Lighters & Lighter Fluid in Checked Baggage

Travel Forums General Talk Lighters & Lighter Fluid in Checked Baggage

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1. Posted by BABatson (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I see that *technically* fluid burning cigarette lighters, like Zippo, are not permitted in checked baggage (without approved container which Zippo sells for $15 -- unless never filled); neither sealed cans of Lighter Fluid at all.

In practice, can one wrap these things in foil and place them carefully in checked-baggage without worry? I do not want to take more than a couple of sealed cans of Zippo Lighter Fluid and a previusly filled Zippo lighter -- is that OK these days?

'The Spirit giveth life; the letter killeth.' -- St Paul

Brooks B.

2. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3383 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Not without worry. There is always a chance that they find it. They will be suspicious about it. Could take a few hours to explain,

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 10, 2007, at 3:59 PM by wouterrr ]

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

If it's a Zippo you are not willing to lose (ie: special gift from someone, grandfather's engraved one, etc), then I recommend leaving it behind and buying cheap lighters along the way. If it has no sentimental value, should it be confiscated, it's not a big loss. You may not encounter any problems. If they use sniffer dogs or do a "wipe test" of your luggage, it could cause you delays. (Especially if you have just filled your lighter, gotten any fluid on your hands and then touched the outside of your bags.)

Since I carry everything but the kitchen sink in my purse, I've been able to get through security with plain old disposable lighters tucked away. We actually got two really cheap but nice disposables in Ireland and I packed them in the checked luggage. I know they went through the bags because we had two more "This bag has been inspected" papers inside - along with the lighters.

4. Posted by BABatson (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

At 58 years, things which are familiar in my half-century of living on this old earth become increasingly valuable -- in the sense of "comfortable". The last Zippo owned was about 1972, during which (not having read the Instructions) I over-filled (you're supposed to lift the little padding top portion and fill with Fluid no higher than that -- but I filled to the top and that with irritating Ronson Lighter Fluid, becoming so sick of the sting in my front pants pocket that I never owned another; till, finding out they make them in Armour 100% Brass, bought one for roughly 4-5 times what I paid then, which was $5).

This time I also ordered genuine Zippo Fluid -- "New Formula", in both large & small cans (very heavy-duty and not expensive). Funny thing is, that I no longer smoke, though toy with the idea of a Kirsten Pipe again (they're great condenser-type smoking pipes one rams through with Kleenex after use to clean), for which I liked to blend Virginia, Louisiana fermented Perique, mild Cavendish, Cyprian Latakia (herb-smoked tobacco), & Turkish to make an English Blend.

My Brass Zippo is still unfilled, so I'll bring it along as is, with the two cans of Fluid tucked in the baggage -- Cargo holds are pressurised today, and loss of pressure hazard seems insignificant with these heavy, sealed little cans of 150 & 350 ml. Zippo sold approved poly-carbonate cases (safety-approved for filled lighters) for $10 at their website but presently are out-of-stock. Or, maybe I'll surface mail the Fluid (Pssst...Don't tell.)


Brooks of Oregon

5. Posted by BABatson (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

This evening I made the startling discovery that my Zippo Lighter Fluid cans, though built like little Sherman tanks, are not hermetically sealed, as I had assumed, from the general practice in America for solvents & spirits sold at hardware sections -- gallon cans of Denatured Alcohol or Acetone. No, pluck the little spout out of its child-safe cradle and ... no seal, its ready to spurt !

With the spout closed, the can even will leak out vapours by squeezing, just like what would happen if the Cargo Hold lost pressurisation at high altitude. No, I shall not be taking any of these along in my chequed luggage -- nosireebob -- and off to the Zippo-Case website to lodge my observation before somebody actually does take these Lighter Fluid cans along, supposing as did I that the little guys are sealed-tight, and the Hold actually does lose pressure, as they do sometimes, soaking all the clothing in the vicinity with ready-to-light Hydrocarbons.

I am glad to have spotted the error -- which reminds one why regulations are made in the first place. I had forgotten, because today everything from Boric Acid (for eye wash, or cockroach repelling) to you-name-it is labelled Poison, and the plethora of foolish regulations drowns out the much smaller number of genuine fellows !

Thanks for your attention !

(Hope I can get non-irritating Lighter Fluid at my equatorial destination -- or does Alcohol work as well, even if requiring more frequent lighter refilling ?)

Brooks, Oregon

6. Posted by BABatson (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Zippo Lighters -- and one supposes any other kind that fit -- can licitly be chequed in airline baggage if stored in a DOT-Approved sealed polycarbonate case, such as this one : It is available directly from for $12 and holds 2 Lighters. Possibly one could slip one of the Zippo steel single-refill key fobs into it, as they are indeed hermetically sealed, unlike the Lighter Fluid cans, if pricey (available directly from Zippo).


7. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello BABatson

As far as I understand, u can take lighter fluid, so long as u check it in. U are not allowed to have it in your hand luggage.


8. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Forbidden items in checked in luggage!

Dangeres goods,
explosive,compressed gass,flammable liquids..

prohibited items include:

lighter fluid,mace/tear gas,paints...

check any airline,ypu will find this restrictions.


9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Brooks!

I have to say, that Zippo case looks as though it's built like a Sherman tank!! I still have my original Zippo from about the same time (1972). I also made the same mistake filling it and it took about 30 minutes for me to realize why my leg felt like it was on fire - had it in my front jeans pocket. Never made that mistake again.

I looked at the lighter fluid containers during my last shopping trip and noticed they had not changed in design. I know the regular containers will leak if layed on their side. Though the foil may have kept the liquid from leaching into your clothing, the odor would definitely scent everything. I think you're quite wise to leave the fluid behind.

As for alcohol - I'm not sure. I know it would evaporate quite quickly so you'd be refilling almost constantly, if you are using 70% rubbing alcohol. Using a 90% (which is not sold to the public) would be almost impossible to keep in the lighter. I've just never thought about trying it, but it may work... (Let me know if you give it a whirl. I'm curious. I'd try it but don't have any flints laying around and my lighter is currently without one.)

The Cyprian Latakia sounds interesting.

10. Posted by helennandy (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Lighter Fluid is classed as dangerous goods and needs proper packing plus it will need dangerous goods certificates I would not attempt to take it on an aircraft even the likes of perfume has speacial requirements at the moment. I only know this because I work at the airport and I am trained in Dangerous goods.

Sorry, if you require anymore information please let me know I will check it out properly tomorrow but I dont think its possible even in check in luggage.


[ Edit: Edited on Jan 15, 2007, at 11:25 AM by helennandy ]