Whether you’re a cigar smoker, plan to spend some time in the great outdoors, or want to bring matches with you to your next destination for any other reason, you might be wondering if you can bring them on a plane.
Yes, you can bring matches on a plane.
However, the rules vary depending on whether you are planning on bringing matches in your checked bags or in your carry on bags.
The type of matches you are planning to bring can also matter.
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Bringing Matches on a Plane
The TSA state that you are forbidden from bringing any type of matches in your checked bags. This includes safety matches.
The TSA state that you are allowed to bring a single box of safety matches in your carry on bags, though.
Strike Anywhere Matches Aren’t Allowed
If you want to bring matches on a plane, the type of matches matter.
You are only allowed to bring safety (non-strike anywhere) matches on a plane.
This is because strike anywhere matches can ignite on any rough, hard, and dry surface, which means that they can accidentally ignite, which could lead to disastrous consequences when flying.
All Airlines Let You Bring Matches
All airlines, whether that be Delta, Southwest, United, JetBlue, American Airlines, or any other airline follow TSA guidelines.
This means that regardless of what airline you are flying with, you can bring one book of safety matches in your carry on bag.
The Rules May Change When Flying Internationally
Now you know that you can bring a single book of matches on a plane when flying domestically within the USA, but can you bring matches on a plane when flying internationally?
The answer is that it can depend on the country, but even more so on the airline.
- Canada: CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) state that safety matches are permitted in carry on bags, but airlines may have their own restrictions.
- UK: The UK permits passengers to travel with safety matches in their carry on bags (or hand luggage as the Brits call it).
- Europe: Europe is a big place, but you should be fine to bring a box of safety matches on a plane. One thing to note is that it’s better to keep the matches on you instead of putting them in your carry on bag.
- Australia: When flying from Australia, you are allowed to travel with a box of safety matches in your carry on bags.
You Can Also Bring a Lighter on a Plane
The TSA state that lighters are allowed on a plane, in your carry on bags. This includes disposable and zippo lighters that either contain fuel or are empty.
The TSA also state that “disposable and Zippo lighters without fuel are allowed in checked bags”.
If the lighter contains fuel, it is not allowed in your checked bags.
However, the exception to this is that you are allowed “up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case”.
As Well as Cigars
If you’re wondering if you can bring matches on a plane, you might also be wondering if you can bring cigars on a plane.
After all, every cigar aficionado knows that a lighter will burn too hot, ruining the smoke and leaving a taste.
The TSA state that you are allowed to bring cigars on a plane in both your carry on bags and checked bags.
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).