Can You Travel With Pins On Your Backpack? 

Airline policies and restrictions vary on what items you may or may not bring with you during the trip. The American Travel Security Administration (TSA) has provided a clear set of guidelines regarding items that are allowed, regulated and restricted. Aside from pins, we have researched an overview of the status of other materials to guide you on your travels.

TSA allows enamel pins on backpacks since they do not pose a security concern. You can either bring the bag with you as a carry-on or place it in checked baggage. Other items with no restrictions include safety pins, decorative pins, and bobby pins.

All types of small pins are allowed in the cabin area and may be included as personal items. There are instances however when the personal discretion of the security officer becomes the deciding factor. Read on and find out pertinent information regarding your pins and other items. 

black backpack, inspection, hand carry, airport terminal, Can You Travel With Pins On Your Backpack? 

Enamel Pins

Enamel pins are personalized, decorative ornaments made of paint and metal and fastened to jackets, bags, caps, and other materials with a pin.

woman, brown hair, cold days, grey back pack, different enamel pins

They are generally allowed through airport security and into the plane's cabin. However, there are several factors you should consider. The amount of metal they contain, the number of pins you have, and the possibility of mishaps.

Since they contain metal, it is possible that your pins may set off detectors. Simply take them off and place them on the tray alongside other metallic items such as keys and coins.

The number of pins may be regulated, depending on the discretion of the security officer, besides, having too many would require more time to take them off and reattach. The pins may get caught with other luggage, structures, or even other travelers, especially in crowded airports.

The attachment itself or pin is considered negligible and non-threatening by airlines and the TSA since it falls way short of the six-centimeter limit for sharp objects.

Safety Pins

white polo, blue coat, safety pin on a blue coat, close up photo

Safety pins are allowed through security and are usually too small to set off metal detectors. If they are used to fasten clothing items, secure or bind objects like tears on fabrics, and other acceptable uses, safety pins are waved on if at all noticed.

The TSA clearly specifies that all types of pins are permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage. They should, however, be properly packed or sheathed to protect the inspectors and airline personnel when checking your bag.

Bobby Pins, Trading Pins, Cufflinks, Brooches, Tie Pins, And Other Accessories 

a close up photo of a black bobby pins with white background on it

As mentioned, basically all types of pins are allowed into the cabin as personal items or carry-on luggage. Depending on the amount of metal composition, some items may trigger detectors and be subject to inspection.

To avoid delays, take off the metallic items before you pass through the detector and place them on the designated tray along with your coins and keys.

TSA Regulation On Sharp Objects

sharp yellow paper knife, close up picture, concrete floor

Preparing for a trip and packing properly can ease the screening process, and can result in an overall smooth travel experience. 

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is not particular about pins since they do not pose a security concern. However, they may set off the alarm so be ready if officers will have to thoroughly inspect your bag.

Nevertheless, TSA has set guidelines regarding the regulation of various sharp items. 

Some objects may be permitted, however, may still be required for additional screening if the item itself has triggered the alarm at the onset of the screening procedure, and if it is considered a security problem.

Sharp items such as

  • cutters,
  • corkscrews,
  • darts,
  • ice picks,
  • knives,
  • meat cleavers,
  • pocket knives,
  • razor blades,
  • saws,
  • swiss army knives,
  • swords,
  • and throwing stars are required to be checked in with the exemption of plastic or round-bladed butter knives.

Crochet hooks, disposable razors, knitting needles, lock picks, nail clippers, pencil sharpeners, safety pins, scissors (should be less than 11 centimeters [4inches] in length), sewing needles, and tweezers are allowed in carry-ons. 

The TSA instructs you to properly sheath, secure, and wrap any sharp items going to checked baggage so as to avoid injuring or harming luggage handlers and inspectors. 

Other Prohibited Items 

a very dangerous sharp knife on top of a green military bag and a black background

Any equipment that can be used as a weapon to hurt oneself or other people cannot be taken or boarded with you inside a plane. Some items are required to have additional screening and will be transported to checked cargo once permitted. 

For instance, some sports equipment is allowed as a carry-on while other items such as baseball bats, bowling pins, bows and arrows, paddles, and martial arts weapons need to be checked in. 

Firearms, guns, and any form of ammunition can be checked in the cargo hold of the plane as long as the objects are properly packed and secured. According to TSA, guns have to be declared before check-in and must be unloaded and placed inside a hard case. 

Small ammunition should be stored in packaging mainly built for their storage such as metal, fiber, or wooden boxes. Remember, these items may be subjected to limitations and fees so it is still best to consult your airline before finalizing a trip. 

Fireworks, flares, and other explosive devices cannot be boarded on any planes, whether carry-on or checked luggage.  

Any traveler who would violate the rules will mostly be inspected and may lead to fines, and in worst-case scenarios, even arrest. 

What Are You Allowed To Carry On A Plane?

Forms Of Liquid

liquid stuffs inside a grey carry on luggage, sealed plastic bag, small liquid container

Following TSA guidelines, any form of liquid must not exceed 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, and all items should fit inside a quart-size bag. Any container big enough to hold the required amount is prohibited even though the bottle contains 3.4 ounces of liquid. 

Medications And Medical Accessories

medications and medical accessories, medicine, kits, cup of lemon juice and honey

Medications in reasonable quantities can exceed the 3.4 liquid limits. Be sure to have the prescription with you in case a TSA officer will ask for it. 

Inhalers, blood sugar test kits, casts, canes, and any other medical-related equipment are allowed. Your medical accessories along with your medicines must be declared before checking and boarding the aircraft. 

Baby Nourishment

packing up baby stuffs for a trip, baby clothes, milk bottle, small bag

Baby food and formulas are also exempted from the liquid limit because they are considered essential medical items. They do not need to be packed in a quart-size bag. Diapers, baby carriers, and child car seats are allowed through security and can be taken on a plane as personal items.  

Duty-free Liquids

man with black sleeve, opening a plastic bottle of water on the airport terminal

Duty-free liquids are the final exemption to the TSA limit as long as the containers are properly sealed and stored in tamper-evident bottles and packed in a transparent bag. 

Small Pets

a cute black and tan dog inside a blue pet carrier on an airport terminal

If you intend to bring small pets, it is best to consult specific airline policies as to the conditions and fees required. Some airlines limit carry-on pets to cats and dogs. The size, age, and destination are all factors. At security, your pet will be taken out of its carrier and be subject to screening. 

Small Tools

different types of small tools inside an orange tool case beside the window

Small tools including wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers, which are not longer than 7 inches, are not prohibited. Make sure that the items are securely wrapped before placing them in checked luggage. 

In Closing

black backpack, inspection, hand carry, airport terminal

Following airline policies and restrictions can facilitate smooth travel. We hope this article proved to be insightful regarding the items you can and cannot bring on board. Have a safe trip!