Flights in the USA (Regulated by TSA and FAA)
In general, laser pointers and laser devices are allowed both in carry-on and checked baggage on flights in the United States. Laser toy guns, however, should travel only in checked baggage. Laser plasma lighters should only travel in carry-on luggage.
Flights in Canada (Regulated by CATSA)
While not specified, hand-held lasers under 1mW, are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage on Canadian flights. But, Canadian authorities prohibit importing hand-held class 3B and 4 lasers, which are considered high-power lasers dangerous for people.
Flights in Europe (Regulated by IATA and EASA)
Although laser pointers aren’t listed as a banned item on carry-on or checked baggage on European flights, since 2014, the European Union established that lasers for consumers shouldn’t be over Class 2 (1mW). Passengers traveling with lasers over 1mW are subject to inspection and questioning and should provide a justification for carrying a high-power laser on carry-on and checked luggage.
Flights in the United Kingdom (Regulated by CAA)
United Kingdom authorities don’t specify if laser pointers are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage in airplanes, but overall, class 1 and 2 lasers are considered safe for consumers. Laser pens should be under 1wW. Authorities might confiscate lasers over Class 2 (1mW) if you’re carrying them without a justification. Although owning a laser isn’t totally illegal, pointing such a laser at other people is.
Flights in Australia (Regulated by CASA)
Laser pointers are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage in Australia with certain restrictions. Laser pointers shouldn’t surpass an emission level of 1mW and even then, the carrier should have a reasonable excuse to have a laser (i.e. a teacher, astronomer, etc.). Laser pointers over 1mW are considered a weapon, and so the importation of such lasers is illegal in the country.
Flights in New Zealand (Regulated by CAA)
Laser pointers are permitted on New Zealand flights in hand and cargo baggage as long as they don’t have an output power over 1mW. Importing, carrying, and distributing high-power lasers is illegal in New Zealand without a permit.
Flights in China (Regulated by CAAC)
Chinese authorities don’t specify if laser pointers are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage, but high-power lasers might arouse suspicion and be considered a weapon in certain situations. Pack your laser pointers in your checked luggage preferably. Some laser plasma lighters are banned from airplanes.
Flights in India (Regulated by AAI)
Laser pointers aren’t listed as a banned item from carry-on or checked bags on India flights. But, due to multiple cases of lasers being pointed at aircraft, some airports have banned laser use inside or nearby their facilities. As result, carrying a laser, particularly a high-power one, might involve further inspection and questioning.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring laser tools onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Laser Tools on Planes
Can I take single-use battery-powered laser tools on planes (AA, AAA, etc.)?
Travelers can take single-use battery-powered laser tools on planes in the United States. Most portable devices with dry batteries are allowed on planes in carry-on and checked luggage. But, if your laser pointer doesn’t have cover to prevent it from activating itself, it’s best practice to take it on your carry-on.
Can I bring laser tools on planes that contain lithium batteries?
Yes, you can bring laser tools that contain lithium batteries in planes in the United States. But, they should be packed in a carry-on, particularly if there is no way to prevent them from activating in checked baggage. Lithium-powered battery laser lighters should travel in carry-on only.
Do I need to take out my laser pointer when going through security?
Theoretically, you shouldn’t have to take out your laser pointer when going through security in the United States if it’s smaller than a cellphone. But, as laser pointers aren’t as common as portable electronic devices like phones and laptops, they might be subject to additional inspection, depending on the security agent.
Is it better to pack a laser pointer in hand or checked luggage?
Overall, it’s best practice to pack all electronic portable devices in a carry-on on flights in the United States, including laser pointers. This prevents any incidents with the batteries and fire in the cargo baggage. But, high-powered laser pointers might provoke questioning when traveling, so it’s best to pack them in checked baggage as long as they don’t have a chance to get accidentally activated.
What’s the best way to pack a laser pointer in my luggage?
Travelers that have a high-power laser, should pack them in checked baggage when traveling on flights in the United States, as long as they can’t activate accidentally. While laser pointers are allowed both in carry-on and checked baggage, ultimately high-power lasers might be considered a potential threat by a security agent, particularly if you can’t justify carrying them. Carrying it in its original box with its labels and instructions is the best way to pack it in case it needs additional inspection. If you don’t have the original package, use a protective case or a padded bag that prevents your laser pointer from getting activated.
Can I take rotary laser levels and laser line tools on planes?
In theory, taking rotary laser levels and laser line tools is allowed on hand and checked baggage on flights in the United States. But, regardless of the laser type, rotary and line levels are construction tools, and according to TSA, tools above 7 inches/ 17.78 centimeters when assembled should go in the checked baggage.
Can I bring skin laser tools on planes?
Overall, skin laser tools like laser hair removers are allowed both in carry-on and checked luggage on flights in the United States. But, passengers should consult with their airlines ahead to see how they should pack laser tools.
Can I bring laser caps on planes?
In theory, laser caps are allowed on flights in the United States, but they might be subject to additional inspection in airport security. It’s also best practice to pack them in your carry-on to prevent them from getting activated in checked luggage.
What happens if I aim a laser pointer at a plane?
Lasers aimed at planes could monetarily blind or disorient pilots due to the flash. More severe damages also include temporary or permanent eye damage due to the amplification of the beam through the cabin windows. Travelers should never aim laser pointers at planes, otherwise, they may even face jail time.
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