You can bring DOT-approved lighters such as Zippo and Bic lighters as carry-on items but not in checked baggage.
On the other hand, airlines do not allow torch lighters like chef’s torches and butane burners, even on a domestic flight.
Types of Cigarette Lighters Allowed on a Plane
Disposable and Zippo Lighters
Disposable, like a Bic lighter, and Zippo lighters are the most commonly used lighters.
Zippo and disposable lighters use fluid trapped inside the lighter to produce the flame. Thus, these lighters are not dangerous items, and you can bring them on the plane.
Although it is not necessary, it is still best to bring only a Department of Transportation-certified lighter on a plane. Airport security is familiar with DOT-certified lighter brands and does not inspect them.
Otherwise, if you bring lighters that don’t meet this criterion, they might put you on hold at the security checkpoint for additional screening.
Here, you can find the list of DOT-certified lighters.
A battery-powered lighter has a lithium-ion battery with a heating element that lights the cigarette.
As you can have batteries on airplanes, and these lighters do not have flammable substances, you can take them with you. However, you can only have them as a carry-on item.
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Types of Cigarette Lighters Not Allowed on a Plane
Blue-flame burners, cigar lighters, jet lighters, and torch lighters produce a thin, intense flame with a temperature of over 2500° F. They use large fuel bottles connected to the lighter head to create the flame.
If you want to bring a lighter like these on a plane, you’re out of luck. You can not have a blue-flame lighter or torch lighter on a plane, whether in checked baggage or carry-on bags.
Gun-shaped lighters are popular these days. Although they are toys, TSA lighters rules do not allow you to bring lighters shaped like a gun.
Airlines ban them because they can look a lot like a real weapon, which can cause a dangerous situation.
But, remember that what resembles a gun is left up to the discretion of the TSA agent. Thus, overall, it is generally a good idea not to bring anything that looks even remotely like a weapon.
USB Powered Lighters
Plasma lighters, arc lighters, and electronic lighters need a USB port to run. And if you are looking to bring a lighter of this type on a plane, you will violate Department of Transportation rules.
Although regulations previously allowed these lighters in checked luggage, you can no longer bring any of these lighters with you in checked baggage or in a carry-on bag.
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Bringing a Lighter on a Plane (TSA Cigarette Lighter Rules)
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) allows all kinds of lighters except those listed above, which include electronic lighters, arc lighters, plasma lighters, and butane torch lighters. Thus, regulations do allow disposable lighters, also considered a regular cigarette lighter, on a plane.
Furthermore, each passenger can take up to two lighters, whether in checked baggage or as a carry-on item. But, you should note that the TSA does not regulate empty lighters, so you can take as many of those as you’d like.
Additionally, remember that when putting lighters in checked baggage, they must not have fuel in them unless they are in a DOT-approved package.
DOT-Approved Lighters and Lighter Travel Containers
Similarly, a DOT-approved case is a special airtight bag that lowers the risk of any danger. You can only put lighters in your checked baggage if you have properly enclosed them in DOT-approved cases.
Placing your lighters in one of these cases is the main Department of Transportation exemption when it comes to carrying lighters.
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How to Take Blue-Burning Burners on a Plane?
In some cases, airlines might allow you to take a blue-burning lighter on a plane, including butane burners, chef’s torches, cigar lighters, and brazing torches.
But to do that, you must follow stringent conditions.
The burner must not have any fuel when in checked bags. And it must be put in a DOT-approved case and packed tightly.
These rules are the same for carrying one in carry-on luggage.
Can I Bring Lighter Fluid Bottles or Match Boxes?
Bringing lighter-fluid bottles is equivalent to bringing gasoline tanks on the plane. And security authorities like the TSA and the FAA do not allow these since they are a fire hazard.
That is why any flammable liquid, including lighting fluid, cannot fly with the plane.
On the other hand, you can have safety matches in carry-on bags but carrying matches in checked bags is not something you should do.
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Can I Bring Cigarettes and Cigars?
You can have cigarettes and cigars on airplanes. However, one passenger can only have 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars when traveling internationally.
If you attempt to take more than that, especially on an international flight, you might encounter customs problems.
The limit is because some people buy cheap tobacco products in the U.S. and then bring them into other countries to sell them for a profit.
But, remember that you should not put cigars and cigarettes in checked luggage as they might go bad or lose flavor. Thus, keep them in a carry-on bag.
You’ll also have to wait some time to get your checked luggage, so if you want to smoke right when you get off the plane, keeping your Zippo lighter in a carry-on is a better idea.
What about Vapes and E-Cigarettes?
In 2016, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) banned vapes and e-cigarettes from checked luggage after a plane’s luggage compartment caught fire. TSA, thus, only allows electronic cigarettes such as electronic nicotine delivery systems, atomizers, mods, and vapes as carry-on items.
In conclusion, these are the lighters you can bring on a plane:
- A butane lighter
- A DOT-approved lighter
- Most lighters with lithium-ion batteries, including e-lighters
- A regulation disposable lighter
- Safety matches
And you must put these lighters in DOT-approved cases unless they are in carry-on baggage. Also, remember that you can only have up to two lighters.
Meanwhile, unapproved lighters and similar prohibited items include:
- Lighter fuel
- Flammable gas
- Flammable liquids
- Micro torches
- Utility torches
- Chef torches
Thus, as you can see, even for something as small as a Bic lighter, there are many TSA rules. So, you should always consult the airline to avoid last-minute issues with bringing lighters on a plane and make sure you follow all the rules.
Table of Contents
- Types of Cigarette Lighters Allowed on a Plane
- Types of Cigarette Lighters Not Allowed on a Plane
- Bringing a Lighter on a Plane (TSA Cigarette Lighter Rules)
- DOT-Approved Lighters and Lighter Travel Containers
- How to Take Blue-Burning Burners on a Plane?
- Can I Bring Lighter Fluid Bottles or Match Boxes?
- Can I Bring Cigarettes and Cigars?
- What about Vapes and E-Cigarettes?