Things you can’t fly with this summer

Summer travel is returning this year after a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re gearing up to go somewhere this year, you may have forgotten about those pesky TSA rules.

Some make more sense than others.


For example, there are certain consumer electronic products like power banks and batteries that carry the risk of catching fire or exploding. Then, there are those TSA rules that might make a little less sense but still have to be followed. 

The following are some things to know as far as what you can’t fly with this summer.

Power Banks

You can carry a power bank in your carry-on bag, but not in your checked bag, according to the TSA. Any portable charger or power bank that has a lithium-ion battery must be in your carry-on.

Lithium batteries can catch fire if they’re damaged. Lithium-ion or lithium metal batteries are found in smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, and more. If they are put in checked baggage they’re supposed to be turned completely off, but again, this is against TSA rules.

You can’t bring uninstalled lithium-ion batteries, electronic cigarettes, or vaping devices in your checked bag. They have to be in your carry-on bag.

The thought process behind this is that if there is a smoke or fire incident involving a lithium-ion battery, the passengers and cabin crews may be able to mitigate the situation.


Liquids always tend to be tricky. If you’re going to bring a full-sized bottle of anything like sunscreen or shampoo, you have to put it in your checked bag. If you aren’t checking anything, then you have to leave it at home.

There is a limit that in your carry-on luggage, you can’t have liquid or gel items that are larger than 3.4 ounces. Also, if you’re bringing multiple liquids or gels, they have to all fit in a quart-size plastic bag.

There are a few exceptions for some medicines and food for children or infants.


A relatively new rule enacted by the TSA applies to powder. If you have 12 ounces of powder or less, then you can pack it in your carry-on without any additional screening.

If you’re bringing more than 12 ounces of any powder, you can put it on your carry-on, but you have to claim it and take it out of your carry-on at the TSA checkpoint. Then, you’re going to have to go through additional screening. It’s better, if you can, to put the powder in your checked bag.


At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of airlines stopped serving food and beverages on flights or limited their offerings significantly. That led people to want to bring their own alcohol onboard.

You are allowed to bring alcohol on a flight, both in your carry-on and checked baggage. However, you have to be of legal drinking age, and the alcohol has to be in the original, unopened container.

You can’t have any alcohol that’s 140 proof or more.

How much you can bring depends on whether you’re carrying them on or checking them.

Now, the important note is this—it’s against federal laws to open a bottle of alcohol on a flight or drink alcohol not directly served to you by a flight attendant.

Flight attendants are responsible for keeping your drink levels reasonable and safe, and if you’re drinking too much and something happens, the flight attendant could be in trouble.

Things You Can’t Put In Your Carry-On

There are some things that you can put in your checked luggage and not your carry-on. You can put self-defense items in your checked luggage in most cases, such as a firearm and pepper spray. However, these items have to be equipped with a safety mechanism that prevents accidental discharge, and you can’t fly with them internationally.

Sharp items are allowed in checked bags if they’re securely wrapped.

If you have sporting goods, you should check those too.

Certain types of razors are permitted onboard while others aren’t. You can put a disposable razor, replacement blades, or an electric razor in either your checked or carry-on luggage. If you have a straight razor or a safety razor, you have to take the blades out and keep those in your checked bag, but the razor itself can go in your carry-on.

Finally, when it comes to makeup, there aren’t limits on solid or powder makeup. There are limits on liquid, gel, and cream makeup. The rules are the same as for other liquids and gels.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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