Whether you’re a first-time flyer or have been travelling for years, there are rules to keep in mind about bringing certain items on a plane, for the benefit and safety of those flying. In this article, 10 things you can’t bring on a plane and why.
10 Things You Can't Bring on a Plane
Why Do Airlines Have Restrictions on What You Can and Can’t Bring on a Plane?
Rules on what you can and can’t bring on a plane are an important part of safe and effective air travel. Putting restrictions and even bans on items that can cause harm and damage is essential for ensuring the safety, comfort and overall wellbeing of airline staff, crew and passengers.
The Difference Between Checked Luggage and Carry-On
When packing your suitcase, there will be differences to note for what you can bring on the plane in your carry-on, versus what you can pack in your checked luggage. For instance, many airlines restrict the amount of liquids you can bring in your carry-on – usually to a small bag of containers of 100 millilitres or less. However, you can pack liquids over 100ml in your checked baggage if your bag still remains under the checked weight limits. Make sure to check with your specific airline for different restrictions between carry-on and checked luggage.
10 Things You Can’t Bring on a Plane
These items are categorised as dangerous goods and are completely prohibited across all airlines. Weapons include any item that can cause serious harm and, if brought to the airport, will be confiscated and not returned to the owner. Some prohibited items in carry-on and checked luggage include:
Axes, hatchets or similar
Explosives of any kind
2. Tools With Sharp Edges
Electric and manual tools with sharp edges are prohibited items and will count as dangerous weapons if found present at the airport. These include:
3. Household Items With Sharp Edges
Although designed for the home, everyday household items with sharp edges will count as dangerous goods if found in your luggage. These include:
Cutlery – forks and knives
4. Blunt Items
Items that are blunt that could be used as a weapon are prohibited as carry-on. They can include:
Baseball, softball or cricket bats
Billard, pool or snooker cues
Hockey or lacrosse sticks
Building equipment, like pieces of wood or metal that can be used to cause harm
5. Specific Sporting or Recreational Equipment
Sporting equipment can be included as part of your checked luggage allowance. However, it will usually incur an extra fee if you’re also checking in a suitcase. Check with your airline on requirements for sporting equipment like surfboards, ski gear, golf clubs and sporting bats. Bicycles are also permitted on some flights, but this will vary per airline, so it’s best to check before arriving at the airport.
6. Household Flammable Goods
Items that can be used to create a fire must be left at home. These items include:
Aerosol cans like spray paint
Petrol and other flammable liquids
7. Lithium Batteries
There are restrictions on how many spare batteries and lithium-battery power banks with 100 watt hours or less are allowed per person, and they must be included in your carry-on luggage.
If included in your checked baggage, lithium batteries can become a hazard and can ignite or cause fires in the aircraft.
Other batteries, like AA, AAA, C and D can be included in either your carry-on or checked bags, but make sure to check with your airline before packing these types of items.
8. Large Electronic Goods
It’s not safe to include electronic goods in checked baggage, as the handling process can cause damage to your items, and there is a risk of batteries in electronics causing fires in the aircraft. However, similar to lithium batteries, large electronic goods like computers and laptops can and should be included in your carry-on luggage.
9. Camera Film
If you’re planning on bringing a film camera, include any extra film in your carry-on to avoid premature exposure from the X-ray machines used for checked luggage. Make sure to keep the film in a clear, ziplock bag, and when you arrive at the security gate, tell the handler you’re carrying film. They will inspect the film by hand to avoid exposure from the X-ray machines.
10. Organic Goods
Australia has very strict rules on which organic goods can be brought into the country, as well as a range of domestic restrictions. For domestic flights, there are no restrictions on organic powders such as:
Powdered baby formula
Flour, spices and sugar
There are biosecurity and quarantine zones that will restrict the movement of organic fruits and vegetables and organic material, like soil and plants. To understand which states have restrictions on these items, you can find more information on the Australian Interstate Quarantine rules here.
What Can You Bring on a Plane?
While there is a significant list of things you can’t bring on a plane, there’s also a wide range of items approved for hand luggage and checked baggage. The list includes:
- A small purse or handbag
- Laptop or tablet
- Digital camera
- Infant food or other baby items
- Approved duty-free goods
- Liquids and aerosols under 100ml (if carried in hand luggage)
- Packaged snacks
- Charging cords and cables