The weird & wonderful things you can take on a plane

Published March 9th, 2016

Did you know you can take a falcon on an Etihad Airways flight? It’s true. Different countries have different norms, values, customs, cultures and laws, so of course it’s no surprise airlines around the world have a different take on what is – and what is not – acceptable luggage to take on a plane. Here’s a list of a few of the odd things you can take as carry-on – or check-in – on flights around the world.

Psst...I hope there's no snakes on this plane. (Image: Getty)



Yep, falcon - as in the bird of prey. As Abu Dhabi’s national animal, these guys are accepted in Etihad Airway’s main aircraft cabin (or as checked baggage) “provided all the necessary documents have been obtained”. Whatever they may be.

Here's a yarn about knitting needles. (Image: Getty)


Knitting needles and ice skates

While you’re not allowed to take knives and other weapons on board a flight in the United States (firearms and ammunition must be checked in), knitting needles, ice skates, whips and chains are all perfectly acceptable, according to the country’s Transportation Security Administration.

Did anyone else see those falcons board? (Image: Getty)


Squirrels and ferrets

In addition to cats and dogs, Japan Airlines says you can also check-in small birds (that eat seeds, fruit and insects), rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, marmots, squirrels and chinchillas (like a robust squirrel rodent). But they don’t accept French bulldogs or cats or dogs under eight weeks.

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Plastic forks give everyone something to smile about. (Image: Getty)


Short scissors

Only plastic knives and forks with square or round tines/handles are allowed on flights in Australia according to the government. However, scissors are allowed as carry-on provided blades don’t exceed six centimetres and are blunt or round at the end (btw - this is still at the discretion of airport security).

Bring that intoxicating feeling back home. (Image: Getty)



Returning to Australia from the Pacific Islands? Apparently you can check-in up to two kilograms of kava in either root or dried powder form without a permit. While we recommend declaring your kava, don’t open it up and stink out the area.

Probably best not to do this on the plane. (Image: Getty)


Christmas crackers

Finnair will allow you to check-in Christmas crackers on flights out of the UK provided the crackers are commercially made, in the original packaging and for personal use only. Plus, you’re only allowed two boxes; so no being greedy with your Christmas cheer!

Hope the seat width is ready for this dress! (Image: Getty)


Wedding dresses

Fiji Airways allows you to take your wedding dress or gown on board with you at no extra cost. Not sure about tuxes.

Don't mess with the kid in 28D. Just sayin'. (Image: Getty)


Nunchuks, batons and stun guns

Are you a ninja, UK police officer or like to carry a stun gun? If you're flying with China Airlines, you can bring nunchucks, batons and stun guns with you on your flight, provided they are in your checked-in baggage. We’re sure some of these items are allowed on planes in other places, but unlikely that's the case for falcons … Know any of any other odd items you can take on flights? Share them with us.


Jolee Wakefield

A seasoned backpacker and travel writer, Jolee has spent the past decade wandering the globe in pursuit of good vibes, unusual conversations and unforgettable adventures like cave diving in Mexico, mountain climbing in Borneo and learning (failing at) local dances in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.