Whether you are part of law enforcement, private security, are a collector, or have other reasons for wanting to bring handcuffs on a plane, you’ll be pleased to know that the TSA allow you to do so.

But before you pack your handcuffs, there are a few other things you should know, especially what will happen during the security screening process, how regulations may change when flying internationally, and the best way of packing your handcuffs when flying.

Carry on vs. Checked Bags

The TSA has a long list of items that can’t be packed in your carry-on, but handcuffs do not make this list.

This is because handcuffs are not considered a weapon or threat to passengers and cabin crew, regardless if they are dinky plastic handcuffs or constructed from stainless steel.

You can also pack handcuffs in your checked bags without running into any issues either.

Handcuffs on International Flights

While you will be fine to pack handcuffs in either your carry-on or checked bag when flying to most international destinations, there are actually a few countries where handcuffs are either illegal for citizens to own or have restrictions.

So, if you’re flying to Iceland, Ghana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, leave the handcuffs at home. There are also restrictions to owning handcuffs in Australia.

Additionally, you may be questioned by customs officials why you’re bringing handcuffs into the country, as the purpose of handcuffs are to restrain someone, after all. So unless you have a good reason and can prove it, it might be better to just leave your handcuffs at home.

Airline Regulations

Generally, all airlines follow TSA baggage regulations, though sometimes they won’t allow passengers to pack certain items that the TSA allow.

When it comes to handcuffs, though, the TSA and airlines are on the same page.

So you can bring your handcuffs with you, regardless of the airline you are flying with.

How to Pack Handcuffs When Flying

As you know, you can pack handcuffs in either your carry-on or checked bag.

If packed in your checked bag, you can just throw them in your bag and you’ll be fine.

If packed in your carry-on bag, make sure that you aren’t trying to hide them and that they are easily accessible in case an airport security officer wants to inspect them.

In our opinion, it would be simpler and easier to pack your handcuffs in your checked bag, as it’s unlikely that you will have to do anything other than just pick up your bag at your destination.

No questions will be asked, which can be a possibility if packed in your carry on.

Can You Use Handcuffs on a Plane?

There is unlikely to be a good reason why you would use handcuffs when onboard a plane, nor should you want to, as it could create all kinds of legal issues if you attempt to handcuff a fellow passenger.

Commercial airliners actually all carry handcuffs onboard to restrain dangerous or otherwise unruly passengers, so yours are unlikely to be needed in such cases either.

Can You Bring Other Restraints on a Plane?

According to the TSA, bringing zip ties, belts, and duct tape are also fine in either your carry on or checked bag.

Items like rope and whips are also allowed.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).