Flying with presents? What not to pack for your holiday

2017-12-15 13:33 - Unathi Nkanjeni
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - You've braved the Christmas shopping nightmare, now your presents are all wrapped and packed for your the haul to your parents' house.

However, it’s a good idea to think ahead about what presents to pack where.

SEE: Weekend getaway 101: The ultimate guide to holiday packing

While your present may seem harmless, if what's inside is flagged in the screening process, airport security will need to unwrap it to assess whether it’s safe to fly. 

That means if you wrap a toy gun or knife for your niece or nephew and pack it in your checked bag, chances are it will be prohibited in a carry-on and you run the risk of an agent undoing all your fine folding, taping, and ribbon curling to check that you don’t have an actual firearm inside. 

SEE: 'This bag contains a bomb, a gun, a very large knife and loads of drugs'

Added to that, screening could cause delays that would prevent it from getting through the checkpoint at all. 

So to make sure that you have a pleasant festive season, check below what not to pack.

Sharp objects 

Sharp objects such as knives, spears, meat cleavers and circular saw blades (in case you have a sharp-edged enthusiast as a relative) are allowed for checked luggage, but they are not allowed in your carry on items. The same applies to sporting equipment, golf clubs, hockey sticks and spear guns.

ALSO SEE: 'Bomb on board' wi-fi network causes Turkish Airlines emergency landing


Flammable objects such as blasting caps, butane, chlorine for pools and spas, torch lighters and English Christmas crackers are not allowed at all. CO2 cartridges are also not allowed, however, for personal medical oxygen cylinders, you can only carry an empty compressed gas cylinder on board. It must be clearly visible that the cylinder is empty.

ALSO SEE: Two SA passengers held at OR Tambo due to bomb threats

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol are not allowed.

You are allowed to bring the following: 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume or 2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that is less than 22% volume.

ALSO SEE: 'Drunk booze-smuggler'causes flight diversion! But how much alcohol can you actually take on board?

Medical tools

For medical purposes, all medication is allowed except for medical marijuana.

A few countries and certain states in the USA have legalised the green leaf, it's not permitted to fly with it into those territories. 

Security is required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana. Screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. 

Sorry Grandma.

ALSO SEE: OR Tambo airport staff rewarded for their role in drug busts

NOTE: For more items you'd have to check with your airline or click here

What to read next on Traveller24

#PassportGang: Passport nightmares that could see you making a 'u-turn' home

Get running fit for the 2018 Marakele Marathon

As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs, tourism benefits