Can You Bring A Lighter On A Plane: Everything You Need To Know

So, it seems you are about to have a good time travelling. Whether you are packing or at the airport reading this, you will have about three options for your lighter: Checked baggage, carry-on bags, or neither. We assume that you think your lighter cannot be your travelling companion this time or ever. 

It can, actually. Not always, not never, sometimes. It depends on more than just the possibility of you burning your seat. Keep reading if you want to know can you bring a lighter on a plane. Or just don’t want to feel scared the next time you see somebody sitting next to you holding a lighter.

Little note: This article will be written based on information from The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and The Transportation Security Directorate (TSD).

If other government agencies regulate your flights, please recheck with their official website or contact them directly. Or better, comment down below, and we will write an article for you. 

If you see an article not mentioning which regulation it’s based on, it probably is The Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Make sure to double-check the information.

Bringing A Lighter On A Plane, Yes, Or No?

Bringing A Lighter On A Plane

Is a lighter among the allowed items on a plane? Photo by olly

As mentioned earlier, yes, you can bring your lighter with you on a plane, but there are things you need to consider. 

1. Types 

According to the CAA, you can only bring one small cigarette lighter on a plane.

The condition is that your lighter needs to use absorbable liquid fuel. Some common examples would be propane, butane, or natural gas. One exception that is permitted would be liquefied gas.

Some examples that are useful are BIC or Clipper lighters.  For Zippo lovers, there is no need to worry since the fuel Zippo uses is not only liquefied gas but also absorbable.

The TSA rule has some slight changes to the above regulations: 

  • Arc Lighters & E-Lighters: Allowed in a carry-on with special instructions
  • Disposable and Zippo Lighters: Without fuel: allowed on-hold baggage. With fuel: allowed in carry-on only.
  • Gun lighters: strictly prohibited
  • Lighter Fluid: strictly prohibited
  • Torch Lighters: strictly prohibited.

>> Check out: What is not allowed in your carry-on bag per TSA?

2. How To Carry

Even though bringing the lighter on a plane is possible, putting it in your carry-on is not. You have to carry it on your body. In some cases, security might require you to put it in a liquid carry-on bag for inspection.

If there is no liquid inside your lighter, putting it inside hand baggage might be possible. However, it’s worth noting that the way you see “no liquid” might differ from the security. 

Make sure to consult the airline before getting onto a plane to avoid your lighter being confiscated or any potential fines.

It’s the same at the UK airport. You are allowed to bring a lighter onto the cabin, provided that:

  • You bring a maximum of one lighter
  • The lighter must be kept on your body
  • Neither put it in your hold luggage or hand luggage after the screening.

You Can Bring Your Lighter, But You Can Not Smoke.

You Can Bring Your Lighter

People won’t be happy with the smoke in the cabin. Photo by charnsitr -

For smokers out there, you need to be careful about this. The airline industry does not stand for any mistakes. At best, you will be fined. But at worst, you might get arrested and escorted from the plane.

The misconception comes from the fact that many planes’ lavatories still have ashtrays. These ashtrays are there for the non-compliant passengers who are sneaky enough to smoke without anybody knowing.

Instead of throwing the cigarettes in some random places they find, putting them in the ashtray is much safer. Some planes even install smoke detectors in the lavatories. 

Fun fact: Inflight smoking was once permitted before some tragic accidents. 

For non-smokers, the good news is there is no craving you need to suppress. The bad news is you still can not use your lighter for anything. You can spin, flick, or do some awesome tricks with it to impress people around you. But igniting it is not an option. 

Important: Double-check your lighter. Be sure it is in good condition and has no safety issues.

Some Tips On Overcoming The Urge

You feel the burning desire to have a quick tab time. However, you don’t want to risk violating safety rules. Then what should you do when the urge arises? Here are some pointers:

  • Stay Hydrated 

It does not mean drinking enough water, but drinking plenty of it. Feeling full will help you crave to consume anything less. However, it would be very inconvenient. Embarrassing even if you are sitting in a window seat and get to the toilet every 15 minutes. So, move to point two.

  • Snacking

Like the first piece of advice, eating helps, especially when your snacks are sweet. Ensure you get the snacks before entering an airport, especially before getting on a plane, if you don’t want to spend half your travelling budget.

  • Distracting Yourself
can you take a lighter on a plane

It might be the perfect opportunity for you to finish that task finally. Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Engaging yourself in activities you enjoy, such as reading books or watching movies. We highly recommend horror movies; they will take your mind off the craving.

