This New TSA Search Tool Answers Every Carry-On Allowance Question You Could Have

Airports + Flying News United States
Olivia Harden
Apr 18, 2022

If you’re a frequent flyer, then you probably know basic TSA rules like no liquids over 3.4 fluid ounces or lithium batteries in your carry-on. But when it comes to less common items like traveling with food or equipment, sometimes the rules are a bit more complicated. The worst thing that could happen is your item ends up confiscated and sold for a profit, or it ends up on the agency’s Instagram page, which known for its bad dad jokes and puns. Now, nearly 21 years after its creation, the TSA has made it simpler to find every answer to whether or not you can keep something in your carry-on.

The TSA website used to offer only a list of TSA rules for which items can be brought on board an aircraft and how to pack them if they are explicitly allowed. Now, on the What Can I Bring? page, users will find a search engine to find what you’re looking for. Food is predominantly good to go in carry-on bags if you want to pack some snacks. However, if you type “cheese” in the search bar, you’ll find it’s an interesting case. Creamy cheese is treated like any other liquid and can only by 3.4 oz, or you must check it. However, solid cheese is perfectly fine.

If you still can’t decide whether TSA rules say an item is safe to fly, it is easy to ask quickly through Twitter. Last week, the agency held a “Prohibited Items Week” that featured confiscated items and quizzes about things like wrenches and hiking poles. You can also use @AskTSA or #AskTSA for specific questions. Past questions ranged from items like full-size hand sanitizer and C-PAP machines to bladed wine-bottle openers and tasers.

So the next time you’re ready to fly, and you’re wondering what items are a yes or a no, know that the answers aren’t too hard to find. It’s better safe than sorry.

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