Can You Take Matches on a Plane?

Can You Take Matches on a Plane? [What TSA Says]

Learn TSA rules for air travel: Can you bring matches on a plane? Check if matches can be in checked luggage or carry-on bag for your next flight.

Naming the things you can and can’t take on a plane has become an episode of Jeopardy.

What are portable chargers!? What are matches?!

After all, getting stopped by a TSA agent at the security checkpoint is just embarrassing. So knowing what you can or can’t put in your carry-on bag is essential. And one of those is if you can bring matches on a plane.

But you don’t have to have that worry! I dove into the TSA website and found the answer you’re looking for.

So, let’s get into it whether you can take those matches on your next flight.

What are TSA rules for bringing matches on a plane?

Believe it or not, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) & Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines on this are more complex than you’d think for such a small item (or it’s exactly what you thought because, after all, it’s TSA)!

Can you bring matches on a plane?

So, here’s a quick overview: the FAA and TSA decided that safety matches are allowed in your carry-on luggage. However, no matches are allowed in your checked baggage — no matter the type.

But let’s dive a little deeper into the rules for more information.

What Types of Matches are allowed on a plane?

You’re permitted to bring a box of safety matches in carry-on luggage.

However, only safety matches are okay to bring on planes, not strike-anywhere matches. These types of matches ignite only when struck against the rough surface of the box. And you’re only allowed to bring matches on planes in small quantities. One book of matches (safety matches), and that’s it.

Strike-anywhere matches are not allowed on airplanes at all and will be removed.

Strike-anywhere matches

These matches easily ignite by rubbing against a hard surface, which can cause a plane fire and lead to disastrous consequences. This is a massive problem for planes, crew, and passengers.

So, do them a favor and keep your matches where they belong!

Where should you put your matches in your luggage?

Any matchboxes should be stored in your carry-on bag.

Again, you can only have safety matches and not strike anywhere in your carry-on.

All matches are banned in checked baggage. So if you try to bring matches in your checked bag, it’s best to take them out and put them in your carry-on to avoid any problems.

Can you bring matches in your checked luggage or carry on with international flights?

Now, you may be wondering if you can bring matches on international commercial flights.

While some countries may have their own restrictions regarding matches, a good rule of thumb is to follow the same restrictions set by TSA.

But it’s best to check the regulations regarding matches with your airline. Ultimately, you must be aware of any restrictions before getting to the airport.

Most airlines allow safety matches in your carry-on bag or on your person, but you can only bring one book of safety matches on a plane. However, you can’t bring strike-anywhere matches on a plane due to their high flammability.

TSA Officer searches a man at an airport

Plus, you’ll know each country’s own regulations concerning matches based on their security policies.

In some cases, matches may also be confiscated if they are found to be potential dangers to the aircraft or the passengers.

So it’s important to check with the airline or the country’s embassy before packing matchsticks in your luggage.

Overall, it’s better to pack matches in your checked luggage and keep them in a small metal or cardboard box that has no damage to the match heads or striking surfaces. 

What are the Specific Rules for Lighters on a Plane?

So what about lighters? Can you bring a lighter on a plane?

The short answer is yes; lighters are also allowed on a plane…with some rules.

Types of Lighters Allowed on a Plane

You can bring lighters on a plane in your carry-on or pocket.

However, only disposable lighters and Zippos without fuel are allowed in your checked baggage.

All electronic, arc, or other lighters are prohibited in your checked baggage and should be carried with you. If it has a removable battery, you should remove it to avoid any potential problems in the air.

TSA Rules on Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid, or any other unabsorbed liquid fuel, is not allowed on planes.

It’s highly flammable and can cause severe problems if it catches fire in the air.

So, leave the lighter fluid at home.

Final Decision Rests with Officer

One last thing to note, the ultimate decision lies with the officer.

Countries may have different rules and regulations regarding matches, but whether you take them on a plane depends on the officer.

They get the last decision.

So, if they decide no matches allowed — that’s that.

People Also Ask & FAQs

Can I put matches in checked luggage?

No, you need to put any matches in your carry-on bag for easy access.

Matches, safety or strike-anywhere, are not allowed in checked luggage at all.

Can you fly with lighters or matches?

Lighters and matches are allowed on flights but with some restrictions.

You can only have one lighter in your carry-on if it’s not a torch lighter.

Why are matches not allowed on planes?

Specific matches aren’t allowed on planes because of their potential fire risk.

For example, strike-anywhere matches can ignite simply by rubbing off a rough surface, and that can cause enormous problems for flight staff and passengers.

Will you take matches on your next flight?

The rules and regulations can get confusing, so it’s always a good idea to know what to do beforehand.

Luckily, you’re well on your way to sliding through TSA with no problems or stoppages! Just make sure you pack your portable charger on the plane as well!

Until next time, stay safe and keep those matches away!


The Travel Runner Portrait

Hi, I’m Kyle, and I’m The Travel Runner.

I’ve been traveling and running in exotic locations worldwide for the last five years.

And I want you to be able to do the same.

Join my adventure-filled newsletter and discover the perfect blend of travel and running inspiration. Sign up now!