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Can I take drinking glasses in hand luggage?

Last updated: Apr 27, 2018

With all the different rules there are these days about what can and cannot be brought on board an airplane, it’s not surprising that travelers have so many questions about what can actually go in their carry-on luggage. The question of whether or not drinking glasses could be taken on board stirred up some debate on our pages. If you’ve ever wondered if those shot glasses from Copenhagen or the flutes you picked up in the south of France can go with you on board, have a look at the answers below!

Q: Can I take drinking glasses in hand luggage?

I like drinking glasses of thin glass, like Jena in the past. Maybe it's not the fashion now, here all glasses are thick and heavy. The last time I brought glasses in hand luggage on a flight was in the nineties, before 9.11. I'm going to fly from Budapest to Israel.

Yes, you can take drinking glasses in hand luggage!

So, some of our members thought this would be no problem. They’re just glasses, right? Can’t cause any real damage?

“I have never seen any indication anywhere that glassware is not acceptable in hand luggage. Given that many people buy duty-free drink airside and take it into the cabin with them, any such prohibition would be entirely illogical imo. Whilst plastic is indeed used for drinks in-flight (at least in cattle class) I suspect that is more in case of accidents rather than as a security measure. Duty-free shops sell glass bottles (drink and perfume), equally good at cutting throats and stabbing, and there is no problem with taking those on board. Security scanners look for liquids in excess, pointed metal objects, suspicious wiring/techie things and that's about it. You can't take e.g. bottles or jars through because they contain liquids, not because of the glass. I'm sure you could take e.g. a very small glass perfume bottle through security with no issues...or a photo/picture frame.”
“I wouldn't expect glasses to be a problem. You can carry small scissors (less than 4") and crochet needles. I carried a six inch steel rule and metal verniers back and forward from Australia to China and within China for more than twenty trips and had no problems. I think the rules are a bit hard to follow at times.”

No, you absolutely cannot take drinking glasses in hand luggage!

Yeah, not so fast! You can’t take things like hand mirrors. Those glasses could cause major damage if broken—couldn’t they? One member thinks so:

“However, usually such glasses allowed are plastic. I am not so sure about glasses made of ‘em, glass. Broken pieces of glass can easily be used to cut someone's throat, or even stab someone. I would think that ANYTHING that can be used as a weapon is of limits. I have not tested this of course, but logic tells me that that fine wine glass can be used as a double weapon. I have seen a hand mirror confiscated, for the very reason that it is glass that can be broken and used as a cutting tool.”

Some people take glasses in their luggage all the time!

Interestingly, this is an issue with which some of our members have had a lot of experience. And take note, if you see someone with a very heavy purse, you might want to stay away from them.

“I can say that I often carried a box of a dozen wine glasses from Bordeaux as hand luggage (almost every time I went, which was often, last time was in 2009.) In 2010, I brought back glass from Malta as hand luggage (Malta to Rome, and Rome to Montréal).”
“Well, I have taken a "shipping tube" of Riedel glassware on a domestic US flight as carry on and didn't get questioned but that was 3-4 years ago.”
“I took 6 wineglasses home from Venice in my hand luggage.”
“I have carried glasses on board without any trouble at all. I always stuff them with socks and such so pressure on them will not break them. In reality lots of things are potential weapons - just think of what you could do with a pen. My purse, alone, is heavy enough to knock someone out if it were to hit their head.”

Why not be on the safe side?!?

“I would suggest, that if you really, really want those glasses, - have them shipped home to your address.”

Of course, you could always just check the airport websites or other sites that will tell you with certainty what you can and cannot bring on board:

“ . . . you can read the EU list of objects which are prohibited in hand luggage here:”
ec.europa.eu/transport/modes...
“You could directly contact your airline and ask them if they prohibit glassware in hand luggage. But as they won't know it is even there, unless you tell them, I'm not sure if that is worthwhile.”
“TSA has a downloadable brochure that you could take with you . . .”
tsa.gov/sites/default/files/...

Just don’t try to take knives.

While our members haven’t had issues with glasses, they’ve definitely had problems with knives. Whether they brought them accidentally or saw someone else try to get by bringing one on a plane, this is not something that will work out well.

