The regulations on hand luggage in the airplane repeatedly cause confusion among travellers. Particularly on flights to the USA, the regulations are often very strict and sometimes unclear. Even though the security officer at the airport always has the last word, the following tips will help you prepare for your flight to the USA.
The official travel authorization for your trip to the USA!
Both the amount and the dimensions of the luggage you may bring depend primarily on the airline you are flying with as well as the fare you have booked. Therefore, you should check the airline's website before your departure to find out how big and heavy your hand luggage or luggage can be.
However, most international fares include one checked bag and one piece of hand luggage. Hand luggage is subject to clear regulations regarding its size and weight.
Lufthansa, for example, limits the size of hand luggage in the Economy Class to 55 x 40 x 23 cm and 8 kg. In addition, another small piece of luggage, such as a laptop bag, with the maximum dimensions of 40 x 30 x 10 cm, can be carried on board.
How liquids are to be transported in hand luggage is one of the most discussed topics around international flights.
The official rules for the transport of liquids, creams and gels are as follows:
Many travellers think it's okay to take a bottle that holds 150 ml, for example, but is only half full. However, this is not the case. Regardless of the filling level of the contents, the container must not hold more than 100 ml.
Products such as mascara, toothpaste, perfume or deodorants are also covered by this directive.
Tip: If you don't want to buy special luggage bags, you can also use simple freezer bags with a zip closure from the supermarket for the liquids on your flight.
Since 30 June 2018, powders or powder-like substances have been added to the list of prohibited items and may no longer be carried in hand luggage if they exceed a volume of 350 ml. This affects, for example:
If you carry these substances with you, you must expect stricter checks, as security personnel are required to pay more attention to powders or powder-like substances and also to inspect them.
This regulation is a further safety measure to prevent explosive powders from being brought into the cabin.
Whether pets may be transported in the cabin of the airplane depends primarily on the regulations of the airline. In most cases they allow the carriage of small animals such as cats, rabbits or dogs.
However, the following regulations apply:
Special rules apply to assistance dogs, which must be requested from the respective airline.
Irrespective of the airline's rules, the import regulations of the destination country must be complied with.
In general, it is advisable to carry important medication in your hand luggage, even if it is only needed after the flight. Checked baggage may be lost during transportation or may arrive late at its destination, resulting in a late intake.
The following medications may only be carried with a written, Englisch certificate from the doctor:
Walking aids, such as a walking stick or crutches, can in most cases be taken without registration or attestation. For safety reasons, however, travellers should check the airline's website in advance.
Tip: It is best to carry all medicines in their original packaging with an instruction leaflet so that in case of doubt you can prove what they contain.
The USA has particularly strict regulations for the import of medicines. That's why we provide more detailed information on which medicines are allowed to be imported, regardless of whether they are carried in hand luggage or checked baggage.
Popular products from the duty-free shops at the airport are tobacco products, cosmetics and alcohol. Especially in the USA, strict regulations apply for these products.
The regulations for liquids do not apply to duty-free shop items. However, if you have a stopover ahead of you, you should definitely not open the seal of the transparent plastic bag affixed by the shop, as otherwise the liquids will be confiscated during the security check of the onward flight.
Here is a summary of the most important things that may be carried in hand luggage:
According to the entry regulations of the USA, there are also a number of things that are forbidden in hand luggage and therefore may not be carried along: