
Mobile Phones Yes Yes
Pagers Yes Yes
Personal Data Assistants (PDA’s) Yes Yes

Note: Check with your airline or travel agent for restrictions on the use of these and other electronic items during your flight.

Sharp Objects

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Box Cutters No Yes
Ice Axes/Ice Picks No Yes
Knives - prohibited as carry-on except for plastic or round bladed butter knives. No Yes
Meat Cleavers No Yes
Razor-Type Blades, such as box cutters, utility knives, razor blades not in a cartridge, but excluding safety razors (disposable razors and their cartridges are permitted) No Yes
Sabers No Yes
Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades longer than four inches No Yes
Swords No Yes

Note: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Sporting Goods

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Baseball Bats No Yes
Bows and Arrows No Yes
Cricket Bats No Yes
Golf Clubs No Yes
Hockey Sticks No Yes
Lacrosse Sticks No Yes
Pool Cues No Yes
Ski Poles No Yes
Spear Guns No Yes
Skates (including ice skates and roller blades) Yes

Yes

*For those passengers traveling with other types of sporting equipment used for activities such as camping, hunting and fishing, paintball, or scuba diving, please click here to learn more.

 

Guns and Firearms

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Ammunition - Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. If ammunition is permitted, it must be declared to the airline at check-in.  Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood, or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.    Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. No Yes
BB guns No Yes
Compressed Air Guns No Yes
Firearms No Yes
Flare Guns No Yes
Flares No No
Gun Lighters No No
Gun Powder (including black powder and percussion caps) No No
Parts of Guns and Firearms No Yes
Pellet Guns No Yes
Realistic Replicas of Firearms No Yes
Starter Pistols No Yes

Note: Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. All of the firearms listed above, as well the frame or receiver of such firearms, carried as checked baggage, MUST be unloaded, packed in locked hard-sided gun case, and declared to your airline at check-in.

Tools

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Axes and Hatchets No Yes
Cattle Prods No Yes
Crowbars No Yes
Hammers No Yes
Drills (including cordless portable power drills) No Yes
Saws (including cordless portable power saws) No Yes
Tools (greater than seven inches in length) No Yes
Tools (seven inches or less in length) Yes Yes
Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length) Yes Yes
Wrenches and Pliers (seven inches or less in length) Yes Yes

 

Note: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.

Martial Arts/Self Defense Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Billy Clubs No Yes
Black Jacks No Yes
Brass Knuckles No Yes
Kubatons No Yes
Mace/Pepper Spray
One 118 ml or 4 fl. oz. container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge.
No  Yes
Martial Arts Weapons No Yes
Night Sticks No Yes
Nunchakus No Yes
Stun Guns/Shocking Devices No Yes
Throwing Stars No Yes

Note: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.

Explosive Materials

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Blasting Caps No No
Dynamite No No
Fireworks No No
Flares (in any form) No No
Hand Grenades No No
Plastic Explosives No No
Realistic Replicas of Explosives No No

 

Flammable Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities) No No
Fuels (including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel) No No
Gasoline No No
Gas Torches No No
Lighter Fluid No No
Lighters * No * No *
Strike-anywhere Matches ** No ** No **
Flammable Paints No No
Turpentine and Paint Thinner No No
Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries No No

* All lighters are prohibited as carry-on items. Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the DOT exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please refrain from bringing it to the airport.

** One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.

Disabling Chemicals and Other Dangerous Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Chlorine for Pools and Spas No No

Compressed Gas Cylinders (including fire extinguishers)

No No

Small compressed gas cartridges

(Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany the life vests and be presented as one unit.)

Yes Yes
Liquid Bleach No No
Spillable Batteries (except those in wheelchairs) No No
Spray Paint No No
Tear Gas No No
Vehicle Airbags No No

 

*Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares.
**Spares must accompany the life vests and be presented as one unit

Religious and Cultural Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Wearing Loose Fitting Garments Yes Yes
Head Coverings Yes Yes
Religious/Cultural/Ceremonial Knives or Swords No Yes

*Passengers are allowed multiple options to consider ones' religious or cultural needs.  If you do not want to pass through the metal detector, you may request a personal search (pat-down inspection) as an alternative.  For those wearing loose fitting garments through the security process, you may undergo additional screening for further examination.  All passengers traveling through security are allowed to wear head coverings (whether of a religious nature or not), however all of these passengers are subject to additional screening if necessary.  To learn more, click here.  

Other Items

Item TypeCarry-on BagsChecked Bags
Gel-type candles No Yes
Gel shoe inserts (Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened.) No Yes
Non-flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint Yes (3 oz. or smaller container) Yes
Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint No No
Snow globes and like decorations regardless of size or amount of liquid inside, even with documentation. No Yes
Knitting Needles and Needle Point Yes Yes
Circular Thread Cutters (or any cutter with a blade contained inside No Yes
Marijuana No No

 

More Information

Passengers Traveling with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

TSA is dedicated to ensuring the highest level of security and service to all those passing through security. Given the strict guidelines and policies of TSA, there can be a lot of questions from those who are traveling with disabilities or other medical conditions that may require them to carry special medical equipment or devices. For questions regarding what you can and cannot bring with you through security or what the screening procedures may be, call the TSA Cares help Line toll free at 1-855-787-2227. The TSA Cares help Line focuses specifically on those with disabilities or medical conditions to help you and your loved ones prepare for the screening process in advance. It is recommended that you call at least 72 hours prior to your flight in order to make all necessary preparations. For a list of commonly asked questions about what items can and cannot be brought through security, please see the table below. For passengers with disabilities or medical conditions it is recommended that you fill out a TSA Notification Card to discreetly communicate your medical circumstances to the screening officers for a more efficient and smoother screening process. To get more details on traveling with certain conditions or how to acquire a TSA Notification Card, please click here.

Item TypeAllowed Through Security
CPAPs, BiPaps, and APAPs Yes
Nebulizers Yes
Diabetes-related supplies, equipment, and medication, including liquids Yes
Ostomies Yes
Prosthetics Yes

*Please be aware that the items noted above are permitted through security pending a thorough screening process and possibly additional examination procedures.

Move through security faster with TSA-Pre

Looking to make a swift run through the security checkpoint? Now TSA has introduced a process that will allow more U.S. Citizens to enroll in TSA-Pre, an expedited screening process that allows passengers who have been pre-approved through this program to pass through security without having to remove their shoes, light outerwear or belt, while keeping their laptop in their case and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids in their carry-on bag while passing through the designated lanes. At one point, those eligible for TSA-Pre, could only opt in through a frequent flier program or be enrolled in a Trusted Traveler program. Now U.S. citizens will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site where they can provide their ID and fingerprints. This program has not been rolled out nationwide. This application program will require applicants to allow a background check, fingerprints, and comes with an enrollment fee. However it is important to note that TSA will always conduct random and unpredictable security measures and thus enrolling in TSA-Pre does not guarantee an expedited screening process.

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