Many passengers think that it is a good idea to plan ahead and wrap their gifts before flying to their destination.

However, bringing wrapped gifts to the airport might not always be the best idea.

While you can bring wrapped gifts on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags, it’s possible that the TSA will want to unwrap any gifts, so they can inspect the item.

This means that all that time and work you spent wrapping your gifts will go to waste.

Can You Bring Wrapped Gifts on a Plane?

Carry on Bags

As mentioned, you can pack wrapped gifts in your carry on, but it’s possible that a TSA officer will unwrap your gift for additional inspection.

The TSA even recommend passengers to wrap gifts when they arrive at their destination and not to bring any wrapped gifts to the airport.

Checked Bags

Again, you can bring wrapped gifts in your checked bags, but they may need to be unwrapped to be inspected.

There is less chance of this happening if you pack gifts in your checked bags, so if you really want to bring wrapped gifts to the airport, make sure that you pack them in your checked bags.

Domestic vs. International Flights

While the TSA only has authority in the USA, you will find the same applies worldwide.

Airport security is primarily concerned with the safety of passengers, so regardless of where you are flying to or from, airport security officers worldwide will want to take a closer at your wrapped gifts to make sure that you aren’t flying with any items that can pose a risk to aviation safety.

By Airline

Airlines follow TSA regulations, so you are allowed to bring wrapped gifts in both your carry on and checked bags regardless of the airline you are flying with.

If you manage to make it past airport security with your wrapped gifts in one piece, they will remain that way as you board the plane and fly to your destination.

Flight attendants won’t bat an eyelid if you bring wrapped gifts on a plane.

Gifts That Might Not Be Able to Fly With

Not only do you have to worry about your wrapped gifts being ripped open by TSA officers, but there are TSA regulations that could end up with you having your gifts confiscated at the airport.

The TSA have a rule in place called the 3-1-1 Rule, which prohibits passengers from bringing any liquids, gels and aerosols larger than 3.4oz/100ml in their carry on.

This means that popular gifts like beauty products and even some food products that aren’t completely solid should only be packed in your checked bags.

If you want to bring alcohol on a plane in your checked bags, there are additional restrictions:

  • If the alcohol is less than 24% ABV or 48 proof, there is no limit. This covers most beers and wine.
  • If the alcohol is more than 24% but not more than 70% ABV (48 – 140 proof), you are limited to 5 liters (1.3 gallons)
  • If the alcohol is over 70% ABV or over 140 proof, it isn’t allowed in either your carry on or checked bags

What is the Best Way of Flying With Gifts?

When flying with gifts, you want to make sure that you keep the 7 following tips in mind:

  • Avoid wrapping any gifts you want to bring.
  • If you really want to bring wrapped gifts to the airport, pack them in your checked bags, as they are less likely to be opened.
  • Consider a gift bag instead to be completely on the safe side. The gift bag should be designed to be easily opened by TSA agents.
  • Keep valuable gifts in your carry on.
  • Be aware of any TSA regulations for prohibited items, especially beauty and food products.
  • Make sure that you protect fragile gifts by wrapping them in bubble wrap.
  • Pack wrapping paper, scissors, markers and any other items you need so to make wrapping your gifts at your destination as quick and easy as possible.

Can You Bring Wrapping Paper on a Plane?

You can pack wrapping paper in both your carry on and checked bags.

Can You Bring Gift Bags on a Plane?

You can bring gift bags on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.

In fact, the TSA recommend that you place your gifts in a gift bag instead of wrapping them, so they won’t be subject to additional inspection.

Can You Bring Scissors on a Plane?

You can bring scissors on a plane.

The regulations state that any pair of scissors packed in your carry must have a blade that is less than 4 inches (or 2.36 inches if flying from international airports).

There are no restrictions if packed in checked bags.

Can You Bring Bubble Wrap on a Plane?

Bubble wrap is fine to pack in both your carry on and checked bags.

If you are flying with any fragile gifts, you will definitely want to wrap them in a few layers of bubble wrap, as baggage handlers can be quite rough.

Can You Bring Marker Pens on a Plane?

You can also bring marker pens in both your carry on and checked bags.

Robert Davis - Seasoned Flyer
Travel Management Consultant

Robert is an expert in commercial air travel with decades of experience in the travel industry, and has spent countless hours in airports and on planes for work.

Robert therefore has an unrivaled understanding of everything related to commercial air travel, and has been quoted or mentioned in major publications, such as Insider, Trip Savvy, ZDNet, and Bored Panda, showcasing his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field.