With terrorism a constant threat in the world today, the rules for traveling by airplane have gotten vastly more complicated. Sometimes it is confusing to know which items are okay to pack, and which items you should leave at home. If you are unsure whether something is allowable, try to find out by calling the airline or going online. If you can not find an answer before you leave for the airport, your best bet is to leave the item at home. Airport security is not allowed to return any prohibited items back to you. They must dispose of them, so do not take anything you are unsure about.
Do not put undeveloped film or cameras with film in your checked luggage. Always put these items in your carry on bag. The X-ray machines can damage any film that is not developed yet, and may result in a loss of any images stored on the film.
We all want a sense of security when it comes to our personal belongings, and checked luggage is no different. With all the reports of baggage theft by airport handlers, how can you be sure that your items can not be taken? Putting a lock on your checked baggage allows you to guarantee the security of your property, but make sure that it is a lock that has been approved by the Transportation Security Administration. Sometimes checked luggage must be personally screened by a security officer to investigate something that may look suspicious on the screening machine. If you use a lock that is approved by the TSA, the bag can be opened and inspected without the need for cutting the lock off. These locks are available online as well as at travel stores and airports.
There are some limits concerning lighters in any checked bags. No lighters with fuel in them are allowed, with the exception of two Zippo lighters containing fuel, as long as each individual lighter is encased in an approved Department of Transportation case. There is no limit to the number of empty lighters without fuel that may be packed in your checked luggage. Matches are never allowable in checked luggage under any circumstances. This is a safety rule, and it does not matter whether they are safety matches or strike anywhere matches.
Do not pack any wrapped packages. Wait until you reach your destination if a gift needs to be wrapped. Airport security may need to open the package to inspect the contents, so you will have to wrap the present again anyways. Save yourself time and money and just travel with it unwrapped until you get where you are headed.