What Can You Take on a Plane in Hand Luggage?

Written by kelly smith
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What Can You Take on a Plane in Hand Luggage?
Carry-on luggage items must adhere to TSA rules. (in partenza image by aletermi from Fotolia.com)

Increased airport security measures have imposed limits on items that may be carried on flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for maintaining security in United States airports, and its rules are important to consider when packing your carry-on luggage.

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Number of Bags

According to TSA, travellers are allowed one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal item, such as a purse, laptop case, briefcase, camera case or small backpack. These items must be screened through the X-ray machine at the security checkpoint. It is the responsibility of the individual to make sure that their luggage will fit through the X-ray machine as well as in available storage areas in the plane's cabin. Check with your airline for their specific carry-on luggage policies.


In the United States, carry-on luggage can include any items not prohibited by TSA. You should always pack cash, credit cards and all forms of personal identification (driver's license, passport, etc.) in your carry-on. You may want to include items that will add to your comfort or entertainment while travelling, such as a blanket or pillow, books, newspapers, magazines or approved electronic devices. TSA also recommends packing jewellery, cameras, undeveloped film and video cameras in carry-on luggage.

Restricted Items

A current list of restricted items can be found on TSA's website under "Prohibited Items." These items include, but are not limited to, liquids of more than 85.1gr, sharp objects and flammable or otherwise hazardous substances. TSA allows reasonable quantities of medications, baby formula and food and breast milk, but the security checkpoint inspector should be informed of their presence.


TSA standards are subject to change at any time, so the best way to avoid security delays is to check the TSA website or call the airport with questions about restricted items. TSA standards apply to flights originating in the United States. Other countries may have different security restrictions. For international flights, check the specific guidelines of the country of origin.

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