If you’re a major cigar enthusiast, you might find it hard to part with your smokes when you head out on a trip. However, if you’re not careful, flying with your favorite cigars can come with pitfalls and traps. Either you damage your precious cigars during your travel or violate some rules imposed by the airline, the government, or both.
Flying is considerably safer today, which could be attributed to a slew of regulations that, at times, can make the experience a bit confusing and challenging. Cigar aficionados who travel with their favorite cigars and accessories should check with the airlines and the country they plan to visit about the rules that apply to the transport of tobacco products and smoking accessories.
Protecting Your Cigars
Whether you keep your cigars in carry-on or checked luggage, you need to make sure that they arrive in good shape when you reach your destination. While you can better protect your stash by keeping them in your carry-on luggage, you might encounter some problems with airport security. For that reason, some people find it safest to keep their cigars in their checked baggage.
The problem is that you never know how the airport workers will handle your checked luggage. They could be thrown around without any regard to their safety. To avoid damage, try storing your cigars in a sturdy humidor in your checked luggage that can withstand any abuse it might experience at the airport. The humidor must have good humidity control because the dryness of the pressurized air could impact the freshness of the cigar.
The following are items that you can safely bring on your flight:
- Cigars – Travelers can carry cigars during their flight. While the import of Cuban-made cigars used to be prohibited in the United States, that restriction has been lifted with a few exceptions. Airport authorities have been known to question travelers who bring Cuban cigars into the United States, so be prepared. Be sure that you are aware of the laws and limits imposed on the cigars.
- Cigar cutters – In most cases, cigar cutters can be carried during a flight. The TSA prohibits scissors with blades longer than four inches, so scissor-type cigar cutters that have blades that are shorter than the TSA threshold should not be a problem. A punch cutter or V-cutter is also a safe bet because they aren’t viewed as sharp objects.
- Lighters – Travelers can carry some cigar lighters as long as they comply with the TSA regulations. Before you travel, it is a good idea to check with the TSA rules to be sure that your lighter is allowed onto a flight. Unfortunately, most torch lighters that are preferred by many cigar smokers are not allowed.
- Humidification solution – Any bottle of liquid is prohibited in carry-on luggage so leave these solutions at home.
- Torch lighters – Travelers should remember that torch lighters are not permitted on airplanes. It’s not worth it to try to sneak one on; the TSA is very strict when it comes to prohibited items during a flight, and you risk having your lighter taken away.
- Stick matches – While travelers are technically permitted to bring one book of paper matches on a flight, carrying one might alert the TSA inspectors to conduct a more thorough search of your luggage. If you are fond of lighting your cigars using matches, just buy them when you reach your destination. After all, you are not allowed to smoke during the flight anyway.
Before you board your flight with your stash of cigars and accessories, check them first so that you don’t run into any preventable obstacles.