Why have I never been stopped by the TSA for carrying on a lighter? ?

I’m a smoker, and have flown many, many times since I started and every single time I have had a lighter in my pocket and sent it down with my stuff. I thought they are prohibited and are on the big board telling you what you can’t bring on. 

If that’s true, then how have I boarded every single flight with a lighter in my pocket (not in checked baggage although I always have another one in my suitcase), sent down the X-ray, go through the metal detector, and collect it after. Why is this allows? Is it certain circumstances? Do they make an exception when seeing my pack with the lighter? 

4 Answers

  • Okay…  Here is TSA’s take on lighters..




    TSA allows most lighter’s to be brought on board as carry-on except for torch lighters. (FAA says torch lighters is too risky.)

    To get the story straight….You are at the checkpoint… you take the lighter out of your pocket and send it through the x-ray… you collect it at the other end.

    It is prohibited in checked baggage due to it being a fire hazard. This is an FAA regulation. TSA’s primary mission is to keep weapons and explosives off of commercial aircraft. Hazardous material is very secondary. However, when found it is given to the airline for disposal according to FAA guidelines.

  • You can bring one lighter on board with you. They may not have noticed one in your checked bag or else they would have removed that; it is a significant safety issue.


  • For a while there, they were seizing them.  What I thought was funny was that there were always lighters in smoking areas at airports.  Sort of a “help out your fellow smoker” thing. 

  • You thought wrong, I guess. No, they aren’t making an exception for you. For years, they have allowed one Bic-type lighter(non-refillable disposable) or Zippo-type lighter per passenger in carry-on luggage. Maybe they just didn’t think it was worth making a fuss over a second lighter.

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