Important new rules about what you can pack!

Do you know what the TSA considers to be hazardous material?   Well apparently, neither did My Vacation Lady when we saw that rechargeable lithium batteries (like an extra cell phone or laptop battery) are considered to be hazardous material.   These can be taken in your carry on but not in your checked luggage.  But take a lithium ion battery for a wheel chair or scooter, they can be packed in your checked luggage but not in your carry on.  Also, you can pack unopened alcoholic beverages in your checked luggage or carry on– as long as it is not more than 70% alcohol by volume (up to 140 proof).  If it is over 140 proof, you can’t take it at all and remember, you can only bring less than 3 oz per bottle in your carry on.

Confused- so are we!

According to the FAA, here are the rules:

What is a Hazardous Material?

From lithium batteries to aerosol whipped cream, many items used every day at home or work are regulated as hazardous materials (a.k.a. “hazmat” and “dangerous goods”). These products may seem harmless; however, when transported by air they can be very dangerous. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause items to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Hazardous materials include, but are not limited to: Explosives, Gases, Flammable Liquids and Solids, Oxidizers, Toxic and Infectious Materials, Radioactive Materials, Corrosives and many other items that can endanger the traveling public when not handled correctly. The good news is that many of the hazardous materials we can’t live without are allowed in our baggage, but only if we follow the rules.

The Hazmat Rules

The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are federal transportation safety rules found in 49 CFR, parts 171-180. The FAA enforces the HMR in aviation. Passengers violating the HMR can be fined from $250 to $50,000. Those who intentionally violate the regulations are subject to a criminal penalty of up to $500,000 and/or five years imprisonment. So, it is important to know what items are hazardous materials and whether or not they are allowed in the aircraft cabin or in checked baggage.

Note: The Transportation Security Administration also has rules on “prohibited items” that pose a security threat. Though they sometimes overlap, the TSA security rules are separate from the FAA hazmat safety rules discussed here. For the TSA rules on weapons, sharp objects, the “3-1-1” rule on liquids, gels, and aerosols, etc.; go to the TSA Prohibited Items web page.

For a Safe Start, Check the Chart!

Most hazardous materials are forbidden in carry-on and checked baggage. There are a few exceptions for some personal items such as toiletries, medicines, battery powered electronics and assistive devices. The chart below lists common hazardous materials often found in the home and office or used when traveling (the chart also includes some items that are not hazardous materials but the FAA gets lot of questions on them). Check to see which ones are allowed in checked and/or carry-on baggage and which ones cannot be carried at all. The checked baggage rules also apply to carry-on bags that are checked at the gate or at planeside. When using the chart, it’s very important to read the “Details” section for important information such as packaging requirements and quantity limits. You can use the “Search” box to look up a particular item by name within the active tab.

Remember, this is just a listing of common hazardous materials; if you don’t see your item here it doesn’t mean it’s allowed in baggage. When in doubt, leave it out!

To check the chart, click here 

As of Jan 1, 2016, airlines and travel professionals must advise you of what the hazardous material restrictions are so we have updated our quotes and confirmations to include a link for your review.

If you have questions, which you might after reading the chart, you can send an email to the FAA by using this link

My Vacation Lady wishes you safe travels in 2016!


By |December 28th, 2015|Categories: All|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Important new rules about what you can pack!

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.