  • Look For The Designated Smoking Areas 

Most airports have designated areas or smoking rooms to take one last cigarette before your flight. We know it might be challenging to control the craving if your flight is long, so use these rooms if necessary. 

  • Don’t Use A Vape Pen

In everyday situations, vaping might be the perfect strategy to prevent you from smoking. But it would be the worst doing it on a plane. Even though electronic cigarettes contain no unabsorbable liquid fuel inside, they are still prohibited.

Here Is Some Information On Fire Safety

1. The Causes

Numerous elements can lead to unwanted situations, as seen in movies. But in real life, the most common causes are electrical malfunction, fuel leaks, smoking materials like cigarettes, and our topic here, lighters.

Another less common but still possible cause is flammable materials such as cleaning supplies and oxygen tanks.

It would be difficult to spot an electrical problem or a fuel leak, but raise your voice when you see smoke inside a plane. Not like screaming or something, but let the flight crews know as soon as possible. 

2. Safety Protocols

Needless to say, airline companies have strict protocols to prevent accidents. Safety measures include regular maintenance and inspection of the plane’s engines, equipment, and electrical systems.

Similarly, flammable materials must be used carefully under strict guidelines by well-trained flight attendants. And, of course, smoking is prohibited. 

3. What To Do When You Are Unlucky

are lighters allowed on planes

Look for this sign as soon as you get on the plane. Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

We all know what most people would default to: Panicking. This might be controversial, but this option is not really useful. Our recommendation would be to remain calm and follow the instructions of the well-trained flight attendants. They know what they are doing.  

Know where the emergency exits are when you get on the plane or during the safety demonstration. And especially how to open them if you are on the exit row seats.

Important: During an evacuation, forget your belongings, and refrain from attempting to retrieve them. It’s perilous for yourself and other people.

If you see smoke, find a piece of cloth to cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling the smoke. If possible, dampening the cloth will greatly increase its effectiveness.

Double-check emergency equipment like oxygen masks and life vests. These things seem easy to use, but they would become much trickier in a chaotic situation for people like us who have never used them.

Pay attention during the safety demonstration, and ask many questions as needed to become skilful in using the equipment.

Other Fire-Starting Tools

1. Matches

Like lighters, you cannot store matches in the checked baggage. Also, be sure to check the type of your matches. 

If you are unfamiliar, there are two types: Safety matches and strike-anywhere matches. You can only carry the former one. The latter is completely forbidden, whether in your checked or carry-on baggage.

To check the type, pick a match and check its head. If there is white splotch, it is a strike-anywhere match. This white part is phosphorous, which ignited the matches from friction.

You can bring only one box of matches on a flight

You can bring only one box of matches on a flight. Photo by Cyril Lutsenko -

2. Ferrocerium Rods & Flint And Steel

For travellers and campers out there, yes, you can put your favourite equipment in checked baggage. However, due to their ability to create sparks, they must be packed in a sturdy, leak-proof container. 

It is easier to wrap these items in your clothes, but we do not recommend doing it this way. 

Whatever options you choose, make sure you do it intentionally and carefully. It is common that your baggage will be thrown around.

You should also contact your chosen airline to confirm their specific policies. Due to past experiences and regulations, some airlines might have additional rules.

3. Others

There are a lot of other items that are not specifically listed in the regulations. Down here is a list of things that are likely to be prohibited due to their dangerous nature: 

  • Magnesium fire starter
  • Fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers
  • Liquid bleach
  • Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders
  • Fuel, gasoline, propane
  • Flammable paint or spray paint
  • Recreational oxygen
  • Turpentine or paint thinner
  • Anything else that could easily catch on fire or explode

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. 

Do You Have The Right Lighter To Bring On A Plane?

Now chances are you have a pretty good idea whether about can you bring lighters on a plane. However, it is essential to remind you one more time that you should check with the airlines. 

Even if it is permitted, you should consider whether carrying a lighter is a good idea. If you are unlucky, your favourite lighter can be confiscated if it is accidentally used. Also, remember not to lend your lighter to anyone else on the plane. 

Is there any other item you are unsure you can bring on a plane? Be sure to comment down below to tell us about it. We will help you figure things out. 

Again, the information in this article is based on the regulations of The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Enjoy your journey!

Bui Hoang Hai

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