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Dangerous goods

Federal law prohibits hazardous materials from being included in either checked or carry-on baggage. Items such as explosives, compressed gases, oxidizers, corrosives, flammable liquids and solids, loaded firearms, radioactive materials and poisons are considered hazardous.

Some common examples of prohibited items include paints, mace/tear gas, lighter fluid, oxygen bottles and fireworks.

Other common items which, in limited quantities (up to 70 ounces total), may be carried within baggage include medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines which are necessary for customer use during their journey.

Spare lithium batteries banned in checked luggage

The United States Department of Transportation has implemented the following guidance on packing lithium batteries in checked and carry-on baggage. Customers are advised not to pack loose lithium batteries in checked baggage for any United Airlines flight that operates in, from or within the United States. Larger lithium batteries (more than 100 watt hours, but not exceeding 300 watt hours) are limited to two (2) in carry-on baggage.

To learn more about the most updated information regarding lithium batteries, visit SafeTravel.dot.gov.

Certain items prohibited on flights to/from Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism restricts or prohibits traveling with certain dangerous items in either carry-on or checked luggage. These items include all self-heating meals, some batteries and battery-operated items, and some lighters (see details below).

Lighters and matches

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows common lighters in carry-on baggage. Torch lighters are banned from carry-on baggage by the TSA.

All matches and lighters are banned from checked and carry-on bags on flights departing from Beijing, China.

For more information, please visit the Transportation Security Administration website.

Please Note: Customers departing from Japan on United flights are advised that traveling with a lighter is more restrictive in Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism restricts passengers to only carry one lighter when departing from Japan and oil lighters are banned. However, in Japan a lighter that features fuel absorbed as a sorbent is allowed.

Electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers will not be accepted in checked or gate-checked baggage. These items may be stowed in carry-on baggage or on your person during travel, however, the use of e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers is prohibited onboard all United flights.

Life jackets

United accepts one carbon dioxide (CO2) powered inflatable life jacket as checked or carry-on baggage. The life jacket may be packed in a checked or carry-on bag or carried as a single item in lieu of a checked or carry-on bag.

Life jacket restrictions:

  • Up to two small non-flammable gas cylinders fitted into the life jacket and up to two small spare cartridges will be accepted.
  • Flares and/or flare guns attached to the life jacket are strictly prohibited and must be removed or the life jacket will not be accepted.

If you have questions or concerns about a specific item, please contact United Cargo.