Do You Have To Declare Knives In Checked Luggage UK?
If you’re travelling with your trusty pocket knife when flying then you might be wondering if you are allowed to pack it in your luggage when flying, or will it get confiscated?
Most of the time, you can pack knives in your checked luggage without any issues and they do not need to be declared, just make sure you’re wrapping them safely.
We’ve discussed in more detail below why you can’t take knives in your hand luggage, how to pack a knife in checked luggage, what you need to declare/cannot take in your checked luggage and if you can carry a knife in countries legally.
Why Can I Not Take Knives In My Hand Luggage?
Sharp knives can be packed in your checked luggage but they are specifically prohibited in hand luggage since they come under the sharp objects category, if found they will be confiscated by airport security.
Knives can be used as a potential weapon to aircraft staff and other passengers hence why they are confiscated.
We’ve listed some other items we suggest not packing your hand luggage.
- Liquids over 100ml – Liquids over 100ml are not permitted to be packed in hand luggage, or in a personal item, you should instead carefully seal them and put them in your checked luggage.
- More than one lighter – You are not allowed to carry more than one lighter in your hand luggage.
- Chemicals – Any chemicals and flammables are not allowed in your carry-on.
- Guns – Firearms are never permitted to be packed in your hand luggage, even in your checked luggage they are not allowed unless you have special permission.
Which Knives Can I Take In My Checked Luggage?
Knives with blades need to be packed securely in your checked luggage to avoid injury to baggage handlers and inspectors since the sharp edges can harm them.
You can pack nearly any kind of knife in your checked luggage, we’ve listed some examples down below.
Knives You Cannot Pack In Your Checked Luggage
- Flick knives – These are also known as automatic knives, the knives with blades tend to be banned in most countries.
- Butterfly knives – Butterfly knives are banned in most countries, therefore, we recommend not travelling with them.
- Concealed knives – Any spy kind of knives that look like pens are not allowed in most countries to be carried.
- Death stars – Knife throwing is illegal in most countries, therefore any blade knives which are designed to be thrown are also illegal.
- Fixed blade – Some fixed blade knives are legal in countries, but extra long blades can be classed as a deadly weapon.
- Swords – Swords and machetes are now banned in most countries, some states in the US allow you to have them for bush cutting purposes.
- Push daggers – Push decades used to be legal for self-defence a long time ago, they are now illegal in most countries, however.
What’s Not Allowed In Checked Luggage/What Should I Declare?
Since knives are allowed by the transport security agency in luggage, you might be curious as to what other items you can’t pack in your checked luggage, packing this list of items below will cause your luggage to get delayed.
- Electronic lighters.
- Alcohol over 70%.
- Loose spare batteries and large lithium ion batteries.
- Firearms (need to be declared).
- Jewellery & Valuables – We would strongly suggest not packing valuables like jewellery into your checked luggage since the airline and airline employees are not liable for any loss, instead keep them close in your hand luggage or leave them at home!
- Laptops – By packing laptops in your checked luggage you’re at risk of theft or the electronics getting damaged during transit since they get thrown around by luggage handlers.
- All your clothes – You never know if your luggage will be lost when travelling, by packing all your clothes in your suitcase you risk not having any clothes when you arrive!
- Medication – Always carry all your essential medication with you inside of your carry on, don’t risk packing your meds in your checked bag only for the luggage to get delayed or lost!
Can I Carry A Pocket Knife Abroad?
If you pack your Swiss army knife in your luggage and plan to use it abroad then you need to ensure you check the legalities of carrying around a pocket knife in the country you are travelling to.
In most countries, carrying a pocket knife which does not have a locked blade and is under three inches will be legal to carry, but what matters most in countries is the intent to why you are carrying one, this could be for religious purposes or work etc.
In most cases if you are unsure about the knife law of where you are travelling to then check with the airline before travelling and research.
Frequently Asked Questions About Declaring Knives In Checked Luggage
What happens if you take a knife in carry-on luggage?
If you try to take a knife in your carry-on luggage it will likely be taken by airport security, you could also be fined if found with one on the plane.
Can I take decorative knives on a plane?
No, decorative knives are typically not allowed on a plane since they come under the sharp knives category.
Are toy knives allowed in carry-on luggage?
No, toy knives should only be packed in checked luggage, not hand luggage to avoid extra delays at security.
Overall, knives are mostly allowed to be packed in your checked luggage as long as you are wrapping them well to avoid harming the flight security personnel.
Knives are never allowed to be packed in your hand luggage and will be confiscated, you should always check the country’s rules of where you are flying too when carrying pocket knives.