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TSA & Airliner Travel Tips for Mechanics & Technicians

If you’re a mechanic, and you’re traveling at the airport, you should carefully plan ahead and pack properly to facilitate the screening process and improve your overall travel experience. Specifically, you should inform yourself as to what types of tools you can take with you in carry-on bags, and what tools you’ll have to check in your checked bags. There are certain tools and equipment that are flat out prohibited and will not be allowed on the plan period.

Here are some do’s and dont’s when traveling by plane.

Airline Travel Tips for Mechanics

As a general rule of thumb, you should plan on checking your tools (power tools, drills and bits, nail gun, crowbars, hammers/mallets, etc) in checked bags.Understandably, you might feel uncomfortable checking valuable items since airlines typically do not hold themselves responsible for your personal items going missing from checked bags/luggage – which is unfortunate. However, some tools that are either expensive (electronic devices) or useful in transit (duct tape, extension cord) can be taken onboard a flight.

The following items are allowed in your carry-on bag.

Extension Cords
Duct Tape
Multi-tool (without blades)
Metal File
Tape Measure

*According to TSA, tools that are shorter than 7 inches measured from end to end when fully assembled *may be allowed with you onboard. Bear in mind that the final decision rests with TSA officers on whether a specific item is allowed or prohibited in your carry-on bags. Having to mail a tool from the airport to your house or place of business is typically expensive, so when in doubt, check it.

What items are prohibited altogether?

None of the following items will be admitted on an airplane in either checked bags or inside the cabin.

Spillable batteries
Spray Starch
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Engine-powered equipment containing fuel

Always Plan Ahead

If you have questions, we recommend checking with your Airline to verify which specific tools can and cannot be checked or brought onboard their planes. It may differ from one airline to the next.

You could face criminal charges and penalties for attempting to bring prohibited items on an airplane. If you are a traveling mechanic and you are traveling by plane, make sure that your equipment is properly packed and that prohibited items are left behind.

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