31 Things You Should Never Pack in Checked Luggage According to TSA Rules

Before boarding your flight, you've done a load of preparation, from buying tickets to coordinating transportation to packing your bags. To ensure a quick, uneventful stroll through the TSA checkpoint, we'll share 31 things you should never pack in checked luggage, according to TSA rules.  

Beverages With a High Alcohol Content 

If you plan on packing alcohol in your checked luggage, that's okay as long as it's not over 140 proof. Alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol aren't allowed in checked bags or carry-on bags.  

Lighters (Arc, Plasma, Electronic, E-Lighters)  

Plasma, arc, electronic, and e-lighters are prohibited in checked luggage for fire prevention reasons. But you can pack them in your carry-on if you take measures to prevent them from activating in your bag. Here are a few ways to do that:  

  • Put the lighter in a case.  
  • Take the battery out.  
  • Use a safety lock.  

For more information, read this Federal Aviation Administration resource.  

Bang Snaps 

You may have played with bang snaps (also called snap-its or poppers) when you were a kid. Though they seem harmless, they are flammable and could ignite, posing a safety hazard.  

TSA checked bag rules indicate that you can’t pack them in your checked luggage or carry-on.  

Certain Aerosols (Including Bug Repellants) 

You can pack your hair and bug spray in your checked luggage only if you don't exceed the quantity limit per person, which stands at 70 ounces or 68 fluid ounces. In addition to that, you can't have any aerosol containers with more than 18 ounces or 17 fluid ounces in them.  

Regarding bug repellant, it depends on the type of bug repellant you have. The kind you spray onto the bug or into the air cannot be packed in checked luggage or your carry-on. If the repellant is applied to the skin, the TSA will accept it. Learn more here.  

Flammable Paint 

Flammable paints can’t be checked or brought in your carry-on. Turpentine and paint thinner fall under this umbrella.  

Bear Bangers and Bear Spray 

Going bear hunting? You may want to pack bear bangers and bear spray in your checked luggage. Don't do it. They aren’t allowed in your checked luggage or your carry-on.  

Fireworks and Firecrackers  

Due to their explosion risk, fireworks and firecrackers aren't allowed in checked bags or carry-ons. Blasting caps are also prohibited.  


Compressed Gas Cylinders 

Compressed gas can cause fires, oxygen displacement, and explosions. So, they're not allowed in checked bags or carry-ons.

English Christmas Crackers 

This one may sound comical - what's wrong with Christmas Crackers? These seemingly harmless party favors have a tiny bit of gunpowder inside them. It's for this reason that the TSA has banned them in checked bags and carry-ons. Party poppers are similar and can’t be brought into the airport. 

Butane and Butane Curling Irons (Cordless)  

Do yourself a favor and don't pack butane in your checked luggage or carry-on - it’s not allowed. Though you can't pack cordless butane curling irons in your checked luggage, feel free to pack them in your carry-on. Just make sure you put a safety cover on it first.  

Chlorine for Pools and Spas 

You can't pack chlorine in your checked baggage because it's corrosive. It's also not permitted in carry-ons.  

CO2 Cartridges 

CO2 cartridges aren't allowed in checked baggage or carry-ons because they are considered a hazardous material. This rule doesn't count if the cartridge is for medical use. Learn more here.  


Under no circumstances should you bring dynamite with you in your checked luggage or carry-on bag.  

Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices 

Vapes and e-cigs aren't permitted in checked baggage, but you can pack them in your carry-on bag so long as you take measures to ensure they don’t activate on their own. There are other regulations you should know about here.  

Engines and Engine-Powered Equipment with Residual Fuel  

Chainsaws, trimmers, generators, and other equipment that may have remnants of fuel within them aren't allowed in your carry-on bag or checked luggage. Some airlines may allow you to take your equipment if all the fuel is removed along with any residue, but chances are slim.  


You can't bring fertilizer in your checked baggage or carry-on bag. It's not only hazmat, but it's also flammable.  

Anything Flammable  

Flammable items aren’t allowed in your checked baggage or carry-on. This includes paints, gels, and liquids. It's for everyone's safety.  
Here are some specific flammable items to avoid bringing with you:  

  • Fuels 
  • Gas torches 
  • Gasoline 
  • Gun lighters  
  • Lighter fluid 
  • Propane 
  • Spray starch 
  • Strike-anywhere matches 

Flare Guns and Flares  

Due to the dangers associated with flare guns and flares, these items aren't allowed in checked baggage or carry-on bags. Rocket launchers are also prohibited in checked bags or carry-ons.  

Cordless Hair Straighteners and Flat Irons 

Cordless hair straighteners and flat irons powered by gas, lithium metal, or lithium-ion batteries aren't allowed in checked baggage and must be taken in a carry-on bag.  

Hand Grenades 

Hand grenades aren't allowed in checked baggage or your carry-on, plain and simple.  

Liquid Bleach 

Liquid bleach is corrosive, so you can’t pack it in your checked baggage or carry-on.  

Lithium Batteries with Over 100 Watt Hours 

These batteries cannot be checked. However, you can pack up to two of them in your carry-on if they meet the requirements.  

Live Fish or Coral 

You cannot check live fish or coral, but you can put them in your carry-on after showing them to the TSA agent.  

Personal Oxygen Cylinders 

These cannot be put in your checked luggage because they are considered hazmat. But you can place them in your carry-on. Recreational oxygen isn't allowed in your checked baggage or carry-on.  

Portable Chargers and Power Banks 

Since these may contain lithium-ion batteries, they aren't allowed in checked luggage. You'll have to take them in your carry-on bag.  

Replicas of Explosives or Incendiaries 

Neither of these items can be taken in your checked baggage or carry-on due to TSA rules. They may be viewed as a security threat.  

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 

This phone has a malfunction that could cause it to explode. You can't check it or take it in your carry-on due to a regulation from the Department of Transportation.  

Spillable Batteries 

All spillable batteries are prohibited. You can't put them in your checked luggage or carry-on. The only exception is those in wheelchairs.  

Tear Gas 

Tear gas can't be checked or carried on your person due to the risk of potential discharge.  

Vehicle Airbags  

Due to the risk of explosion, vehicle airbags aren't allowed in your checked baggage or carry-on.  

Mercury Barometer or Thermometer 

Mercury and the aluminum in the plane can react and create holes, compromising everyone's safety. So, you can't check mercury barometers or thermometers. But you can take them in your carry-on if you're a weather bureau rep or official agency rep.  

Keep This List in Your Back Pocket!  

So, there you have it, 31 things to never pack in your checked luggage per TSA checked bag rules. Keep this list in your back pocket so you won't have any issues at the TSA checkpoint. Happy travels!    


“What Can I Bring?” What Can I Bring? All | Transportation Security Administration, www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all. Accessed 9 Apr. 2024. 


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