Dec 21, 2011

Xmas air travel – some things just can’t fly

Many people will be travelling over the holiday season and it’s important to remember a few things to make sure that you and your gifts make it to your destination free of hassle.

Screening requirements at airports are in place to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public and even during the holiday season restrictions remain and certain items can’t be taken on board.

Among the top items surrendered during airport screening are bullet fashioned jewellery, toy guns, firearm-shaped cigarette lighters, pocket knives, toy handcuffs, and sparklers.

If items are gift-wrapped, or can’t be properly identified, they may require additional screening, including unpacking and some items will not be allowed to fly at all.

Items that can’t be part of your carry-on baggage include things like weapons, replica weapons, explosive or high flammable goods and items – including sporting or household – that could be used to threaten, harm or restrain someone. Baseball bats and rope are simple examples of things which should be checked in and not carried on board.

Many items can travel with you as checked baggage as long as they are safe. If travelling overseas there are also restrictions on the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels you can take on board.

Other dangerous items that can’t fly at all include items that could be dangerous to the aircraft or health and safety of passengers and crew such as camping fuel containers, scuba tanks, surfboard repair kits, paints, lighter refills, cleaners and solvents, fuel and poisons. Sparklers are great on New Year’s Eve, but should not be carried at all.

If you’re in doubt about anything ask your airline or just leave it at home. Your airline or travel agent can also give you advice for any overseas locations you are visiting or transiting through.

Items requiring further examination can slow down security screening and you may have to surrender prohibited items which could delay your travel.

At such a busy time for our airports we ask you to plan what you can and can’t take on the plane before you leave home, get to the airport early, remain patient and follow the instructions of airport, airline and security staff.

The Government wishes you safe and enjoyable travel and a happy festive season.

For more tips on a smooth journey go to

Top 10 Surrended Items

The top 10 prohibited items or weapons, surrendered at Australian airport passenger-screening points, as reported to the Office of Transport Security in 2011 are:

Item Description
1 – Bullets Live rounds, inert rounds, empty shells and cartridges, bullet fashioned jewellery.
2 – Replica firearms Toy guns, inert firearms, firearm shaped cigarette lighters.
3 – Knives Pocket knives, kitchen knives, Swiss army knives, machetes, daggers.
4 – Self defence sprays Pepper sprays, tear gas.
5 – Knuckle-dusters Knuckle-dusters, knuckle-duster shaped jewellery.
6 – Handcuffs Metal handcuffs, finger cuffs, toy handcuffs.
7 – Batons Extendable batons, kubatons
8 – Sling shots Commercially produced and homemade.
9 – Fireworks All fireworks including sparklers.
10 – Martial arts throwing stars Commonly referred to as Ninja stars.