Security Newswire

TSA Allows 12 Surprising Items on Planes

The Transportation Security Administration has a long list of carry-on rules, such as no liquids over 3.4 ounces, no wrapped presents, no knives, no antlers, snow globes, baseball bats, drill bits, etc etc, but a recent article from shows the rare list of what you can actually bring with you on an airplane, with a few requirements, of course.

Antiques and Artifacts: You will be charged for large antiques, and they might have to travel in the hold, but as long as you have the proper documentation (receipts, export permits), you're in the clear. 

Camp Stoves: These can come with you as carry-on or checked luggage, but only if they're so clean there are no vapors or residue that could be flammable. To be safe, ship fuel containers to your destination ahead of time. 

Crematory Containers and Deceased Remains: TSA is working with funeral home associations to develop guidelines for these items, but for now, come to the checkpoint prepared. Put the remains in a wood or plastic container that can be successfully X-rayed, or your deceased relative might be screened as an explosive device. But out of respect for the deceased, screeners cannot open the container under any circumstance. Check with your airline ahead of time though, because some don't allow cremated remains even in checked baggage, the article says.

Firearms and Ammunition: Yes, this is the one that the TSA normally crows about, such as finding 19 guns in one week at various security checkpoints, but unloaded firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are actually allowed on airplanes if checked in a locked, hard-sided container. Declare the weapon at check-in, and stay with it throughout the screening in case you have to open the container. If you're not there to verify the contents, the gun probably will not make it onto the plane. Black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms are not allowed even in checked luggage. 

Hunting and Fishing Equipment: Obviously, hunting knives and spear guns are not allowed on board, but fishing rods, expensive reels or fragile fly-type tackle can travel with you if they fit within the carrier's size limits. Leave heavy-duty tackle (such as the 5-inch hooks used for halibut fishing) in your checked baggage.

Knitting Needles, Needlepoint and Sewing: This is a tricky one, as a zealous security officer might decide that knitting needles might pose a threat to national security (like a butter knife), while other guards might recognize it as a knitting needle. TSA recommends that artistic passengers bring circular knitting needles made of bamboo or plastic, and blunt scissors to make sure all of the work you have already done remains unconfiscated. Carry a crochet hook with yarn in case your knitting tools are surrendered.

Musical Instruments: If it fits the airline's guidelines, bring it on board, but it will have to be X-rayed and possibly subjected to rigorous physical exams. The TSA recommends bringing stringed instruments as carry-ons, but brass instruments should be checked. Be absolutely certain, however, to include clear instructions to someone with no musical background on how to handle and repack the instrument.

Parachutes: Skydivers should add 30 minutes to their arrival time because, although you can carry on skydiving rigs, security may choose to open a rig to inspect it. You must be present and will be allowed to assist with the inspection.

Pigs and Monkeys as Companion and Service Animals: The Vietnamese pot-bellied pig has been legally classified as a "companion animal" that can fly with you (for a fee), but pilots and flight attendants might not be too pleased with your choice of pet, not to mention your fellow passengers. For monkeys, TSA Security Officers will likely refrain from touching the animal, but may ask handlers to remove the "Monkey Helper's" diaper for closer inspection, the article says.

Sporting Equipment: Boogie boards, wake boards can travel with you provided the skeg fin is encased in protective material. Bowling balls and shows might be considered oversized or overweight, but can go carry-on, along with ice or roller skates, and skateboards without Hazmat stickers. 

Frontier Airlines goes especially easy on scuba divers, who may travel with one bag of fins, mask, snorkel, regulator, safety vest, spear gun, pressure gauge, tank harness and empty scuba tank (with the regulator valve completely removed), but without the knives and spear guns. 

Sex Toys: Fox recommends that travelers take the batteries out of any toys to avoid the embarrassment of them going off during inspection. Handcuffs or whips will be easily seen and identified in the X-ray scanner, so travelers might prefer to pack those items in checked luggage. 

Compressed Gas Cylinders: If the regulator valve is completely disconnected and the cylinder is no longer sealed so it has an open end, you are free to haul it onboard. 

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