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What Items Are Permitted In My Carry-On?

11/21/2011 09:01 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Front Page Photo: Flickr, Global Jet

Airport security measures are often changing, so for the most up-to-date list of approved carry-on items, check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before you fly (www.tsa.gov). At the time of publication (2010), the following items are allowed in the main cabin of the aircraft:

- Tweezers
- Nail clippers and nail files
- Eyelash curlers
- Safety razors (including disposable razors)
- Walking canes and umbrellas (inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed)
- Syringes (with accompanying medication and professionally printed labels identifying the medication or manufacturer)
- Insulin delivery systems
- musical instruments (as long as they fit in your carry-on)
- Scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches
- Knitting needles are technically allowed but sometimes do get confiscated. Your best bet is to travel with bamboo or plastic needles (instead of metal) that are under 31 inches in length.
- Liquids, gels, and aerosols in 3-ounce (or smaller) containers. These must be kept in a 1-quart clear plastic zip-top bag. (TSA permits the following liquids to be carried on in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces: medications, breast milk, baby formula, food, and juice).

The following items must be packed in checked baggage:
- Sporting equipment
- Sharp objects such as box cutters, ice picks, and knives (wrap them well to protect against injury)
- Disabling chemicals, including pepper spray
- Gel shoe inserts

Check with the TSA for a complete list of prohibited items.

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