What Items are Not Allowed in Checked Luggage?

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Welcome to Luggage Buyer Guide and check the blog post about what items are not allowed in checked luggage. After reading this blog post, you will learn how to plan ahead and pack things properly for easing your travel experience at the airport.

Is it not weird that TSA (Transportation Security Administration) lets travelers come with watermelons, yet bottled water is not allowed? Well, some rules enacted by TSA do not always make sense.

Today, as more and more passengers opt for the carry-on luggage in an attempt to evade the checked luggage costs, travelers have familiarized themselves with what can and cannot pass through various TSA security checks.

With this in mind, you don’t have to assume that whatever is not allowed in carry-on luggage can merely be stored in checked luggage and still pass the inspection process.

Besides having to keep in mind about various TSA restrictions regarding packing checked luggage, there’re also a couple of worst-case scenarios that you need to consider.

For instance, what happens when your checked luggage is lost, or the stuff inside is severely damaged? Well, it is always advisable to avoid packing valuable items in your checked baggage.

So, if there are some valuables that you cannot afford to lose, you must keep them in your carry-on or leave them at home. Here are the top items that you should never pack in your checked baggage:


It is common amongst many passengers that things do not always go as anticipated. As a matter of fact, there is no assurance that your baggage will arrive on time. In occasional cases, the luggage may never arrive.

So, it is also common for the carry-on baggage to be gate checked at the very last minute in the event that there is limited overhead space.

Therefore, to prepare for the worst, it is advisable to pack all your important medications in your personal bag to have easy and quick access to them whenever the need arises.

Tablets, Laptops, and Other Electronics

TSA Prohibited Items: Laptop

Well, storing these electronics in the checked luggage will definitely lighten your carry-on load. However, in some cases, you may find the items broken into several pieces.

When in transit, flight baggage handlers often throw the luggage since they are always in a hurry to move them along. Remember, an attached ‘Fragile Tag’ on the bag does not assure anything.

In addition to your fragile electronics being prone to breakages, there is also a high likelihood of theft. In such a scenario, you should not expect to get even a dollar from the airline since most of them make it clear from the word go in the carriage contract that they are not liable for damaged or stolen electronics.

As a result, it would be wise of you to pack a laptop, tablet, or any other gadget into your personal item. Else, if you have no other option besides storing it in the checked luggage, make sure you purchase the excess valuation coverage.

Cash, Jewellery and other Valuables

As said earlier, an airline contract of carriage categorically states that it is not accountable for jewelry and other valued items.

Therefore, if for whatever reason, you find yourself ferrying a suitcase full of cash or jewelry on your next flight, you need to pack it in your personal bag.

If you are the kind of person who loves carrying jewels and cash, it may be the high time you start spending some to make sure you get some overhead space.

Besides, you need to make sure that you are not amongst the last travelers to board a plane. Again, since there is limited overhead space, carry-on baggage can occasionally be gate checked.

Breakable Items

If you keep some breakables in the checked luggage and they end up breaking, you don’t have to blame it on the luggage handlers. Indeed, the baggage handlers have been known to burst up to one or two-valued items.

Again, keep in mind that the luggage handlers always work under huge pressure to load hundreds of luggage onto a plane within a very short period.

Besides, they want to ensure the flight gets off the runway within a specific period, with your luggage onboard. In some cases, this task demands a perfect throwing arm. Having said that, it would be important for you to always keep the fragile items in the carry-on baggage.

If you must carry that great bottle of wine you bought in Paris, make sure you use a dedicated wine bag. Basically, this will secure your bag’s content if the bottle breaks.

Lighters, Matches, Vaping Pens, E-Cigarettes, and any Other Flammable Stuff

TSA has published a list of some prohibited stuff on its website. Some of these pieces of stuff are as doubtful as they are obvious, and they include hand grenades, gun powder, vehicle airbags, and tear gas.

Other stuff that you do not need to carry include matches, lighters, and flammable objects. If you are traveling for a camping trip or are into smoking, this may be a disadvantage for you.

All in all, you can pack lighters without fuel in the checked baggage. On the other hand, you can only pack lighters with fuel in the checked luggage if approved by the Department of Transportation.

You cannot carry matches in the checked luggage as well as the flammable items, like the liquid or paint fuel. Thus, always avoid these items at all costs!

Here’s a Short Video on TSA

Passport, IDs, Boarding Passes and other Essential Documents

Nowadays, it is possible to keep the boarding passes on smartphones. Additionally, mobile passport applications are quickly becoming a popular thing.

As we wait for the future, it is crucial to keep these kinds of stuff on your carry-on to show whenever requested. Some individuals keep a backup of their passports and other essential documents to use them when something occurs to the original documents.

Notably, all the essential documents packed in the checked baggage need to be in photocopies instead of originals. Besides, all the documents comprising private or sensitive info must be stored in the checked baggage altogether.

All of Your Outfits

Whenever you check in your bag at your preferred airline, you always have high chances that you will find it once you land on the other side.

However, there are a couple of airlines that lose luggage. It would be beneficial for you to keep some clothes in the carry-on luggage, just in case the worst happens.

Storing some clothes that can last you a day or two in the carry-on bag in case the bag gets lost is always a good idea. Besides, other common essentials, such as a comb, toothbrush, essential toiletries, among other kinds of stuff that you may require if your luggage gets lost, need to be stored in the carry-on bag.

Lithium Batteries

If you have seen the latest uptick in cases of lithium batteries exploding in the middle of a flight, then you will certainly not be shocked to realize that these items are not allowed in the checked luggage. However, you can carry lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries as long as you store then in the carry-on bag.

Also, if the checked luggage happens to incorporate an inbuilt charging port, as contained in the modern and inventive luggage, you need to remove the charger before checking your baggage.

Various Types of Alcohol and Food

According to TSA, there are various types of food and beverages that travelers need to avoid storing in the checked baggage. Flyers are not forbidden from storing food in checked luggage, but it is an intelligent suggestion altogether.

Bottled drinks, on the other hand, may crack or explode in transit, thus damaging your expensive outfits stored in the luggage. Also, if your luggage gets lost or the flight is delayed for a while, there is a likelihood of food spoiling.

Keep in mind that you may be forbidden from bringing food to your destination if you are flying internationally. Each country offers its own rules and guidelines about the types of foods and beverages which can be brought across its borders.


Firearms stored in checked baggage needs to be unloaded and packed in a locked hard-sided container. Also, you need to declare the firearm at the check-in.

Nevertheless, you need to get in touch with your airline to determine if they allow firearms in the checked luggage. When it comes to flying, it is vital to obey the laws and regulations regarding the possession of firearms because they vary by locality, state, as well as the international government.

Other items that you don’t need to pack in your checked baggage include:

  • Firecracker
  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Fireworks
  • Cooking spray
  • CO2 cartridge
  • Camp stoves
  • Flares
  • Gasoline
  • Tear gas

Final Words

There are a couple of rules and guidelines that will help you understand what to keep in checked luggage. If it is hazardous and explosive, then it will certainly be banned for storage in the checked baggage due to safety reasons. Remember, the loose batteries are classified as flammable.

If there is compressed gas or air, the item will be banned as well for safety reasons. If something has a huge monetary value, it would be safer for you to store it in a hand or carry-on baggage.

If an item is highly inconvenient to replace, it would be good of you to keep it in carry-on luggage. Lastly, if it is an identity document or travel document, keep it in a carry-on suitcase as well.