Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
For many smokers, traveling without a lighter is particularly difficult, especially for nervous flyers.
Smoking has been found to reduce anxiety and without the comfort of their favorite lighter, the flight can seem exceedingly stressful.
They fully appreciate that they have to endure a few hours of flight-time without smoking a cigarette.
However, the prospect of having to buy a lighter in a foreign country is enough to further raise their anxiety.
The rules on luggage, and carry-on luggage specifically, can be confusing.
This can be even more tricky with a low-cost airline, which may not even guarantee you a carry-on bag. It may seem like these hand luggage restrictions are designed to stupefy passengers.
Believing that they cannot bring any lighter or matches with them means that they leave them at home.
That may be best for airline security, but not the anxiety of the passenger.
Can you bring a lighter on a plane?
As with several other flammable objects, certain rules prohibit the transport of lighters.
This includes: arc lighters, plasma lighters, e-lighters, electronic lighters, disposable lighters, and Zippo lighters.
To make sure that you don’t suffer any delays at security, or have your lighter taken from you, we will provide some guidance. Here is our detailed answer to the question. Can you bring a lighter on a plane?
Plasma Lighters, Arc Lighters, Electronic Lighters, And E-Lighters
You may be surprised to learn that these types of lighters are allowed in carry-on bags, but with special instructions.
The instructions are so specific that you may prefer to leave certain lighters at home and just travel with a simpler lighter you can take.
However, if you do want to insist on taking just one of these lighters, you have to ensure that the heating element cannot be activated.
To allow it onboard, measures are taken to ensure that the lighter cannot accidentally and unintentionally turn itself on.
That includes removing the battery, using a protective cover, or putting the lighter in a protective case.
You can also use a specific safety latch, or use a locking device on the lighter itself. The single lighter can be kept in your pocket but is better placed in your carry-on bag.
Those measures should make sure the lighter remains off for the duration of the flight, yet there are also restrictions on the battery.
If the lighter uses lithium-ion batteries, these cannot exceed a Watt-hour (Wh) rating of 100 Wh.
For lithium metal batteries, the lithium content itself cannot exceed 2 grams. Obviously, the batteries and/or the devices themselves cannot be recharged on the plane.
Disposable And Zippo Lighters on a Plane
For disposable and Zippo lighters, the rules are a bit simpler.
Without any fuel, both lighters are allowed in checked-in bags, so your only problem is filling them upon arrival. That means they should not contain a single drop of fuel, as that would pose a fire risk and security will check.
However, carrying several empty lighters would not be advisable, as this will likely cause delays at screening and checkpoint security.
If a lighter was discovered in your checked luggage, a security agent would likely open the bag to check that the lighter is totally empty. The more empty lighters you have in your baggage, the longer this process will be.
It is also pretty difficult to fully empty a lighter, so best not to risk carrying multiple lighters if you are unsure they are completely empty.
You can bring just a single disposable (or Bic-style) lighter on a plane.
For a lighter like a Zippo lighter that uses a flammable liquid, again, you should only bring one.
While you can carry these lighters on your person in a resealable plastic bag, they are not to be taken out during the flight.
To avoid taking it out at all, you should put your single disposable lighter or Zippo-type lighter in your carry-on bag.
The best place to put it is deep in that carry-on bag, so you do not mistakenly take it out. If you do get your lighter out during the flight, it may be perceived as a threatening act.
Should the lighters contain fuel, then they are typically prohibited from checked-in bags.
However, there is a Department of Transportation exemption that applies, which you may want to learn.
That exemption allows for up to two additional lighters if they are properly enclosed in a Department of Transportation approved case.
These are durable and airtight cases that are approved as they prevent any fuel leakage or any sparks from igniting.
A single spark could have disastrous consequences on a flight, hence the concern.
It is best to check that your case is on the approved list first, or both of your fueled lighters are likely to be confiscated.
Lighter manufacturers such as Zippo, Prometheus, and Colibri have designed lighter travel containers that have secured Department of Transportation permits.
You are also prohibited from packing extra lighter fluid in your carry-on and checked luggage as well. The substance poses an obvious fire risk that cannot be allowed.
Lighters That Aren’t Allowed on Planes?
There are specific rules that prohibit certain lighters due to their appearance.
That means any type of lighter that could be mistaken for a weapon, such as butane torch lighters or gun lighters.
When screened, you may need to explain that the lighter you packed is just a lighter, and serious questions may be asked.
Also, cigar lighters, blue flame lighters, lighter fuel, and lighter refills are all strictly forbidden.
Can I Bring Matches With Me On A Plane?
If you are unsure about whether to take your lighter on a plane, you may prefer taking matches. However, with any fire risk, there are certain rules to comply with.
This largely depends on the type of matches you are carrying and where you are packing them.
You are allowed a single book of safety matches, but only in your carry-on bag. Any more matches are likely to be confiscated at screening.
Just like with the lighters, these should be packed away while on the plane.
Even getting them out during the flight to check they are as likely to land you in trouble.
While safety matches are allowed in your carry-on baggage, strike-anywhere matches are strictly banned. Even safety matches carry a fire risk, so these are not allowed in checked baggage.
Can I Bring Cigarettes With Me On A Plane?
Yes, you can bring your favorite cigarettes with you in your carry-on bag or checked luggage.
Not only that but also pipe tobacco or cigars, not that you can light them during a flight or in the airport.
Your last chance for a smoke will be in a designated area at the airport.
You can take chewing tobacco with you too, but that may prove difficult to dispose of and you may upset fellow passengers.
Do remember that various countries have different restrictions on the number of cigarettes you can carry.
This is especially true for flying internationally, so you may want to check your country of destination before you fly.
You would find this information in the customs laws, and checking may mean ensuring that your cigarettes are not confiscated.
Typically, around 200 cigarettes are allowed, though this amount does vary from country to country.
The allowance is also broken down for cigarillos, cigars, and packed tobacco.
The short answer is that yes, lighters are allowed on planes. However, only a single disposable or Zippo-type cigarette lighter is allowed on board per person.
Whichever type of lighter you decide to bring, it must be kept inside a resealable plastic bag, such as the ones that are used for liquids.
You must keep the lighter on your person throughout the flight, whether in your pocket or in your carry-on bag.
That also means if you do try to smuggle a further lighter in your carry-on luggage, or back into your hand luggage after screening, you may get into trouble.
Of course, smoking on a plane is never allowed, and you could find yourself heading straight to jail after landing.