Traveling by Air? Ensure That Your Bag is Packed Properly Before You Get to the Airport

Many common, everyday items are considered hazardous when brought onto a commercial airplane

Traveling by Air? Ensure That Your Bag is Packed Properly Before You Get to the Airport
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August 2, 2018

Packing for an upcoming trip? Do your plans involve air travel?

Many common items that consumers use on a daily basis are considered hazardous materials when they are brought onto a commercial airplane. For this reason, these items come with specific packing requirements to which air travelers must adhere.

To ensure that your bags are packed properly, take a moment to check out the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Pack Safe website.

Special Requirements

Flyers should know that e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and spare lithium batteries should NEVER be packed in their checked luggage. Spare lithium batteries—the kind that are found in personal electronic devices and back-up charging devices—can ONLY travel on board a plane in your carry-on baggage.

Electronic devices powered by lithium batteries can catch fire if they are damaged or have exposed electrical terminals. Devices that smoke or catch fire are much easier to extinguish in the cabin than they are in the cargo hold.

Keep Devices Close

The FAA recommends that passengers keep cell phones and other devices close by in the cabin, so they can quickly access them if necessary.

Even in carry-on baggage, spare lithium batteries should be protected to prevent damage or short circuiting. It is the responsibility of passengers to ensure that these batteries are packed properly and are not touching or bumping something that could potentially cause them to spark.

If batteries are not sealed in manufacturer packaging, the battery terminals should be covered with tape and each battery should be placed into a separate bag.

What else is hazardous?

Other common items and toiletries that that passengers may plan to pack—but that could be hazardous—include aerosol cans containing hair spray, deodorant, tanning spray, or animal repellant; nail polish; artist paints; and glues.

For more detailed information about traveling with hazardous materials—including a list of items that are NOT allowed on an airplane—visit the FAA's Hazardous Materials Safety website.

To be on the safe side—when in doubt, just leave it out!