By Vicki Barnes

Don’t pack a hand grenade in your suitcase (or your carry on) when you head to the airport.image

OK, so maybe that one seems obvious, but there are things the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not let you bring on a plane that you might not have considered.

The TSA website has a long list of things that are banned on planes. Check it out before you go so the contents of your bags doesn’t make you a target for more screening.

Something as seemingly innocent as a lighter might get you pulled out of line for a more thorough search, so make sure you know the specific rules before you pack your Zippo. (To summarize the 10 minute phone conversation and two page follow up document I got when I called for clarification on what kind of lighters are permitted and which are not: don’t bring anything more powerful than the disposable lighter you get at the convenience store.)

The TSA also suggests you follow the 3-1-1 rule when packing liquids, aerosols and gels. Containers should be no more than 3.4 ounces – all such containers should fit into one clear, resealable plastic bag – one bag per person. (Back to the snow globes: if they contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid and can fit into that aforementioned bag, you can bring it.)

But don’t try to bring a can of spray paint or a pool cue on the plane. You can check the cue, however.

Ice skates, if they fit in your carry on, will be passed through the security check point.

So, as you can see, it’s not something you can just guess about. You need to have the list of prohibited items next to you as you pack if you want to be sure about what you can bring and what you can’t.

Here’s a brief list of what you should NOT pack in your carry on…though some of these items can be checked so consult the list. The full list is much more extensive:

Box cutters
Ice picks
Meat cleavers
Baseball Bats
Bows and Arrows
Lacrosse Sticks
Flare Guns
Starter pistols
Screwdrivers longer than 7 inches
Drill bits
Brass knuckles
Throwing Stars
Lighter fluid
Liquid bleach
Pool Chemicals
Tear Gas
Vehicle Airbags

Also, marijuana is prohibited even with a prescription, the TSA notes on their website. Though the TSA screens only for security threats, they can turn the matter over to law enforcement.