How to pack safely for holiday air travel
(And it may get you through security faster, too.)
Planning on traveling by air for the Christmas holiday? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to help you make it to your destination safely. You can help with that by paying close attention to what’s in your bag.
Some common toiletries that passengers pack could be hazardous. Check your bags for the following items: aerosol cans that may contain hair spray, deodorant, tanning spray or animal repellant, nail polish, artist paints and glues.
Wondering what to do with those e-cigarettes? Passengers should know that e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and spare lithium batteries are not authorized to be packed in checked luggage. Spare lithium batteries – the kind that are found in personal electronic devices and back-up charging devices – can only travel in carry-on baggage.
Electronic devices powered by lithium batteries can catch fire if they are damaged or have exposed electrical terminals. If devices start to smoke or catch fire, they are much easier to extinguish if they are in the cabin area rather than the cargo hold. The FAA recommends that passengers keep cell phones and other devices nearby in the cabin to quickly access them if necessary.
Spare lithium batteries must be placed in carry-on baggage and protected from damage or short-circuiting. Batteries should be packed so that they are not touching or bumping something that could potentially cause them to spark. If batteries are not sealed in manufacturer packaging, the battery terminals should be protected by covering them with tape and placing them in separate bags to prevent short circuits.
For more detailed information about materials that should not fly, check out our Pack Safe: When in Doubt, Leave it Out video, the FAA's PackSafe website, and the FAA’s Hazardous Materials Safety website.
To be on the safe side, when in doubt, just leave it out!