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US Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
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Traveling Safely With Lighters and Matches
One of the most-asked passenger questions on safety and security rules has been: "What's the story on lighters? How about Matches?"
The simple answer is that you can now bring one book of matches or one fueled lighter onboard in carry-on luggage.
There are longstanding US DOT rules for the safe transportation of lighters and lighter refills by passengers. But recently, additional Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules have been enacted.
For a period of time, TSA would not permit lighters of any kind to be carried onboard aircraft. TSA has since lifted that ban. Click here to learn about current TSA policy.
You may carry certain lighters onboard if done safely. Although most lighters are banned from checked luggage, some are allowed under the terms of Special Permits (see Which Lighters Fly). Lighter refills cannot be carried onboard an aircraft, or packed in checked baggage, under DOT regulations. Torch-type lighters also are prohibited.
Matches that must be struck on a prepared surface, such as boxes or match booklets, are permitted in carry-on baggage, but not in checked baggage.
Strike-anywhere matches, which can be ignited against non-prepared surfaces, are prohibited from all baggage and may not be carried onboard an aircraft.
Now that TSA doesn't confiscate lighters, these pages tell you which lighters and matches can fly, by the DOT rules.
But remember: transporting these items in larger quantities, or transporting them as cargo, is still regulated under the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
If you have a question about transporting lighters or matches as cargo, or need more information about carrying lighters or matches in carry-on or checked baggage, please contact Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4922. The center's hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM eastern time Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.