Carry-on Items Still Permitted


With all the changes lately about what you can and can’t bring in your carry-on, it has become inherently confusing as to what is still allowed and inconsistencies between different airports have left me frustrated on more than one occasion. While we all agree that the TSA is indeed “Vigilant, Effective, Efficient” the question is are they concise?

Don’t worry, I’m here to help you navigate the maze of ever-changing Homeland Security requirements when traveling. After all, while to the TSA you are “more than just a number – you are a key member to our security process” to me, you are, oh so much more.

Without further delay, here are some interesting items still permitted for carry-on. You might want to print this list to reinforce your claim at the security checkpoint if you show up with too many of them in one bag.

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  • Cigar cutters
  • Corkscrew (without knives)
  • Cuticle cutters
  • Eyeglass repair tools (including screwdrivers 7 inches or shorter)
  • Eyelash curlers
  • Gel-filled bras and similar prosthetics (Gel-filled bras may be worn through security screening and aboard aircraft).
  • Knitting and crochet needles
  • Liquid lip glosses or other liquids for lips
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail files
  • Non-prescription liquid or gel medicines like cough syrup and gel cap type pills
  • No limit of essential non-prescription liquid medications
  • Personal lubricants – Up to 3 oz
  • Safety razors – Including disposable razor
  • Scissors – plastic or metal with blunt tips
  • Scissors – metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length.
  • Toy transformer robots
  • Toy weapons (if not realistic replica)
  • Tweezers
  • Umbrellas – Allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed
  • Walking canes
  • Braille note-taker, slate and stylus, augmentation devices
  • Diabetes – Liquid or gel low blood sugar treatments, including juice (no limit, but items over 3 oz need to be declared to TSA)
  • Diabetes-Related Supplies/Equipment – Insulin dispensing products; jet injectors; pens; infusers; and an unlimited number of unused syringes, when accompanied by insulin; lancets; blood glucose meters; blood glucose meter test strips; insulin pumps; and insulin pump supplies. These items must be inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed.
  • Nitroglycerine pills – If properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication and manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label.
  • Nitroglycerine sprays
  • Ostomy scissors – All scissors with blades four inches or less.
  • Prosthetic device tools and appliances – Including drills and drill bits, allen wrenches, pull sleeves used to put on or remove prosthetic devices, if carried by the individual with the prosthetic device or his or her companion.
  • Wheelchairs with gel cushioned seats/pads.
  • Camcorders
  • Camera equipment – The checked baggage screening equipment will damage undeveloped film in camera equipment. We recommend that you either put undeveloped film and cameras containing undeveloped film in your carry-on baggage or take undeveloped film with you to the checkpoint and ask the screener to conduct a hand-inspection.
  • Laptop computers (other than Dell or Apple?)
  • Mobile phones
  • Pagers
  • Personal data assistants (PDA’s)
  • Tools (seven inches or less in length)
  • Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length)
  • Wrenches and pliers (seven inches or less in length)
  • Baby formula and food, breast milk and other baby items – These are allowed in your carry-on baggage or personal items. You can take these through the security checkpoints and aboard your plane. However, you must be traveling with a baby or toddler. All items including formula or breast milk will be inspected.
  • Camp stoves – Must be empty of all fuel and cleaned so there are no vapors or residue left

Keep in mind that airlines and other countries may have different rules and may restrict these or other items.  If in doubt, check with your airline for additional information.

[Photo courtesy of dan paluska]