Packing for a trip can be a great way to get excited about the experience ahead, but it can also be stressful when you're unsure what to bring. What may or may not be brought onto a commercial aircraft in carry-on luggage in the U.S. is mandated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA's website gives exhaustive lists of dos and don’ts, including whether disposable razors are permitted onboard an airplane.

Disposable Razors

According to the TSA website detailing what is permitted in carry-on baggage, it is legal to pack “safety razors – including disposable razors.” Safety razors include fully disposable razors (i.e. ones without a detachable component) and disposable razors without the detachable replacement cartridges. They do not include old-fashioned straight razors, nor any razor with disposable blades still attached.

Impact of 9/11 on Permissible Items

Many changes to air traffic safety regulations were instated in the aftermath 9/11, when relatively innocuous sharp items were used to hijack four planes and redirect them so as to cause considerable loss of life. Before the attacks, small, sharp devices such as penknives, scissors and box-cutters were allowed through security in carry-on luggage, or simply in passengers' pockets. Since then, regulations have changed considerably and continue to do so. Even safety razors should be wrapped before being packed to protect screeners from inadvertent injury.

TSA Prohibited Items List and Liquids

The most common cause of debate for those packing before air travel is likely to be liquid items. Because of the possibility that liquids are, or conceal, explosive material, no container of liquid weighing more than 3.4 oz. may be packed in carry-on. This includes toiletries such as shave gels, foams, lotions and depilatories as well as innocuous goods such as jars of cranberry sauce being taken to a family Christmas celebration, cologne being brought home from a European vacation and gift baskets containing liquid items such as creamy sauces.

Rule Exceptions

Individuals carrying indispensable medical needs that are in a liquid form and weigh more than 3.4 oz. are directed to “Family Lanes” at airport security checkpoints. Staff there are expert at making decisions on baby formula and food, and are trained to process similar items.

Logic and Common Sense

Nothing that can be used or adapted for use as a dangerous weapon can be taken aboard an aircraft. To avoid difficulties with screening and security personnel, the simplest rule to follow is that if there is any doubt about an item, simply pack it in checked baggage or send it ahead by post or via a parcel-carrying service. If the item cannot legally be shipped by such entities, it most certainly cannot be carried onto a plane. Individual TSA officers can at any time make a determination that an item not on the prohibited list is not allowable, and then enforce that determination.