Some people just can’t travel without the little things. Personal grooming objects can be big and bulky to cart around, but flying with the contents of your bathroom poses other potential problems. Consider your hair straighteners – or flat iron. These objects might look dangerous, what with a cord that dangles and hot extensions, but you can take these on a plane without difficulty. The same rules might not apply to everything in your carry-on bags.
Safe travel is serious business, and you need only check in for a flight for proof. Security screenings at airports can range from brief and polite to lengthy, modern-day Inquisitions – it all depends on what you bring through the security checks. To avoid hassle when traveling, have a good idea what you can and cannot bring aboard an airplane before you go the airport. Some objects – like your hair straightener – are safe to bring on board. The Transportation Security Administration does not list this object on its list of prohibited items.
Hair straighteners with a butane cartridge may not be carried onto an airplane and should be packed into checked baggage. Be sure to put the safety cover over the heating element and do not carry extra cartridges.
Within the U.S., hair straighteners are universally allowed on planes, but travel standards are far from international. When flying internationally, check with the flight safety regulatory body in your destination (and transit) nation or nations. What goes in the U.S. might not fly, literally, in other countries, and some places require a security screening at every stage of travel: check-in and boarding. Just because you got an item on the plane at your departure location doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get it on at every step of your journey.
When traveling, never be afraid to ask questions – especially when it comes to security checks. Openness is the best policy, and it’s best to ask questions before you check your bags so that you can transfer potentially prohibited items before the security screening area. Ask the check-in clerk or someone at the airport information desk; if they don’t know, they’ll direct you to someone who does.
When in Doubt
Even though some people might wonder why you need to board a plane with your hair straightener in the first place, you are allowed to do it. But as a general travel rule, check the posted signs or displays outside of the security screening areas for prohibited items before you check in, then place items you aren’t sure about in your checked bags. Your hair straightener isn’t going to be damaged by jostling around in your suitcase, but it’s a good policy to put anything you aren’t sure of in your checked baggage.