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Luggage: how do I know if an item is allowed in the cabin or the hold?

To ensure the safety of passengers and crew during air travel, certain products and objects are subject to very strict regulations. How do you know what you can and can't take with you when packing your baggage for a flight? Check now whether an item is authorized or prohibited in the cabin or hold.
Published on April 28, 2023

Basic baggage regulations

The security checks carried out at airports prior to boarding are designed to ensure that no dangerous objects, products or materials are carried on board the aircraft.

Passenger air transport regulations govern both checked and cabin baggage. Prohibitions and restrictions apply to all flights departing from France, the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

As a general rule, flammable products are not permitted in the hold or cabin (pyrotechnics, compressed-air cylinders for diving, camping-gas accessories, etc.). Similarly, tools and sharp or blunt objects are not accepted in the cabin. Large electronic devices with lithium batteries are also refused.

Items authorized in the cabin under certain conditions

However, some items carried in the cabin are subject to weight and quantity restrictions. This applies to liquid products, for example. Beverages and toiletries, for example, are subject to certain packaging regulations.

Containers must not exceed 100 ml each. They must all be placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag no larger than one liter. Only one bag of liquids is allowed per passenger. So be careful when buying in duty-free areas.

The only exceptions are medicines and baby food. Any liquid medical products required for the trip should preferably be taken along in their original packaging, with instructions and a prescription. For medication and baby food, it is advisable to bring an extra dose in anticipation of a possible flight delay.

Good to know: some items will be accepted in the cabin, but not in the hold. These include external lithium batteries, electronic cigarettes (provided they are switched off), small lighters and matches (one per person).

Items allowed in the hold, but not in the cabin

In the hold, your traditional razor with folding blade is allowed in your baggage, whereas it will be forbidden in the cabin. Similarly, knitting needles may not accompany you to your seat for the journey. The same rules apply to ski or hiking poles, fishing rods, golf clubs and so on.

When it comes to liquids, the beverages and toiletries accepted in the hold are larger, with containers of up to 500 ml, with a limit of 2 liters per passenger. We also recommend that food be carried in the aircraft's compartments, especially if you're bringing back regional products from your trip.

Airbag: the app that helps you pack your bags

Food, electrical appliances, beauty products, medical tools, everyday accessories... do you have any questions when packing your bags for a plane trip? The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) has developed the airbag application to help you find out which items are prohibited or restricted in your luggage.

Good to know: not all airlines apply the same level of restrictions. In fact, some airlines go further than current regulations. So it's important to find out before departure whether the measures applied will be more restrictive or not.

Furthermore, if there is any doubt about an item, the final decision always rests with the on-site security officers, regardless of the information communicated in advance.