The list of things you can bring on a plane is maybe just as strange as what you can't.
Many of us have had something confiscated by the TSA at one time or another. Obviously, anything seen as a weapon is likely to be pocketed by an agent (they even took my nail clippers once), and the allowable sizes of liquids can feel pretty limiting, particularly if you’re not checking a bag. If it’s been a while since you’ve flown, you may need a refresher on what you can’t bring on a plane—but sometimes, what you can bring is even stranger.
Food you can bring with you through security
Airport security has such a laundry list of restricted items that you might assume you can’t bring most foods through security and onto an airplane. But actually, you can bring all sorts of food with you—even fresh eggs (in case you want to ... for whatever reason).
Here is a sampling of other foods you can bring:
- Solid chocolate
- Ground coffee/coffee beans
- Dried fruits
- Solid pet food
- Protein or energy powders
Of course, there may be certain restrictions for some of these and you might need to separate them out to be screened separately, so do your research if you plan to haul your lunch along with you and don’t want to get stuck throwing it away at the checkpoint.
How to bring liquids on a plane
Following the TSA’s rules, any liquids of 3.4 ounces or less are allowed in your carry-on—even alcohol:
Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.
Mini bottles of alcohol in carry-on must be able to comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.
Small amounts of coffee are allowed, as is breast milk in larger quantities. Let the TSA agent know you have it, so they will screen it separately.
These sharp objects are allowed in your carry-on luggage
According to the TSA’s website, which has a whole section for sharp objects, you actually can bring nail clippers on the plane (that would have been good to know). Travelers can also bring scissors that are “less than 4 inches from the pivot point,” knitting needles (although I have seen a few of those confiscated), disposable razors, lock picks, safety pins, and tweezers.
If an agent tries to confiscate your approved sharp objects, you can try pointing out that they are listed on the TSA’s website as an allowed item. However, keep in mind that the TSA also states, “final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.” So they might take it anyway.
Now for the miscellaneous items
On the off chance you might need to bring some more questionable or odd items onto a plane, you can check out this list of other miscellaneous things that are allowed. The list includes:
- Body armor
- Car parts (as long as they do not have contain any traces of fuel)
- Artificial bones
- Shock collars
- An Xbox
- Your Harry Potter wand or lightsaber
- Electric blankets
- Geiger counter
- Laser pointers
- Live fish
But again, there are certain restrictions in place and these decisions are ultimately up to the individual agent who is screening you, so don’t be too shocked if someone says “no” to your body armor.