What can I carry in my onboard luggage?

31 January 2012

Air travel has changed as the world has changed and nowadays travellers can no longer pack just anything is their luggage. And you definitely can't bring along that open packet of biltong on your trip to Australia (and just about every Western country around the world.

So it is worth noting what restrictions there are in terms of your checked and hand luggage.

This is a short guide to help you with your packing.

Generally, items that are classified as dangerous goods (i.e. may endanger the safety of an aircraft and the passengers onboard) are not permitted in your baggage - that would be checked luggage or hand luggage. So leave the flammable goods, ice picks and dangerous weapons at home.

If any item in your luggage (checked or other) looks suspicious it will be subjected to a search and items may even be confiscated.

I remember travelling back from China a couple of years ago and having to open my locked luggage at check in because the scan showed a 'suspicious object' that looked a little bit like a firearm. It was in fact a Chinese dragon that in the open looked nothing like a dangerous weapon. It now sits proudly on my travel wall but it could have been an ugly situation.

Other restrictions you should be aware of include:

  • Liquids, aerosols and gels in your hand luggage
  • The UK restricts hand luggage to one item per person
  • On arrival, you will be required to declare goods that are considered a threat to the country. Large fines are in place for failing to do so, to be on the safe declare if you are unsure. These could include animal products, vegetables, herbs, spices or the like.
  • Duty free allowances vary from country to country so check these prior to departure or at the duty free shop before your purchase
If you are unsure as to whether you are able to take something in your luggage - rather leave it at home. Who wants their long awaited and much planned for holiday ruined by a strip search and interrogation (in the worst case scenario) when you could just leave the item at home.
You could also check with your friendly Flight Centre consultant.