Lighters and matches on flights??


Well-known member
Apr 3, 2002
Total Time
Does anyone else out there find it odd that they still allow such items as Bic lighters and match books on commercial airline flights? The FAA prohibits us from taking nail clippers and razors on flights, yet they still permit us to fly with lighters. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the most serious airline terro-attempt since Sept. 11 involve a lighter (Reids attempt to light exlosives in his shoe)? No has of yet attempted a hi-jack with nail clippers.

Rumor has it that lighters were on the FAA's orginal post Sept. 11 prohibited list, but "Big Tabacco" successfully lobbied to the Bush administration against a final inclusion of lighters and matches. They figured that most smokers would enjoy a smoke after they landed and that it wouldn't be fair to make them buy a new lighter (in the name of national security) at their final destination. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but I still find it amazing that we continue to allow these items aboard commercial flights. I doesn't take much imagination to ponder the potential danger that fire has on an airplane. Just my $0.02................


Who's on First??
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
The IATA manual for dangerous goods allows lighters and matches to be carried, but they have to be carried by the passenger and they have to be on that person during the whole flight...It can't be checked, and it can't be in a carry on either - That may influence why they still allow it on the plane, probably to make sure that it isn't checked into the hold of the airplane.

But thats only international flights...I'm not sure how domestic flights handle it.

I was told at security once that even as an employee I can only carry one lighter with me, but I think they are too busy looking for nail files to worry about how many zippo's I have