10 items you should never pack into your checked luggage

Posted on 4 February 2024 By Savanna Douglas

Beyond your usual travel essentials, there’s a list of items that should never find their way into your checked luggage due to safety, security, and regulatory concerns. Here’s a guide to ensure your packing checklist aligns with airline regulations, and the overall safety of your flight.

Never pack the following items into your checked luggage:

1. Aerosols

Aerosol sprays come with specific guidelines for air travel. Only medicinal or toiletry aerosols, such as insect repellent or hairspray, are allowed, provided they are securely capped. Items like spray paint, air freshener, or cooking spray, however, should remain in your carry-on.

2. Lithium batteries

Common in electronic devices like laptops, smartphones, and cameras, lithium batteries are a travel staple. Yet, damaged or short-circuited lithium batteries pose a fire risk, prompting airlines to prohibit them in checked luggage. Always keep devices with lithium batteries in your carry-on for safety.

3. Bug spray

While skin-applied insect repellent is permissible by most airlines, any bug spray that is sprayed into the air or at insects is a no-go for checked luggage. Prioritise personal safety and keep bug spray in your carry-on bag, if you need to bring it with you.

4. Christmas crackers

These festive party favours often contain a hint of gunpowder. While they may seem harmless, Christmas crackers are often prohibited on airplanes, or only allowed in low quantities. To avoid any party poppers causing a fuss, leave them out of your checked luggage.

5. Compressed gases 

Oxygen tanks, SCUBA tanks, butane, propane, and other compressed or flammable gases are strictly prohibited in both checked and carry-on baggage. If you require oxygen, consult your airline for approved alternatives.

6. Corrosive chemicals

Anything considered hazardous, such as chlorine, strong acids, paint stripper, or drain cleaner, should never make it into your checked luggage. Even seemingly harmless items like hair dye might fall into the hazmat category.

7. Cremated remains

Though most airlines will generally allow carrying cremated remains in checked luggage, some may have their own policies. Consider carrying them in your carry-on luggage in a lightweight container for easier screening.

8. Extra-strong spirits

Beverages containing over 70% alcohol, including grain alcohol and 151-proof rum, are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage.

9. Matches

While a single book of safety matches is allowed in your carry-on, never pack any matches in your checked bags.

10. Torch lighters

Specialty lighters emitting high-temperature flames, known as torch lighters, are not allowed on airplanes. Rather use conventional lighters for your travels.

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