Aside from the obvious questions like 'Can you take aerosols or deoderant in hand luggage?', knowing what you can and cannot pack in cabin baggage can be a minefield. Skyscanner recently listed some of the more unusual items you should never put in your carry-on luggage. UAE airlines such as Etihad and Emirates also have also listed items that passengers cannot bring on board.
Note that these are separate from the list of items that are banned from being brought into the UAE. While some of these items can still be brought through check-in, the items in the list compiled by Dubai Customs and Airports are not allowed under any circumstance.
As of June 30, 2018, the US Transportation Security Administration is changing the rules about taking powders on planes. After this date, any powder-like substances bigger than 350ml/12oz - about the size of a soda can - should be put in checked baggage and not in hand luggage.
In January 2018, the rules governing smart luggage in the US changed, making it even more important to check the rules with an individual airline before you fly anywhere. Smart bags use lithium batteries to run GPS tracking systems, phone chargers and electronic locks, which have been to linked to fires on planes.
You need to be careful with baby foods and check with the governing authority at your destination and departure airports before you travel, or you could get yourself into trouble. The UK government, for example, will allow you to carry formula and cow's milk in your hand luggage but your baby must be present. The same applies to a baby's sterilized water, soya milk and baby food.
You need to be careful when you're taking medicines on an airplane, and make sure you think ahead. If you're taking more than 100ml of prescribed medicines on board with you, carry the prescription. If you're bringing medicines into the UAE you should make sure you've checked the list of controlled medicines in the UAE.
Ten bottles of perfume
No matter how fresh you'd like to smell on your holiday, you can't go crazy with the scent bottles, unless you can fit them into a single, transparent plastic bag no more than 20cm by 20cm, which is very unlikely.
Not exactly the most discreet of possible weapons you could take on a plane, but banned nonetheless. In fact, most sports equipment is not allowed in hand luggage; the list extends to badminton rackets, billiard cues and (more understandably) catapults and harpoons.
If you plan to catch your supper on holiday you won't be doing it with your own rod (unless you check it into the hold). The same applies to golf clubs and pool cues, which are also banned on board.
If you're heading home for a renovation project, don't think you can take your own tools in your hand luggage. Drills, screwdrivers, spanners, nails and laser pointers all need to be checked.
Even if airplane food isn't your thing, you won't be allowed to enjoy that homemade liquid carrot and cilantro soup you plan to take in your cabin baggage. Liquid is liquid, and unless you want to take up space in your clear, plastic bag with a 100ml bottle of soup, don't bother bringing it to the airport. The same applies to chutneys and jams.
Chemicals and toxic substances are not allowed on planes. Fact. This rule includes everything from rat poison, fireworks and dynamite, to pool chlorine, tear gas and gel candles. Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are allowed in hand luggage by most airlines (but not in the hold) so check the rules before you fly.
No, we don't mean the hairspray or deodorant kind, we mean the graffiti kind -- these are a definite no no. But on the subject of personal hygiene, yes you can take your deodorant, hairspray or other aerosols in your carry-on baggage if they are 100ml or less and in a clear, plastic bag of 20cm by 20cm. Be warned that the bag must be sealed, so don't overstuff it.
We know the UAE is full of great camping spots but if you wanted to take your trusty tent on holiday with you, you won't be taking it in your hand luggage. Most airports won't allow metal tent pegs to be taken through security. Tent poles, apparently, are fine though!
In the US and the UK, lighters without fuel are allowed in checked baggage in the hold. If they do contain fuel, you can't put them in the hold but you can carry one on your person (not packed in your hand luggage). And you're only allowed one.
You can't do your knitting because needles are not allowed in the cabin on Emirates flights. Hypodermic needles and syringes are also prohibited unless they are for medical reasons. You'll need a medical certificate for that by the way.
Sure, you're going on a holiday but that doesn't mean that you can bring your beach ball and other inflatable items with you. There is one small exception though. All you have to do is deflate them and you're free to bring them along.
Banned items in UAE
Below is a list compiled by Dubai Customs of items that you cannot bring into the UAE under any circumstance.
- All narcotic drugs.
- Gambling tools, machines.
- Ivory and rhinoceros horn.
- Trammel (fishing net with three layers).
- Forged or duplicate currency.
- Any printed material that contradicts Islamic teachings and/or decency, or that deliberately implies immorality or turmoil.
- Cooked and homemade foods.
- Radios, self-defence equipment, sharp-edged knives and swords.
- Weapons, ammunition and military equipment.
- Fireworks and explosives.
- Trees, plants and soil
- Used, reconditioned and inlaid tires.
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