“The "forbidden" items usually pop up on the return flight. The X ray showed a knife in my bag, the man showed me the X ray and told me to throw the knife out. It was convenient that I could see where it was, so I didn't have to turn over the whole bag. But when I emptied the bag at home after my return, I saw that there was another knife under the one I took out.”
“In SF airport last year I watched a man get increasingly cross and almost-abusive to security staff. He was 100% adamant he had no knives in his bag, they were adamant that the scanner showed one. They were proven right in the end. After emptying everything out and feeling the lining, a small penknife was found in an envelope in a side-pocket of his bag. 'Oh,' says he 'I'd forgotten that!'. I didn't stick around to hear him apologise for his previous abrupt and unpleasant manner, though I sincerely hope he did.”
“My husband's Swiss knife ended in a security bin. He had got it as a present at work for some round birthday, I'm sure it wasn't that expensive. I couldn't open it because the spring was too hard, so I wasn't too sorry about it.”
“Round ended butter knives are allowed according to the TSA as are plastic knives.”

As you can see, this is a confusing issue, so ultimately, we recommend that you check the appropriate website before you leave. The last thing you want is to have some burly security guard or TSA agent confiscate your expensive glasses!



Here's the original discussion:



a VirtualTourist member from Binyamina asked on Mar 21, 2014

Miscellaneous

Can I take drinking glasses in hand luggage?

I like drinking glasses of thin glass, like Jena in the past. Maybe it's not the fashion now, here all glasses are thick and heavy. The last time I brought glasses in hand luggage on a flight was in the nineties, before 9.11.

I'm going to fly from Budapest to Israel.



28 Answers


answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I have never seen any indication anywhere that glassware is not acceptable in hand luggage.

Given that many people buy duty-free drink airside and take it into the cabin with them, any such prohibition would be entirely illogical imo.

To put your mind at rest, just check your airline's own website where it will clearly state what it does not allow in hand luggage.




answered by
a VT member from Hesperia

However, usually such glasses allowed are plastic. I am not so sure about glasses made of em, glass. Broken pieces of glass can easily be used to cut someone's throat, or even stab someone. I would think that ANYTHING that can be used as a weapon is of limits.

I have not tested this of course, but logic tells me that that fine wine glass can be used as a double weapon. I have seen a hand mirror confiscated, for the very reason that it is glass that can be broken and used as a cutting tool.




answered by
a VT member from Hesperia

I would suggest, that if you really really want those glasses, - have them shipped home to your address.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Whilst plastic is indeed used for drinks in-flight (at least in cattle class) I suspect that is more in case of accidents rather than as a security measure. Duty-free shops sell glass bottles (drink and perfume), equally good at cutting throats and stabbing, and there is no problem with taking those on board.

Security scanners look for liquids in excess, pointed metal objects, suspicious wiring/techie things and that's about it. You can't take e.g. bottles or jars through because they contain liquids, not because of the glass. I'm sure you could take e.g. a very small glass perfume bottle through security with no issues...or a photo/picture frame.

Rachel, you can read the EU list of objects which are prohibited in hand luggage here:

ec.europa.eu/transport/modes...

As you are flying from Budapest it is those rules which will apply. There is no mention of glassware.

You could directly contact your airline and ask them if they prohibit glassware in hand luggage. But as they won't know it is even there, unless you tell them, I'm not sure if that is worthwhile.




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

I think that the security check is by the airport, not the airline. I hope that my question doesn't give anybody any ideas, I've already had a nail clipper confiscated.

The shoe check started after the shoe bomb affair, nobody thought about it before. There was later one who had a bomb in his pants. I don't remember that I ever saw a closed off place where everybody had to take off their pants.




answered by
a VT member from North America

I don't know if there are restrictions on taking drinking glasses at the present, on all or some airlines, or to go through any security check in all or at certain airports in the world.

I can say that I often carried a box of a dozen wine glasses from Bordeaux as hand luggage (almost every time I went, which was often, last time was in 2009.)

