12 Forbidden Items on International Flights: A Comprehensive List

Forbidden Items on International Flights

Excited about your upcoming international trip? Well, we hope you pack your luggage the right way as you don’t want the airport authorities to dim down your excitement. Oftentimes, you miss out on checking your bags and end up carrying forbidden items on international flights unknowingly. Airlines restrict certain items that can hamper not just your safety but also that of your fellow passengers and crew.

To avoid this unpleasant hindrance during your travel, we have listed down the forbidden items on international flights. These are some of the most basic household items that have a chance of causing trouble.

1. Battery Cells

battery cells

You simply cannot carry loose batteries in your hand luggage. However, the airlines permit them into your check-in luggage with a few restrictions based on their size and type. 

Certain airlines allow you to take along a battery-operated electronic device like mobile phones, laptops, cameras, certain medical devices, and power tools, in your handbag. Make sure to read the list of prohibited items on flights of your particular airlines before you leave for the airport.

2. Power Banks

power bank

Power banks or portable chargers contain lithium-ion cells that tend to overheat and catch fire, especially if they come in contact with conductive materials. Therefore, it is one of the forbidden items on international flights. You strictly cannot place a portable charger in any of your check-in bags. But you can carry it along with you in the hand luggage.

3. Sharp Objects

sharp objects

These are some of the most common and obvious forbidden items on international flights. As scissors, cutters, and razors can easily injure anyone in an instant. One can use them as weapons, and therefore, they are not safe to carry along, even during normal travels. 

Similar sharp items prohibited on international flights are as follows:

  • Saws
  • Ice Picks
  • Cigar cutters
  • Sabers
  • Sharp cutlery
  • Knives
  • Crochet needles, etc.

4. Mechanical Tools

mechanical tools

Airlines do not allow mechanical tools on the flight. They are dangerous items to work with and can cause harm to others. Not only can they be harmful if used aggressively, but they can also damage the airport/airline’s property.

You must avoid the mechanical tools listed below:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Metal cutters
  • Wrenches 
  • Hammers, etc.

5. Sporty Goods

sporty goods

Next on our list of international flight prohibited items is sports equipment. Things like:

  • Boxing gloves 
  • Different types of balls and bats
  • Badminton rackets
  • Bows and arrows
  • Cricket Bats
  • Golf Clubs
  • Hockey Sticks
  • Ski Poles, etc., are forbidden items on international flights.

6. Toxic and Flammable Substances

toxic and flammable items

Inflammable substances can cause fire hazards because of their combustible nature, which is why they fall under restricted items by the airlines.

Objects containing anything reactive or radioactive are forbidden items on international flights and here are some basic examples: 

  • Camphor
  • Paint thinner
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Wet cell batteries
  • Spray paint
  • Matchsticks
  • Fireworks
  • Firecrackers
  • Alkalis
  • Acids

7. Self Defense Items

self defense items

During air travel, there is a restriction on self-defense items, no matter how useful. There’s a possibility of others using these objects to threaten people. So, the airline restricts anything that contains an incapacitating or irritating substance like:

  • Pepper spray
  • Knuckles
  • Blackjacks
  • Kubotan
  • Batons
  • Stun Guns

So, make sure you do not have these things in either of your travel luggage.

8. Toy Weapons

Toy weapons

Traveling with small kids? If so, there’s a high chance that they will take a few favorite toys along with them. Well, then, you must keep one thing in mind – replicas of any weapons in the form of toys are strictly prohibited during air travel. They can scare people and cause unnecessary chaos at the airport. 

9. Firearms and Ammunition


The Airport security directly confiscates any type of firearms and ammunition because of obvious reasons. Here are a few examples:

  • Compressed air guns
  • BB guns
  • Pistols
  • Pellet guns
  • Air guns, etc. 

10. Camping Stoves

camping stoves

Do not pack portable stoves, gas burners, or fuel containers in your luggage because they contain flammable liquid gel. There’s a confined pressure inside every flight and any sort of fire hazard can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, the airport authority doesn’t allow any kind of stove that has a fuel canister.

11. Thermometers


Medical or clinical equipment that contains mercury is a forbidden item on international flights as it may leak through if broken. Instead, you can carry a digital thermometer in place of the traditional one.

12. Tasers


We understand the need for self-defense items. But, in case anyone spots tasers or stun guns, they can cause disturbance on the flight. Additionally, airlines prohibit weapons containing compressed gas.


Do airlines scan every checked-in bag?

Indeed, for the safety of passengers and crew, every airline scans the checked-in bags. For detection, authorities use X-ray screening machines and detection systems. This is a compulsory process as a part of aviation security by law.

What are the consequences if the authorities catch a passenger carrying forbidden items on international flights?

This is a case of TSA violation, and therefore, the authorities issue a civil penalty to the bearer of prohibited items.

Can you get the confiscated items back from the airport?

In rare cases, you get your items back after a certain time. To procure your things back, there is also a recovery period of 30 days. But, this applies only if a no ‘show-cause’ notice is issued within a particular time frame (Note: Different airlines have different rules regarding the same). 

What happens to the seized items that stay unclaimed?

If the authority passes no further order, the customs department auctions the goods. They even sell off the acquired forbidden items on international flights at discounted rates.

Is perfume allowed in check-in baggage?

Yes, you can pack perfume in your checked luggage. But make sure you don’t carry more than 500ml (16.9 ounces) per bottle. The aviation sector has set this restriction

Wrapping Things Up:

Travel doesn’t have to be messy or troublesome. Don’t let your fun-filled mood go downhill because of a small mistake even before taking off. Even if you are carrying any of these things by mistake, do not hesitate to inform the airport security team about it.

Also, note that the above list is subject to change due to a variety of factors. Additionally, the baggage restriction rules vary for different airlines. Furthermore, you can refer to the airline’s website for detailed information as you pack up for your trip! Now that you have the baggage restriction information, pack carefully and enjoy your travels. 

Bon Voyage!

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