Can You Bring Lighter on the Airplane?

If you are planning for a trip and the checklist of TSA rules has you overwhelmed, you are not alone. This list of can and cannot bring items can sometimes be a lot to sift through.

The guidelines are ever-changing and that can be stressful when planning a trip or a long flight. No one wants to get to your travel departure destination and have to throw something away or re-pack your entire suitcase if it is searched.

Many smokers question whether they can bring lighters on planes.

Fire on planes is a definite no and can be extremely dangerous to you and other passengers, but what about the vehicles for fire themselves: matches, cigars, cigarettes, etc.

Lighters are allowed on airplanes if TSA guidelines and safety protocols are followed.

According to TSA, disposable lighters and Zippo without fuel can be in the carry-ons. A maximum of 2 lighters with fuels in a DOT-approved case are allowed if they have been checked and cleared by the Department of Transportation.

Carry On BagsChecked Bags
Arc LightersNoNo
Plasma LightersNoNo
Electronic LightersNoNo
Bang SnapsNoNo
Blasting CapsNoNo
ButaneNoNo
Chlorine for PoolsNoNo
CigarettesYesYes
CigarsYesYes
CO2 CartridgeNoNo
Disposable LightersNoNo
Zippo LightersNoNo
Firecracker/FireworksNoNo
FuelsNoNo
Gel Type CandlesNoYes
Pepper SprayNoYes
Phone ChargersYesYes
Power BanksYesNo
PropaneNoNo
Rainbow Flame CrystalsNoYes
Safety MatchesYesNo
Solid CandlesYesYes
SparklersNoNo
Spray PaintNoNo
Torch LightersNoNo
Source: TSA

Fun Fact: We found some ridiculous ones like Dynamite and Hand Grenades. They are obviously not allowed but TSA had to put them on their website.

TSA Rules for Lighters & Flammables on Airplane

  • Types of lighters are allowed on planes: Zippo lighters and those that are disposable according to TSA
  • Can carry-on bags be used to transport lighters/flammables? Yes, but only Zippo lighters and those that are disposable
  • Can checked luggage be used to transport lighters/flammables? Yes, but only Disposable and Zippo Lighters
  • Guidelines for transporting Lighters in checked luggage: Disposable and Zippo lighters without fuel can be in checked bags. No more than two Disposable and/or Zippo lighters containing fuel can be transported in checked luggage if they are stored within an approved case decided upon by the Department of Transportation
  • Lighters that are not allowed: Electric lighters which include Arc and Plasma types
  • Numbers of lighters allowed in carry-ons: No more than one lighter either in your carry-on bag or on your person
  • Numbers of lighters without fuel allowed in carry-ons: Unlimited, but be aware that TSA may inquire about empty containers or verify that they are empty, which may cause delays when traveling
  • Numbers of lighters allowed in checked luggage: Maximum of two lighters can be stored

In General, one lighter is allowed either tucked away in your pocket or your carry-on bag. The lighter must always remain in said location during the flight as the use of the lighter would be prohibited in the plane’s cabin.

If you are going to pack lighters in your checked luggage you must follow the guidelines set in place by the Department of Transportation and treat the lighter with fuel as a hazardous material thus placing it in a DOT-approved case.

It is also generally prohibited to bring lighters that resemble weapons, guns, etc.

Let’s go over the basics of lighters so you understand what can and cannot be brought on a plane. Lighters that cannot be brought on a plane include Arc lighters.

Arc lighters do not produce a flame but create heat via an electrical current. Plasma lighters are also not permitted on flights and use ionized gas to create heat for lighting cigars or cigarettes. Arc lighters and Plasma lighters are both forms of electronic lighters.

Any kind of electric lighters is NOT allowed on a plane. Lighters that are permitted on planes include two kinds.

Disposable lighters which hold butane and are lit with a spark created when struck – this is like a Zippo lighter which is a metal reusable lighter.

It is important to note here that liquid used to refill lighters is prohibited to carry on planes.

Matches in Carry-Ons

According to the TSA, matches are prohibited from being stored in checked bags. However, matches are generally considered safe and are allowed in carry-on bags in limited quantities. Passengers are typically allowed to bring one single book of matches on an aircraft. In addition to that, matches must be safety matches – that are unable to light via strike on any typical surface.

Cigarettes in Carry-Ons

Cigarettes are allowed on planes in both checked luggage and carry-on bags. Cigarettes are often considered non-threatening. However, TSA does have the right to decide whether the items you are carrying through security can pass. So, pack small quantities, and be honest if questioned as to what you are traveling with.

