There are many reasons why you might want to pack a knife when you travel. Whether you’re planning to go hunting or fishing, or simply want to carry protection with you, packing your knife can prove challenging. We live in an age where knives are viewed mainly as weapons, and anyone carrying one is likely to be questioned. Which can bring to you ask: can I pack a knife in my checked luggage?
While the rules about carry-on luggage are crystal clear, and trying to carry a knife would certainly get you removed from your flight, the guidelines for checked luggage are a bit murkier.
Shouldn’t you be able to pack all of your desired belongings in your checked luggage?
Can You Take Knives in Checked Luggage?
As you seek to answer this question which may be important to your upcoming travels, you need to figure out where to search for accurate information. Don’t spend any time communicating with your individual airline when trying to learn about taking knives in your checked luggage. It is not their jurisdiction.
You will want to check the rules and guidelines of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They are responsible for deciding what may and may not be brought onto an aircraft in carry-on or checked luggage.
Though it may sound surprising, the TSA does in fact allow knives to be taken in checked luggage. So no need to worry about your fishing or hunting plans being thwarted.
Knives in Checked Luggage: Proper Packing
Now that you have learned you have every right to pack your knives in your checked luggage, the next thing you need to do is ensure that you will be able to do so safely and in adherence to required guidelines.
Packing knives in your checked luggage can be dangerous. You cannot simply toss them in however you please. There is protocol that must be followed. It has been put in place to protect those who will handle your luggage, and subsequently, to protect you from any legal issues!
The TSA requires that any knives packed in your checked luggage be wrapped sufficiently. If your knives came with safe covers of their own, then those will do. If not, you can wrap the knives in cardboard and tape it in place to ensure that the tips will not slip free. Investing in knives with sheaths is worthwhile, especially if you plan to travel with them. This regulation not only protects the handlers of your checked luggage, but your luggage and belongings themselves from any damage.
Once your knives have been carefully wrapped, you want to secure them further in some kind of padding. This could be a towel or blanket designated specifically for protecting your knives, or if you don’t have extra space, you can simply wrap the knives in some of your clothing.
The guidelines on how to properly pack your knives in your checked luggage work to protect your knives and belongings from damage and TSA agents and airline employees from accidental harm.
While the TSA is the overall authority on your ability to pack knives in your checked luggage, some airlines have additional guidelines as to how they require knives to be packed. Before packing your knives, it will be wise for you to inquire into any possible additional packing guidelines so that you are properly prepared for travel.
Airport Security with Knives in Checked Luggage
As we all know, the TSA has the right to inspect any piece of luggage they choose. Your knives are likely valuable to you so it is important that you take all steps possible to protect them during your travels.
Firstly, you may want to consider investing in travel insurance for your knives. If they were an important investment, then the last thing you want happening is losing them during travel. Insuring them will cover your expenses in the unfortunate case of losing them.
Secondly, it will serve you to be proactive during your time passing through airport security. While TSA agents may not request to open your luggage, it is in your best interests to request that they search your luggage in front of you when traveling with knives.
Why would I request my luggage be searched, you wonder? Again, the TSA has the right to search any piece of luggage, if they so choose, at any point. Having your luggage searched in front of you, will allow you to point out your knives to TSA agents, and create a much better chance that your knives will not be damaged or ‘misplaced.’
You have now learned the answer to your question: I CAN pack a knife in my checked luggage. Luckily, for whatever purposes you have, you can pack your knives. But with privilege comes responsibility. Take whatever measures you can to ensure that your knives are packed well and properly in your checked luggage, and you will find your travels much smoother.