Can I take that on a plane? Lobsters, yes; dynamite, no
Feel free to travel with fake skeleton bones or live lobsters this holiday season, but leave your dynamite and hand grenades at home if you hope to board an airplane.
The Transportation Security Administration offers an online guide at tsa.gov to help passengers figure out what they can and can’t carry while flying.
The agency cautions that the final decision about any item still rests with TSA agents at airports. Individual airlines can also have their own rules.
But in general you can carry artificial skeleton bones as either carry-on items or in your checked luggage.
Remember all items permitted as carry-ons must fit in an overhead bin or under an airline seat. That rule might thwart you from carrying antlers, which, oddly, are allowed as both carry-on items or in checked luggage.
If you want a prediction on whether you’ll survive your flight, don’t carry a Magic 8 Ball onto a plane. You have to pack it in checked luggage.
“For carry-on bags: We asked the Magic 8 Ball and it told us, Outlook not so good! For checked bags: We asked the Magic 8 Ball and it told us, It is certain!” TSA says on its website.
For those who lack faith in their pilots, parachutes are allowed as carry-ons and in checked luggage. A TSA agent may inspect the parachute.
“TSA is not responsible for repacking parachutes. All parachutes should be thoroughly inspected at their end destination to make sure that the equipment is still safe to use,” TSA says.
If you have a cast, it’s allowed with you on the plane and in checked baggage as well. That’s good, because TSA won’t allow you to carry a saw to hack your way out of the cast. Saws have to be packed in checked luggage.
To carry live lobsters onto a plane, check with your airline for any special rules. But as far as TSA is concerned, lobsters are allowed as both carry-on and checked baggage. They must be transported in clear, plastic, spill-proof containers.
“A TSA officer will visually inspect your lobster at the checkpoint. We recommend that you contact your airline to determine your airline’s policy on traveling with your lobster before arriving at the airport,” the agency says.
You have to keep closer watch over live fish. They can be brought as carry-on items inside clear containers with water, but you can’t stash your pet goldfish in checked luggage.
Gravy, ice cream, cake and pizza are among the food items you can stow in checked luggage. You can also bring them on the plane with you, but because gravy and ice cream count as liquids, you can have only 3.4 ounces.
Cooked meat and seafood are welcome onboard and in checked bags, but remember your carry-on roast beef has to fit in an overhead bin or under a seat.
Don’t bring cast-iron cookware as a carry-on item. That has to go in checked bags. But forks and cheese graters are welcome with you and in checked luggage.
“Blenders are allowed in carry-on bags if the blade has been removed,” TSA says. If you’re not mechanically inclined, put the whole blender in your checked luggage. But as with all sharp items in checked bags, blades have to be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors, TSA says.
Bowling balls are allowed as carry-on items and in checked luggage, but bowling pins are allowed in checked luggage only.
In general, any sports items that could be used as weapons or to bludgeon someone — from pool cues to ski poles to kayak paddles — have to go as checked luggage.
Most people aren’t allowed to carry guns on board a plane. Guns in checked bags have to comply with a host of regulations, including that they be unloaded, locked inside hard-sided containers and be declared to the airline.
A number of weapons and flammable or explosive items fall in the no-brainer category and aren’t allowed as either carry-on or checked baggage. But somewhere along the line, TSA has had to intercept these items or field a question about whether they’re allowed on a plane.
Dynamite, hand grenades, rocket launchers, tear gas, fireworks and sparklers fall in the no-no category.
Replicas of explosives, including hand grenades, are banned in both carry-on or checked luggage.
You can’t carry throwing stars, nail guns or foam toy swords with you on the plane, but they can go in checked luggage.
In contrast, Harry Potter wands, night-vision goggles and toy lightsabers can entertain you onboard or go in checked bags.
“Sadly, the technology doesn’t currently exist to create a real lightsaber,” TSA says. “However, you can pack a toy lightsaber in your carry-on or checked bag. May the force be with you.”