Cigars in Carry-Ons

TSA allows Cigars on planes in both checked luggage and carry-on bags. Again, the final decision lies in the hands of TSA and they have the say in what comes and goes through airport security checkpoints. Same with cigarettes, be honest as to what you are traveling with and as a rule of thumb, travel with small quantities.

Do’s and Don’ts Traveling with Lighter & Cutters

Lighters Should Not Explode on Planes

A question people often ask is if having lighters on planes is dangerous. If kept in your pocket or a carry-on bag the lighter is generally safe and will not cause any harm.

Being on a plane itself would most likely not cause a lighter to explode (especially when not in use).

Typically, lighters will only explode if they are under extreme heat and there is damage to the container or if the lighter is struck with great force while lit.

Generally, lighters do not explode on planes if left alone. The possibly dangerous situation would be if the lighter were in use, causing a risk for fire.

The use of lighters and smoking was once seen on many aircraft before the 21st century. However, it is now banned on most, if not all aircraft.

Key Takeaways

  • Lighters are allowed on planes, but there are certain rules to follow when traveling with lighters
  • Only certain types of lighters are allowed on planes: Disposable and Zippo lighters
  • Quantity limits apply when traveling with lighters: 1 for carry-on bags, 2 for checked luggage
  • Lighters may only be placed in checked luggage if they are enclosed within a Department of Transportation approved case.
  • These cases can be purchased before traveling. Some cases only hold one vs. two lighters so pay close attention when purchasing if you are planning on traveling with more than one.
  • No limits apply to empty lighter containers; however, large quantities may signal TSA to question their use
  • While classified as a hazardous material by the DOT, lighters on planes are generally safe if kept in a pocket or left in a carry-on bag and left unused while in the airplane cabin
  • TSA always decides what can and cannot pass through airport security
  • Cigarettes are allowed in both checked luggage and carry on bags
  • Cigars are allowed in both checked luggage and carry on bags

You can check the TSA government website for clear guidelines as to what you can and cannot bring. Do not hesitate to call the airport ahead of time to ask questions regarding luggage to avoid any travel delays at airport security.

Can you bring a Bic lighter on a plane?

BIC lighters are approved and can be used on airplanes. To keep them in place, try storing them in their original locations. Doing so will help keep them in place when the aircraft lands. A BIC style lighter is acceptable to carry on a plane as long as it’s in its holder’s pocket. Or, you can always carry one lighter in your pocket.

Can you bring an open pack of cigarettes on a plane?

Although the Transportation Security Administration allows tobacco products to be placed in checked luggage, it’s fine to have them in your carry-on bags. cigarettes are permitted in carry-on bags without restrictions.

Can you check a butane lighter on a plane?

These dangerous materials are not allowed in the cabin or checked baggage. The TSA doesn’t restrict the types of tobacco products that can be carried in carry-on or checked bags. So, if you bring a pack of cigarettes into the airport, you can do it without any restrictions.

Can you carry cigarettes in hand luggage?

All tobacco products and cigarettes are allowed in hand baggage. Only one lighter can be carried on board an aircraft. It must be kept on your person during the entire flight. Liquid or Gel food items larger than 3.4 oz. are not allowed in carry on bags.

Can I bring a lighter on a domestic flight?

There is no limit to the number of empty lighters that you may carry. However, carrying multiple empty ones could cause delays at the security checkpoints. Cash more than 2 lakhs is not allowed to be carried in general. In domestic flights, we can carry cash up to 2lakhs.

How can I hide a lighter in my suitcase?

The lighter can only be carried in a plastic bag like the ones used for other small containers of liquids. It should be placed in its carry-on bag before going through security. Shoes should be placed at the bottom of your luggage to make it easier to carry. It’s also a good idea to place them at the bottom to prevent them from getting damaged.

What can I carry in my purse on a plane?

Although most toiletries and cosmetics are acceptable to carry in your purse, larger containers and gels are restricted in all checked bags. One book or packet of matches may be carried on or on the person. No more than one bag or packet of matches may be carried on or on the person.

How do I know if my suitcase is too heavy?

You can get the weight of the bag by taking the first step and then subtracting the first from the second. If the bag is too big, you’ll have to stand on the scales to get it weighed properly. You’re only allowed to bring one lighter in your carry-on bag. If there’s a fuel-free alternative, bring it with you. Also, bring a gun lighter or an electronic cigarette.