What Not to Pack in Bags When Flying

By Sarah Dray, Demand Media

Avoid unnecessary holdups at airport security by knowing the guidelines issued by the Transportation Security Administration specifying what items cannot be packed or shipped on planes. For passengers, this means being particularly careful when it's time to pack their bags, carry on or checked, as common items that may seem innocuous may end up causing delays or problems at the airport.

Carry-On Luggage
Any liquids or gels in containers larger than 3 oz. cannot be carried on board, either on carry-on luggage or handbags. This includes creams, shampoos or liquid makeup. Deodorants usually fall into this category as well, whether liquid or spray. Sharp objects, including scissors, razor knives, multi-tools, box cutters and loose razors are also not allowed in the cabin. Sporting goods, such as hockey sticks and scuba diving equipment can be checked in but not carried on board. The same is true of golf clubs, skis, pool cues and anything that could be potentially used as a weapon inside the plane. Power tools can be checked in as long as they are stored in hard cases.

Unexpected Items
To avoid problems and delays at the airport, it's wise to always bring along a doctor's prescription if you're planning on carrying medication with you. This is especially important for controlled substances such as sedatives, anti-anxiety medication and other strong drugs. Camping equipment can be checked in but don't expect to be allowed to carry a stove unless the canister is fuel-free and can be opened for inspection. Martial art equipment is often considered "weapon material" and can only be carried on a plane as checked baggage and only when declared. This includes stun guns, throwing stars and black jacks. Katanas and other types of swords must be stored in hardcase, locked containers. Some airlines may require a receipt or import permit before allowing even a check-in of any type of swords, so it's important that you inquire in advance.

Forbidden Items
Some items cannot be packed and brought aboard a plane under any circumstance. Flammable items, explosives and firearms cannot be carried by civilians except in certain circumstances and then only with a special permit. While gasoline, gun powder and dynamite may seem obvious items on the list, there are also seemingly innocent artifacts that will not be allowed in bags, including chlorine, lighter fluid, strike-anywhere matches, cooking oils, fire extinguishers and gel shoe inserts.

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