You’ve probably heard about weird things people have tried to get through airline security over the years.
I’ve mentioned some in this column, like the fellow who tried to go through a Miami checkpoint with live snakes in his pants or the guy in upstate New York with the gassed-up chainsaw in his carry-on. Both were stopped by the TSA.
Most of us will never worry about stuff like that, but we do have questions about medications and other items.
Here are some answers with a reminder that security rules are ever changing. Find the latest updates on the TSA website.
1. EpiPens, needles, medical devices
If you use an epinephrine auto-injector (like the EpiPen brand), you can bring it in a carry-on or checked bag. The same is true for blood sugar testing kits, insulin and syringes, pills and pill cutters plus a whole lot more. In some cases, you are asked to inform the TSA agent about these items before going through the checkpoint but you might want to do this preemptively for anything you’re not 100 percent sure about.
Solid-type deodorant can be packed in carry-ons or checked-bags, but liquid deodorant (including sprays) is only allowed in carry-ons in travel-size containers of 3.4 ounces or less. Any size is OK for a checked bag.
3. Electronic toothbrush
These are good to go in either carry-ons or checked bags. Suggestion: The TSA doesn’t say this, but I’d remove the battery in case the toothbrush gets switched on by accident. The noise might make some people nervous.
4. Sharp, pointy stuff
You’d be amazed at what’s allowed in a carry-on. Examples include: Knitting needles and regular sewing needles; bottle openers and corkscrews (without blades); nail clippers and scissors (with 4 inch blades); electric razors; and tools including screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers as long as they are under 7 inches long.
This may come as a surprise to some but you can bring your own liquor on to a plane a long as it’s in containers that hold 3.4 ounces or less (so those 50 ml mini bottles are fine). Just be sure to place the bottle (or bottles) in a quart-size zip bag.
Per the TSA: “Disposable and Zippo lighters without fuel are allowed in checked bags. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked bags, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case.” As for electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, these are allowed in carry-ons, but you are not allowed to use these items on the plane.
Finally, for those who like to be up on all the latest trends, some good news: You may pack as many fidget spinners as you like.
Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, a website that curates the best deals on flights from around the world. Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.