Can You Bring Keys On A Plane? (TSA Rules)

Can You Bring Keys On A Plane? (TSA Rules)

Keys could be definitely one of the items you cannot afford to leave behind at some relative’s place when you are travelling, unless you trust them. Whether you have a house key, a car key, or your precious almirah key, it becomes necessary for you to carry them with you in your bag.

No wonder, you could be a vintage items lover keeping a collection of antique keys, and need to take them with you while flying to any other place.

But, what about the TSA rules for flying with keys on a plane? If you are also concerned about this question, can you bring keys on a plane, we have collated all the necessary details so that you stay informed.

TSA’s Opinion: Can You Bring Keys on a Plane?

It is well understood by the TSA that passengers may need to carry such important items on planes. So, you are allowed to fly with keys without any hurdles. However, it is beneficial to explore the guidelines surrounding keys. This ensures you don’t come across any last-minute problems at the airport security checkpoint.

Read on for details.

TSA Key Rules

As per the TSA Rules, passages are permitted to travel with keys. Hence, you can keep your keys in your carry-on bag and/or in your checked luggage, as per convenience.

TSA Key Rules

However, you must note that the TSA is concerned about the fact that none of your items should appear as a weapon. This is because such items may pose a danger to the lives of passengers and crew members on board. And, they can be used to harm them.

Secondly, you might have already read about packing tweezers in cabin baggage or even other such tools. They should be small in size if you want to keep them in your carry-on bag or hand luggage.

Like tweezers, a similar rule goes for keys as well. If their size is more than 7 inches, they need to be packed in checked baggage only.

Thirdly, a TSA officer may conduct additional screening of your keys. And if they trigger an alarm or cause any doubt, you may not be allowed to go ahead with your keys.

So, it’s better to pack large keys in your checked baggage. Well, you may also be having antique keys or even hex keys that are large in size and may be used as weapons on board. So, it’s better to pack them in your checked baggage.

Usually, it is not recommended to put your keys in checked baggage, because there is a risk of theft or damage to the bag. But, if the size of the key is large, there is no option other than to pack it in checked baggage.

Can I Bring Keys on a Plane in My Cabin Baggage?

Yes, you are allowed to keep your keys in your carry-on or cabin bag without any problem. In fact, it is recommended to put them in this bag only. This is because if you pack in checked baggage, and the bag gets stolen or there are some damage issues or it gets lost, you will lose your precious keys.

Keys Cabin Baggage

However, it is also important to note the size factor. The TSA generally does not allow tools larger than 7 inches in your carry-on. So, you need to pack your keys, hex keys, or antique keys that may be larger than 7 inches, look like tools, or may be used as weapons in your checked baggage only.

Please beware of such rules as you might end up facing the confiscation of your keys or vintage collection of keys at the TSA security checkpoint. Also, make sure to take note of specific rules, if defined by your airline with respect to travelling with keys on a plane.

Can You Take Keys on a Plane in Checked Baggage?

Absolutely! Keys can be packed in your checked luggage without any hassle. Nevertheless, it is always suggested to pack your keys in your carry-on bag, as the checked bags have the risk of being stolen or getting damaged. They might also get lost. So you will lose your precious keys.

However, it is also important that you cannot keep large-size items in your carry-on bags, especially keys looking like weapons. Hence, keys or tools in such cases are required to be placed in checked baggage only.

Can You Bring Car Keys On A Plane?

Well, similar rules apply to car keys as well. They can certainly be brought in your hand luggage and/or checked baggage.

Car Keys

Make sure you don’t pack large keys with sizes more than 7 inches in your carry-on bag. Small-size keys are good to go. On the contrary, large keys can be packed in checked baggage. This is only due to the size factor, otherwise, you are recommended to pack keys in cabin baggage only, as they will remain safe with you.


That’s how we thought of helping you with a simple guide on can you bring keys on a plane. You must have got clarity that keys are allowed in both types of bags.

However, small-size keys are good to go in carry-ons, while the ones more than 7 inches in size should be packed in checked luggage. Please also confirm the related instructions, if set by your airline.

Can You Bring Keys On A Plane (FAQs)

Here are some common queries related to Can You Bring Keys on a Plane for your quick reference.

Are keys allowed in carry on luggage?

Yes, you can pack keys in your carry-on luggage, if they are small in size. Keys more than 7 inches in size are suggested to be packed in checked luggage. Although it’s better to carry keys with you safely in the carry-on bag only, they need to go in checked baggage due to size issues.

Do you have to take out keys at TSA?

Absolutely! You need to take out keys and other items, as asked by the TSA, for separate screening. If keys trigger an alarm or create any doubt, they might be confiscated. It’s in the hands of a TSA officer to let you go with your items.

Can you bring keys on a plane international?

Yes, the TSA rules for keys taken on international flights remain the same as that for domestic travel. However, make sure to confirm the related guidelines defined by your airline for the same.

Can you bring keys on a plane checked baggage?

Certainly! Keys are allowed to be taken in your checked baggage. But, generally, it is not advised to take them in this bag as there are risks of theft, damage, etc., associated with checked bags. So, you should keep your keys in checked baggage only if their size is more than 7 inches, otherwise, you must take them safely in your carry-on bag.


    Alvie Wood
  • I have a large keyring with a small flashlight attached. Is that okay to bring in my carry-on, or should I be concerned about it during security screening?
  • Billy Kirk
  • Has anyone had any issues with TSA when it comes to carrying a keyring with multiple keys through security? I don't want to hold up the line.
  • Vanessa Benc
  • Can we bring our car key fobs on the plane in our carry-on

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