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12 things you never thought you could take on a plane

Here's our list of things you never thought you’d get away with taking aboard in carry-on.

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Sporting Equipment

Boogie boards, wake boards can come along with you in carry-on provided the skeg fin is encased in protective material. Bowling balls and shoes may be considered oversized or overweight, but can go in carry-on, as is true for ice or roller skates, and skateboards without hazmat stickers. Scuba divers may have it easier according to Frontier Airline’s guidelines – they’ll accept one bag with fins, mask, snorkel, regulator, safety vest, spear gun, pressure gauge, tank harness, empty scuba tank (with the regulator valve completely removed), but leave the knives and spear guns behind or well-packed and checked in.

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Camp Stoves  

You can bring these as carry-on or checked luggage only if they are empty and squeaky clean so that there are no vapors or residue left.  Emptying the fuel container will still leave telltale flammable odors. Safest bet: ship the fuel containers to your destination ahead of time.

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Antiques and Artifacts

You can bring aboard any reasonably-sized artifacts you collect while abroad, just be sure to carry documentation such as receipts or export permits for any antiquities or art purchased abroad.

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Crematory Containers and Deceased Remains

The TSA is working with funeral home associations to develop everlasting guidelines on these items. For now, yes, take the urn on board but consider putting Grandma in a wood or plastic container that can be successfully X-rayed. otherwise she will have to be screened as an explosive material or device.  Out of respect for the deceased, screeners cannot open the container under any circumstance. This may be a moot point as some airlines prohibit cremated remains even in checked baggage; check with your travel agent.

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Firearms and Ammunition

Yes you can -- transport “unloaded” firearms, ammunition and firearm parts but only in your checked baggage, which needs to be a locked, hard-sided container. To avoid never seeing this item again, declare it at the check-in counter. Stick around during the screening in case you have to open the container. If you’re not there, the container will probably not get on the plane. Do not even think about bringing black powder or percussion caps used with black-powder type firearms aboard in checked or carry on.

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Hunting and Fishing Equipment

Predictably you are not going to get on board with hunting knives, spear guns, but, fishing rods, expensive reels or fragile tackle like flies can travel with you if they fit within the carrier’s size limitations. Leave the heavy-duty tackle in your checked baggage as it is usually designed with troublesome hooks.

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Knitting Needles, Needlepoint and Sewing

The TSA’s tip: bring circular knitting needles made of bamboo or plastic and blunt scissors, and to make sure all the work you have already done is not confiscated on that shawl you are working on.  Carry a crochet hook with yarn in case your knitting tools are surrendered at checkpoint.

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Musical Instruments

If it fits the airline’s guidelines, bring it on board.  But it will be X-rayed and possibly subject to rigorous physical exams before traveling with you. The TSA recommends carrying the stringed instruments with you, while brass instruments ought to be checked in with your luggage along with, now this is crucial—clear instructions to someone with no musical background as to how to handle and repack it. Amplifiers and speakers can also be in carry-on.

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Parachutes

Skydivers need to add 30 minutes to their arrival time because although you can carry on your skydiving rigs -- with and without Automatic Activation Devices (AAD) -- security may choose to open a rig to inspect it.  You must be present and will be allowed to assist with the inspection.

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Pigs, Monkeys,(Companion or Service Animals)

More trendy than a canine is the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, which had been legally classified as a "companion animal.” A pilot I spoke with recalled a pot-bellied pig was once allowed to travel with a passenger in business class. The pig managed to pretty well destroy that section of the plane to the horror of other passengers.

Among other animals, the TSA security officers will likely not touch the monkey, but ask handlers to remove the “Monkey Helpers’” diapers for closer inspection.

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Sex Toys

Dolls, stuffed animals go right through security but sex toys will be inspected more closely. Take the batteries out because you won’t be able to survive the sheer embarrassment of them sounding off or buzzing at security or on board. If you’re into handcuffs or whips, beware, they will be noticed through the X-ray machines.  Play it safe, pack them in your checked luggage as you will never get away with them. 

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Compressed Gas Cylinders

If the regulator valve is completely disconnected and the cylinder is no longer sealed so that it has an open end, drag it on board.

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12 things you never thought you could take on a plane

Here's our list of things you never thought you’d get away with taking aboard in carry-on.

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