Airport Security Rules
Update 1/1/08: Loose lithium batteries are no longer allowed in checked baggage and must be packed in carry-on baggage -- more below.
Stay Current on Banned Airport Security Items
- Latest TSA News
The list of items banned or limited by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) from being carried on airlines includes things you might not think twice about carrying on board but upon which airport security screeners will hone in; sharp weapons are obvious no-no's, but things you may not consider dangerous weapons may be on the list, like spare lithium batteries do note that the lithium ion batteries in your cell phone and laptop are fine).
For instance, pepper spray is a baddie; formerly banned fingernail clippers are now permitted (get a set without an attached metal file). If it can be used as a weapon, it's likely a no go. Some items, like ice picks, are a no-brainer no-no, but know that you must also check the hockey stick and corkscrew. I remembered the hard way in summer 2006 that lighters were banned, although lighters are once again okay as of August 4, 2007 (now that the TSA has deduced that the agency was spending millions of dollars and manhours confiscating up to 39,000 lighters a day).
The TSA-banned items in your carry on can get you fined and even prosecuted, even if you brought 'em accidentally. In scenarios less common now than just after 9/11 airport security crackdowns, you may wind up on a no-fly list or be unable to board if you are carrying a banned item in your carry-on.
See what's up with TSA's airport security information and list of permitted and prohibited items -- save yourself some potential difficulties while you pad through security in your socks (you must have your shoes X-rayed at airport security...and what's up with that, anyway? Learn more about shoe bombing stuff and why you have to take your shoes off and your laptop out at airport security: "Laptops and Airport Screening".)
- TSA's airport screening information
- TSA list of permitted and prohibited items
- About batteries and spare lithium batteries
- Laptops and shoes
- European Union, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland started following US and UK airport security examples November 6, 2006 -- read international airport security rules updates
What's Up With Lithium Batteries?Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will no longer allow loose lithium batteries in checked baggage; loose, spare lithium batteries must be packed in carry-on baggage. The lithium ion batteries inside your camera, phone and laptop are almost certainly okay and you can carry spares in your carry spares in your carry on or in certain ways in checked bags. Limitations on amount, packaging, type (metal vs. ion), lithium content and size of lithium batteries are complicated, but (essentially);
- You may not pack loose lithium batteries in your checked baggage
- You may pack spare lithium batteries in carry-on baggage
- You may not bring gigundo lithium metal batteries, period (which you're unlikely to even own, anyway)
- Lithium Batteries, Baggage and Airplanes
Mail Banned Items Home From the AirportServices at some airports can now mail banned items home for you at a cost of about $14 -- they're located near airport security in some airports if you find yourself accidentally carrying a banned item. If you actually go through security with a no-no and your bag is searched and a banned item subsequently found, the TSA screener will decide whether you're allowed to exit security and make arrangements for mailing it home.
Packing for Airport SecurityCurrent TSA rules are causing many travelers to check baggage - learn about lost luggage -- how to avoid lost luggage and what to do about lost luggage:
- Lost Luggage Tips
Learning how to pack for airport security is quite a pain, but it's gotta be done. Get some airport security packing tips:
- How to Pack for Airport Security