Candles are solid and compact, making them simple to pack in a suitcase. Everyone enjoys a good scented candle, so perhaps you want to give one as a gift. Are candles allowed on planes, and what kinds are permitted?
You can bring candles on a plane. Solid wax candles are allowed in checked and carry-on luggage, but gel candles or liquid candles are only allowed in checked luggage, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Some airports may not allow flammable liquid or gel candles.
Are Candles Permitted On A Plane?
According to the TSA website, solid wax candles can be brought on board with hardly any restrictions—as long as you don’t light them, of course. If you’re flying from anywhere in the United States, you may bring most types of candles with you.
- You may bring as many and as large candles as you like.
- Both carry-on luggage and checked baggage are permitted to contain solid candles.
- Candles in gel or liquid form are not permitted in carry-on bags but checked baggage.
Any candle made of solid, hardened wax is a solid candle. Examples include paraffin, soy, beeswax, palm, coconut, and other types of wax candles. They may be in a glass, metal, ceramic, or empty container.
Gel candles burn transparent, rubbery gel wax composed of 95% mineral oil and 5% polymer resin. Although they are intended to burn longer than solid wax candles, the TSA decided that carrying gel candles in your carry-on was too risky due to the number of internet reports of them exploding.
Can You Bring Candles Through Airport Security?
When traveling with candles in your carry-on luggage, it is best to remove them and present them to security because TSA employees frequently want to do a second scan of the candles if the first scan doesn’t identify them.
In case you forget to take them out or your bags are flagged for a security check, leave candles at the top of your bags. To prevent the glass from breaking in transit, think about wrapping your candle loosely in bubble wrap or tucking it inside your clothing.
How Many Candles Can You Take On A Plane?
You are not subject to any TSA restrictions regarding the size or quantity of candles you bring. In general, as long as they fit in your bag, you are free to bring as many candles as you like.
Candles of any size or shape are permitted within reason. Keep in mind that the TSA website states in a footnote that the TSA officer has the final say on whether an item is permitted through the checkpoint.
Can You Bring Candles On A Plane Internationally?
There are typically fewer limitations on the number of candles you can bring on domestic flights than on international flights. Candles should be placed at the top of your checked luggage if you’re unsure of the quantity permitted.
All candles are typically allowed in carry-on bags and checked baggage if you’re flying out of an airport in Canada, Europe, Australia, the United States, and most other countries. However, be ready for screening (especially of liquid and gel candles).
The best practice is to put all liquid and gel candles in clear, resealable bags and limit their weight to 100 grams or less. The sum of the bag’s sealed area’s four sides shouldn’t be greater than 80 centimeters (e.g., 20 x 20cm or 15 x 25cm).
Do Candles Qualify As Flammable?
For obvious reasons, in carry-on luggage, flammable liquids and solids are typically unacceptable or prohibited on airplanes. So are candles considered flammable?
Candles are unique because, contrary to popular belief, the wax meets OSHA’s definition of “combustible.” When the wax is heated for a traditional candle, it first becomes liquid and then vapor (gas), which is what burns and ignites the flame.
The ignition temperature for paraffin wax is 392 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature might be closer to 480 degrees Fahrenheit if the wax contains additives. A match flame has a temperature of 600 to 800 °F.
Your candles are unlikely to reach these temperatures and ignite on their own in your luggage, which is why they are permitted. It should go without saying, but never light a candle while in flight.
Various Forms Of Solid Wax Candles
Usually, paraffin wax, which is derived from saturated hydrocarbons, makes up a solid wax candle. There is a good chance that any scented or colored candles you own were made with paraffin wax. However, additional materials might include bayberry wax, beeswax, soy, and palm wax.
The TSA will permit all these in solid forms in your carry-on and checked baggage. The wick’s composition shouldn’t be a problem.
There is a wide range of candle types that you might bring through an airport. Birthday party candles, tea lights, votives, pillars, taper candles, cartridge candles, and wax-filled glass candles are examples of a few.
TSA employees occasionally prefer to look at strange or unusual items more closely. Candles are not the rarest of objects, but some larger candles might seem suspicious when put through an x-ray machine.
Additionally, security may become concerned if you carry a lot of candles. Because of this, you might want to be ready to take your candle(s) out of your bag for closer inspection.
Gel Wax Candles
You are not allowed to bring a candle in your carry-on if it contains gel. You must instead bring it in your checked luggage.
Gel-like substances are typically acceptable to bring as long as they adhere to the liquids rule. However, it’s interesting to note that the TSA only states that gel candles are not permitted in carry-on items, not that they are subject to the liquids rule.
Don’t count on being able to bring them as a carry-on item even if they are in tiny quantities that would comply with the liquids rule because this is likely because they could pose a higher safety risk.
Liquid Wax Candles
The liquids rule may apply to a candle you bring if it contains liquid, such as a floating candle. However, given the prohibition on gel candles, these likely also won’t be permitted in carry-on luggage.
Some liquid candles may raise concerns about increased flammability. Therefore, you might be unable to bring that candle on board in some circumstances (even in your checked bag).
Electronic candles, such as flameless flickering LED candles, are allowed on airplanes, but the type of batteries must be carefully considered. If the candle requires AA or AAA batteries, you can pack those in your carry-on or checked luggage.
If the candles contain lithium-ion batteries, you must transport them in your carry-on rather than your checked bag. This is due to strict regulations against including lithium-ion batteries in checked baggage.