Sunday, 27 May 2012

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What Can I Take on the Plane?

40+305 Bag

With a business or pleasure trip just around the corner, packing your luggage can be both fun and stressful. Not only do you need to account for the clothing that you will need during your trip, you will also need to think about overall weight and what you will place in each piece of your luggage to avoid security issues.

Day 201: A Flower Grows in LNK
You also need to plan if some of your luggage decides to take a vacation of its own. The team have packed up our luggage so many times for so many different trips, be it for that relaxing week in Hawaii or the five week safari in Tanzania complete with a Kilimanjaro hire.

 All team members have had the experience of losing our luggage for several days or have had to deal with a security issue since something we packed was not allowed to go on the plane.

So with lots of experience and the latest security information, we have complied a guide of "what you can and cannot take on the plane", complete with all of our experiences to make your trip as stress-free as possible.

What Can I Take in my Carry-On?

Carry-on luggage refers to your belongings that may be brought with you into the cabin of an airplane. Airlines and airport security have many restrictions regarding carry-on luggage. You must consider the number of bags, their sizes, weights, and most importantly their contents. We here at also have some tips with respect to your carry-on luggage.
Sydney makes the carry-on limit
Due to limited room available in the cabin on the airplane, all airlines will limit the number of bags you may bring on board. This limit is usually one bag, although small purses and handbags are usually permitted in addition to this bag. A few smaller airplanes will have more restrictions, simply because there is limited room for anything larger than a purse. Some airlines allow their business and first class passengers a greater number of carry-on bags. Regardless, it is always important to check the limitations with the specific airline you are flying.

For most airlines, the dimensions of the carry-on luggage must not exceed 45 linear inches or 114 linear cm (this is the luggage's height + depth + width) and its weight must not exceed 40 lbs or 18 Kg. The check-in area at most airports have a scale and measuring tools to ensure that your bag is the appropriate size to be carried on board. Once again, we strongly recommend that you confirm the maximum allowable size of your carry-on luggage before arriving at the airport to prevent having to re-pack at the check-in counter.

Things to Pack in Your Carry-on

Some airports even sell baggies
for your toiletries, like this one
at London Stansted Airport (STN)
Carry-on luggage restrictions are much greater than for checked luggage, so we at have our recommended list of things you should consider packing in your carry-on.

One way to think about your carry-on is "what items are absolutely essential should my checked luggage be lost?".

Our suggested list includes:
  • Wallet or purse (with credit cards, bank cards, cash, travellers cheques/checks)
  • Passport
  • All medications (prescriptions or otherwise) and medical supplies
  • Glasses (in hard-cover case)
  • Highly-valued items (camera, laptop, tablet, reader, music player, phone, etc - and cords/chargers)
  • Jewelry (note that some high valued gems and stones may require proof of ownership if travelling across borders - better yet, don't take any!)
  • Snacks (note that some food types may not travel across borders. For example meat, fresh fruit and veggies, and some dairy products)
  • Baby Supplies (bottles1, diapers and wipes, a toy, pacifier, change of clothes, etc)
  • Change of clothing (consider the climate at your destination when packing spare clothing)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste1, floss, brush/comb, make-up1, hygiene products1, perfume1
  • Child/Infant Car seat (may be permitted if you have purchased a seat for your child)
  • Empty water bottle2
  • All required documents (paper or etickets for travel, visas, hotel confirmations, travel insurance, etc)
1 All liquid or gel products should be packed in a clear 1 L bag for inspection and in many locations this bag must be removed and scanned separately from your carry-on at the security point. Sandwich-sized Zip-Loc bags are perfect for this and some airports will provide a bag upon request at the ticket counter or security checkpoint. The bag must seal shut and no individual product inside the bag may exceed 3.4 fluid oz or 100 mL. You are permitted only one 1 L bag per person. Baby items (formula and milk) are often exempt from this rule, although rules do vary between countries.

2 Water bottles are allowed on board, provided they do not contain fluid when you go through the security check. By carrying an empty water bottle and refilling (should a water source be available) after security will enable you to stay more hydrated during your trip. Commercially sealed water bottles purchased before security are NOT allowed, unless you empty them first.

Carry-on Items Prohibited

Get pie recipes from the TSA! Do not pack any of the following in your carry-on as they will likely be confiscated by security. Some of these items may be placed in your checked luggage and some cannot travel by commercial air.

Carefully consider why you would need any of these items at your final destination or if they may be obtained when you arrive.

Carry-on items prohibited include:
  • Firearms (pistols, flare guns, rifles, BB guns, toy guns, paintball guns) and ammunition
  • Knives (including jack-knives, scissors3, swords)
  • Weapons (including replicas)
  • Tools (power tools and most hand tools3 
  • Greater than 100 mL of any fluid or gel (baby supplies are often exempt from this rule, provided you are travelling with a baby)
  • Select toiletry items (razors, metal nail files, or any items with a sharp or pointed edge3
  • Explosive materials 
  • Sporting goods (hockey sticks, baseball bats, skates, surf boards)
  • Gases4
  • Pressurized containers (e.g., hair spray bottles, shaving cream, spray paint)
  • Matches (usually one package of safety matches or one standard lighter is permitted, but rules do vary)
  • Poisons (e.g., fertilizers and other toxic materials)
  • Infectious material (laboratory specimens)
  • Fiberglass resins
  • Peroxides
  • Radioactive materials
  • Strong magnetic materials
  • Corrosives (e.g., drycleaners, car batteries, acids, alkalis, lye, mercury)
  • More than 4 lbs or 1.8 Kg of dry ice

3 Note that some countries and airports do allow small nail files, scissors under 4 inches or 10 cm blade length, and smaller tools (screwdrivers, etc). But we strongly recommend packing these in your checked luggage to avoid problems unless you will absolutely need them during your flight.

4 If you require oxygen during the flight, this should be discussed with your airline well in advance as rules and regulations vary. Note that containers that have contained gases or flammable liquids (e.g., camping fuel bottles) are not allowed due to residues.

Please note that the above list is a simplified version derived from multiple government and airport websites and is not complete. Rules and regulations may differ between countries and even between airports within the same country.

We hope you have found our tips for carry-on luggage helpful. If you have your own tips to add, we welcome your comments!

This is just the first of a series we will be doing on luggage - stay tuned for more!

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