Did you know there are several items that you can bring onto an airplane in your carry-on luggage, but you are not allowed to check? We’ve been so indoctrinated into the whole 3-1-1 liquids rule and other banned substances from our carry-on luggage, that we forget there are items that are banned in reverse.
This week’s announcement that the airlines will ban checked “smart” luggage, but allow it as carry-on started me researching what else can be brought aboard, but not checked.
Smart luggage, if you don’t already know, is luggage with GPS and other technology embedded into the bag. Now your bag can find itself when lost (even if the airline can’t), charge your phone, open with a fingerprint, and even weigh itself.
Unfortunately, once again, our convenience technology has a dangerous side. And, it isn’t a new danger. Remember the Samsung Galaxy 7 Note and hover boards? The same culprit is to blame with smart luggage - lithium batteries.
The FAA already bans spare lithium-ion batteries in checked luggage because of the potential to overheat. The batteries pose a higher risk in an aircraft's cargo hold because a fire could go unnoticed.
Airlines will begin the checked “smart” luggage ban in January. Batteries must be removed for the bag to be allowed in a cargo hold. And, they can go as a carry-on only if the batteries are removable – in case there is a need for the bag to be gate-checked.
What other items are not allowed in CHECKED luggage, but can be brought aboard in a carry-on?
- Butane curling iron. OK, I confess to not knowing there was such a thing. Apparently, it is one form of cordless curling irons.
- Electronic cigarettes. You still can’t smoke them!
- Live fish. Why would anyone want to fly with a live fish? Is it a therapy fish? Additionally, the fish must be in water in a clear container. Does that mean the fish has to fit in 3.4 oz. of water?
- Safety Matches. Only one book, though.
The following are forbidden in both checked and carry-on. But, I found them odd/interesting so thought I’d pass along.
- Alcohol greater than 140 proof. Think twice about buying that bottle of Absinthe in Prague or strong rum in the Caribbean.
- Bear bangers. I had no idea what this was and had to look it up. It’s some special type of flare used to scare away bears. Wow, who knew?
- Bear spray. Really. Apparently, there is huge demand for anti-bear stuff on airplanes of which I was completely unaware. How many bears have you seen on a plane?
In a nutshell, if you’re planning on buying smart luggage this holiday season, be sure the batteries are removable. Get a pet sitter for your fish. And, the bear should be safe, since bear spray is forbidden!
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