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What you can/ can't take on a plane

Published January 22nd, 2014

Going solo on your first overseas trip? Or your first-ever airplane ride, ever? You probably already know there’s going to be security checks at the airport, documentation such as passport, tickets and boarding passes to hand over, and a lot of waiting around before you get to actually board the plane, but how about what you can take on the airplane as hand luggage? Here’s our handy  guide to what you can and can’t take on a plane ‘cos we’re super helpful like that. (Do be aware that rules and regulations regarding airport safety do change, and this info was accurate when we researched it. Honest.)

 

 

Size does matter

There’s a standard luggage size you’ll need to adhere to with your carry-on baggage - up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm or total linear dimensions of up to 115 centimetres for economy travellers, depending on which airline you are flying with.

The weight and number of pieces that you can take also varies with one piece of 7-kilogram cabin baggage and one personal item (like a bag, laptop or duty-free) generally allowed on most airlines. Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines have a 10-kilogram carry-on allowance, while Korean Air lets you take 12 kilograms of your must-have stuff in the cabin with you and super-generous British Airways allows one piece of 23-kilogram hand luggage and one piece of up to 23 kilograms that can be stowed under an economy seat. Check with your airline for specific deets before you fly.

 

Stow away

Now where to stash your necessities? Carefully stack your luggage in overhead lockers to avoid flying objects and keep your faves and high rotation items stowed under the seat in front for easy access. Mags, books and iPads can go into the mesh pocket of the seat in front of you.

 

Haz pack

Dangerous stuff that cannot be taken onboard the plane (but can go into your checked baggage) includes gaseous aerosols and flammable liquids. Be aware that you also can’t take weapons of any kind through screening points and into aircraft cabins and this includes scissors, tools and some sporting goods like bats. And, you’ve seen enough Border Security to know that replica gun lighters are never a good idea, right?

 

Beauty booty

Everyone wants to arrive at their destination as fresh as a daisy, so what toiletries are allowed with you in the cabin? Glad you asked.

All liquids, aerosols and gels have quantity limits of 100 millilitres each and need to be contained in one transparent, resealable plastic bag that adds up to no more than 80 centimetres in total length (20cm x 20cm). You’ll have to show this at the security screening too. The good thing is you can use a clipseal baggie from home or buy an airline-approved set with clear bottles to decant your fave smelly stuff into. Want to take a water bottle with you? Bring it empty and you can fill it up after you clear security.

 

 

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.