Some items are pretty obvious. No, you are can’t pack a sword in your carry-on, buddy. Fugetaboutit! There are a bunch of other things that we’re sure you’re thinking about right now that we can tell you not to bring already. But, there are a few items that may surprise you. Here are ten random things that you’re allowed to take on an airplane!

Tennis Rackets

tennis rackets - allowed to take on an airplane

Tennis lovers don’t have to worry about parting with their racket before their flight or even having to check it. Tennis rackets are permitted in carry-on bags. The current maximum racket length you’re allowed to bring with you is 29 inches, so take note of that while you’re packing up your gear. So if you’re looking to play tennis while on vacay, keep the rules in mind as you explore flight deals and shop for a new racket. It’s all love…sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.


pliers - allowed to take on an airplane

Not as fun as a tennis racket, but someone somewhere probably has a need to carry pliers with them on the way to their destination. Maybe they went to the Al Bundy school of dentistry?

Pliers — along with their good buddies, wrenches and screwdrivers — are permitted in a carry-on bag as long as they’re seven inches or less in length. When you’re packing theaw items, make sure they’re sheathed or wrapped securely to prevent baggage handlers and security officers from being injured.


lighter - allowed to take on an airplane

Don’t want to worry about finding a lighter when you land from your flight? Then you’re probably going to pack a lighter to get your fix on the quick. Common lighters without fuel are allowed to be packed in your carry-on.

If you don’t feel like draining your fuel to comply with the terms, you can still pack them in your checked bag. However, you can only carry up to two fueled lighters and they must be sealed away in a DOT-approved case. You can find a DOT-approved case from reputable companies such as Colibri, Prometheus, and Zippo.

Snow Globes

No matter what time of year it is, snow globes can make amazing gifts or souvenirs to bring back to your friends and family. The good news is, you may be able to pack them in your carry-on! The snow globe will have to be around the size of a tennis ball. It shouldn’t weigh any more than 3.4 ounces.

The snow globe, base and all, should be able to fit into a clear, plastic, quart-sized, re-sealable bag. The rule is similar to those that apply to shampoo, toothpaste, and cosmetics.

Knitting Needles

knitting needles - allowed to take on an airplane

What’s a great way to pass the time on your flight? Some choose vegging out to a TV show or listening to their headphones. Some choose knitting! Hey, we don’t judge. You can bring your knitting supplies with you in your carry-on bag or suitcase, as long as they are securely wrapped to protect baggage handlers from injury. When you go shopping for knitting supplies, avoid buying metal needles to bring on your trip. You don’t want to set off any alarms while going through security!

Related: How to Pack a Suitcase with Everything You Need (And More)!


alcohol - allowed to take on an airplane

It’s great news to many people that you can bring your own alcohol on a plane. TSA looks at alcohol like any other liquid, limiting it to 3.4 ounces or less. There are different rules for different volumes of alcohol. If you’re bringing beer and wine, which is usually less than 24% alcohol, it just needs to fit in the little 3.4-ounce, clear, zipped bag.

If your drink has between 24% – 70%, it’s the same rules as above. If you like the really potent drink with over 70% alcohol, it’s going to have to stay at home. This high alcohol content isn’t allowed in your carry-on or checked baggage. The bad news is that you can bring alcohol on the plane, but you cannot open it yourself. FAA regulations only allow travelers to drink alcohol if it’s served by a flight attendant. This means you can still kindly ask your flight attendant if they’ll open your alcohol and serve it to you.

Camp Stoves

camp stove - allowed to take on an airplane

Many people on the way to a remote campsite love to bring their camping stove on the airplane. This makes it easy to cook outdoors in the wilderness. You can bring your camping stove on the airline as long it’s clean and you empty the fuel beforehand. It’s best to drain and clean the stove a few days before you leave so it can properly air out. If there’s a lingering propane odor, you may be asked to leave it at the checkpoint. If you have any propane still left in the stove, it could be confiscated.

Cremated Remains

Most airlines are respectful of your cremated remains. If you’re traveling with the cremated remains of a loved one, you can bring them on the plane. But, they must be in your carry-on luggage. To get the remains past the screening process, it’s best to purchase a lightweight container that is made of wood or plastic. If TSA officers cannot identify what’s in the container, it might not allow it on the plane. The types of urns that don’t scan well include: metal, marble, stone, and ceramic urns.


parachute - allowed to take on an airplane

If you’re going skydiving and need to bring your parachute, it’s welcome on board the aircraft. Even if you have Automatic Activation Devices on your parachute, you can bring it on the plane if you follow a few rules. You should allow an extra 30 minutes for additional screening if you choose to bring your parachute.

During the screening process, a TSA officer requires your presence as they inspect your bag. If they choose to inspect your parachute, you must repack the parachute in the bag. It’s also crucial that it’s thoroughly inspected after the flight. You can carry on your parachute as long as it’s set apart from your other luggage. You also aren’t allowed to get the parachute out of the bag and show it off while on the flight.

Live Fish/Lobsters

lobster - allowed to take on an airplane

It’s not every day you see live fish and/or lobsters on a plane, but sometimes you want to bring your catch-of-the-day home with you. The TSA requires these items to be transported in clear, spill-proof plastic containers. These containers can be larger than 3.4 ounces, unlike other containers that contain liquids. The crustaceans will often be inspected at the security checkpoint. It’s easiest to put each fish in a “breather bag.” These bags allow you to pack the fish in a compact way so they can breathe in a little bit of water. So don’t try to pack your fish in a Ziploc bag because it won’t be able to breathe for very long.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve packed in your carry-on or had confiscated? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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