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16 Surprising Items Not Allowed On Flights

Traveling is always a lesson in following rules. Unfortunately, the rules change early and often. Remembering the list of items not allowed on flights is a head-scratcher. Make sure and check with your airline for the last word. Here are a few things that surprised us to learn you can’t take on a flight in your carry-on.

Even seasoned travelers have a lapse sometimes. My mom tried to take a jar of pickled onions home for a friend. She thought “Oh, I better not check those because they might break.” Totally makes sense but they were confiscated at security because of the liquid in the jar.

What should you leave out of your carry on bag_

13 things you can’t take on board a flight that might surprise you.

  1. Snow globes – That liquid inside snow globes is subject to the same 3.4 oz limit as any other liquid.
  2. Canned soup – Again, it’s that liquid rule that’s getting you with this one. Although a can of soup is clearly not dangerous, if it’s over 100 ml of liquid, it’s not going with you on the plane.
  3. Box cutters – Well obviously they can be used as a weapon so they are forbidden in your carry on but did you know you can take box cutters in your checked luggage?
  4. Sporting goods – Skates are okay but most other things aren’t. If you are taking your prized baseball bat with you on a trip…in checked luggage it must go.
  5. Gel candles –  They don’t *seem* very liquid BUT you cannot take gel candles with you through the airport in your carry-on.
  6. Circular thread cutters – These are often pendants that knitters and crocheters use. The blades are tiny but for some reason, they are banned. Interestingly, you can bring crochet hooks, knitting needles, and scissors with blades less than 4″ long.
  7. Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof – Alcohol is allowed in your carry-on below the liquid limit (but you can’t consume it on board) but anything over 140 proof is not allowed in your carry-on or checked baggage. Guess you’ll have to leave that grain alcohol and 151 proof rum at home.
  8. Cast Iron Cookware – The TSA website doesn’t give a reason but your favourite skillet is not allowed in your carry-on. Your shoulder is not unhappy about this ruling because cast iron is HEAVY.
  9. English Christmas Crackers – You know the paper crackers you open at Christmas? They are not allowed in the cabin or in checked luggage.
  10. Foam Toy Sword – Junior’s toy sword is not allowed in the cabin but can be checked.
  11. Golf Clubs – While you would never think of bringing a full golf bag onboard with you, I could see someone thinking they could bring just one special club with them. No can do! You’ll have to check them! The same goes for hockey sticks, pool cues, lacrosse sticks, and hiking poles. Basically, anything that could be used as a weapon.
  12. Magic 8 Ball – *shake, shake, shake* Outlook is not good for you getting this toy through screening.
  13. Marijuana in any form – I know, Marijuana is now legal in Canada but it is not in the US or most other countries where you are traveling. Leaving it at home is your best bet as many countries have VERY stringent drug laws.

And remember, the final say always rests with the TSA agent. They get to determine what will be allowed through or not.

Red Suitcase

Surprising things you can’t take in your checked baggage:

  1. Electronic cigarettes and vapes – These ARE allowed in your carry-on bag but cannot be put in checked baggage. Just remember to keep your e-liquid under the minimum 3.4 oz/100 ml allowance.
  2. Power Banks – Those lovely external batteries to charge your phones on the go are allowed in your carry-on but are not allowed in checked baggage.
  3. Matches – One book of safety matches is allowed in your carry-on but you cannot check any kind of matches in your luggage.

Were any of these a surprise to you? What have you accidentally brought on the plane that got confiscated? What are your favorite carry on luggage tips?

16 Surprising Items Not Allowed on Flights


Wednesday 27th of March 2019

I bought a nice host gift picnic bag that would hold two bottles of wine, four glasses, a foil cutter and corkscrew. The corkscrew was confiscated. Seriously?!

Merry Kuchle

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

Yep. Anything pointy is no good.


Friday 8th of July 2016

I have a box cutter inside a plastic key on my key chain. Great for opening boxes but I never thought about it until I landed and used it. A friend was shocked it had not been taken away

Merry Kuchle

Friday 8th of July 2016

Crazy. I wonder if it is because of the size. Though I've had a teeny swiss army knife taken. Like the teeny ones.