Items You Cannot Carry Through the TSA

Before your trip, check your luggage to ensure you don't have forbidden items.

What is the TSA?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA as an acronym) is a governmental agency in America responsible for travel safety, especially air trips. The TSA main goal is to enable risk-free journeys for passengers. One of their tasks is establishing what items can be brought to the airport and transported.

Sometimes, a thing can be generally permitted, but it needs some additional scanning, or it can be rejected through the checkpoint in the case of alarm triggering.

Remember that before your trip, you need to check your luggage. Make sure you do not carry items that are prohibited to avoid problems during the check at the airport. The situation when you have something prohibited will cause delays for you and other passengers, or could even lead to fines or arrest, so keep that in mind. Also, get all the necessary documents, including a passport and a visa.

What is not allowed in carry-on bags?

Some items are obviously forbidden, such as weapons or water bottles. Besides, you can?t have:

  • Sharps, ammunition, and self-defense items, including martial arts equipment, pepper spray, firearms, knives, and corkscrews.
  • Flammable/explosive material (fireworks, flares, replicas, etc.).
  • Large sporting equipment and goods, like golf clubs or hockey sticks.

What Can I take?

It is possible to transport firearms that are unloaded, locked in a hard-sided container, and declared before the travel. Note that now frames, 3D-printed guns, and receivers are treated as firearms under the civil enforcement program. It is prohibited to transport such items without consideration of TSA regulations and in an unchecked bag.

The firearm is loaded when the passenger has access to both firearm and ammunition, according to TSA. For instance, a gun will be considered loaded when a passenger has access to the bag where the firearm is put and ammunition is kept in the pocket.

Note that local/state governments and different countries have their own rules regarding transportation and possession, so transporting the prohibited items may result in criminal enforcement and TSA civil enforcement actions.

Below, you can check the list of possible items that can be put in a carry-on bag (note that the size of the bag differs depending on the airline):

  • Alcoholic beverages, as long as they are less or equal to 3.4 ounces. Mini bottles can be in the bag, but note that you are not allowed to drink them during the flight.
  • Baby food and equipment, such as baby formula, breast milk, juices, accessories to cool the formula, baby caries, and car seats (if they fit under the seat or in the overhead bin). Also, cooked meat, vegetables, seafood, and other dishes are allowed when they don?t exceed the 3.4-ounce liquid limit. Remember that raw vegetables are prohibited in the case of Hawaii, Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico flights to the US mainland because of the risk of spreading invasive pests.
  • Disposable razors, if they are not loose razor blades like those not in a cartridge or box cutters.
  • Some electronics, such as hair care products or handheld devices.
  • Lighters and matches, except for strike-anywhere matches.
  • Nonflammable liquids that are under 3.4 ounces, such as gels and aerosols.
  • Prescribed medications, but you need to declare them to the TSA offices during the check.
  • Portable charges, such as power banks, are acceptable if their rating is up to 100 watt-hours (Wh) and the airline accepts it.
  • Vitamins and supplements that are on the permitted list.

What are the penalties for violating the TSA rules?

The penalties imposed by TSA are up to $14,950 per person per violation. The fine depends on the item and violation that can be discovered at the checkpoint, onboard aircraft, sterile area, or in a checked bag.

Other penalties include attempts to mislead the security system, entering sterile areas without screening submission, fraud, falsifications, not submitting the proper documents, improper use of airport medium access, interference with screening, etc.

Aleksandra K
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