In 2010, I brought back glass from Malta as hand luggage (Malta to Rome, and Rome to Montréal)

Perhaps where carrying glasses in the plane poses a problem the cabin crew can store it safely away?




answered by
a VT member from Fresno

I have carried glasses on board without any trouble at all. I always stuff them with socks and such so pressure on them will not break them. In reality lots of things are potential weapons - just think of what you could do with a pen. My purse, alone, is heavy enough to knock someone out if it were to hit their head.




answered by
a VT member from Perth

"...My purse, alone, is heavy enough to knock someone out if it were to hit their head..."

haha...lol :o) My first laugh of the morning ;o)




answered by
a VT member from Chula Vista

Well, I have taken a "shipping tube" of Riedel glassware on a domestic US flight as carry on and didn't get questioned but that was 3-4 years ago.




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

Thanks for all the glass carriers. 3-4 years ago is after they started the strict regulations, so that looks fine.
Lou - do so many glasses get broken, or do you give them away?
Anne of the heavy purse - I have one too, in the closet. It's bad for the shoulders, even if you carry it diagonally.




answered by
a VT member from Donegal

I took 6 wineglasses home from Venice in my handluggage.




answered by
a VT member from North America

Rachel, It's long a story... I lived in Bordeaux for 3 years & work involved official functions, meaning lots of wine glasses were needed at receptions. I loved one Bordeaux glass in particular & bought a dozen for myself when I left Bordeaux for another posting. For years, I returned to Bordeaux every summer & it always happened that I needed more glasses for myself or for family/friends who wanted them.

I had a few more postings + went on educational leave in another city at home... All these moves, all this entertaining... I hadn't realised it but it did mean buying glasses often! :-) I just took every opportunity to buy them when in Bordeaux (needed or not sometimes) since I never knew when I would return.

I don't have a single glass from Bordeaux left... Now I buy my glasses in Montreal at Bacchus, specialist in cellars, wine accessories, etc. Since I don't entertain groups anymore, my collection of glasses is in total disarray! and I love it! Two of this, four of that and one special shape which I got used to and that I'm the only one to use.

I still have six Roemer Rhein wine glasses with gold leaf and grapes in the back of a cabinet... my brother visited me while I lived in Switzerland & we went to Germany among other places. He gave me those glasses & they are precious to me for that. But I prefer to drink from my usual Riedel glasses. :-)

Cheers!




answered by
a VT member from Melbourne

I wouldn't expect glasses to be a problem. You can carry small scissors (less than 4") and crochet needles. I don't know how up to date this list is but it is at least a guide as things change from time to time seatguru.com/articles/tsa_pr...

I carried a six inch steel rule and metal verniers back and forward from Australia to China and within China for more than twenty trips and had no problems. I think the rules are a bit hard to follow at times.




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

I've had small nail scissors thrown away. My present ones are 3.5 " and I'm not testing the 4" rule..

The "forbidden" items usually pop up on the return flight. The X ray showed a knife in my bag, the man showed me the X ray and told me to throw the knife out. It was convenient that I could see where it was, so I didn't have to turn over the whole bag. But when I emptied the bag at home after my return, I saw that there was another knife under the one I took out.

I purposely took knives with rounded points so they don't get stuck in something,




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

No knives should get through at all. In SF airport last year I watched a man get increasingly cross and almost-abusive to security staff. He was 100% adamant he had no knives in his bag, they were adamant that the scanner showed one.

They were proven right in the end. After emptying everything out and feeling the lining, a small penknife was found in an envelope in a side-pocket of his bag. 'Oh,' says he 'I'd forgotten that!'. I didn't stick around to hear him apologise for his previous abrupt and unpleasant manner, though I sincerely hope he did.




answered by
a VT member from Melbourne

Round ended butter knives are allowed according to the TSA as are plastic knives.
TSA has a donwloadable brouchure that you could take with you if you have small scissors.
tsa.gov/sites/default/files/...

I can remember when these measures first came in and I was coming back from china. At Hong Kong airport I asked them for a bag to put my aloe vera lotion that i used for my skin cancers. The tube was 110ml and was just over the size. they refused until a supervisor came over and told them to use their judgement as the rule mentions imperial sizes and it was too soon for people to have made metric size containers to meet the rule. He got a big thank you [VT member abf7b] me!




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

Do I have to learn now about imperial sizes, or are we in the post imperial stage? This isn't about packing, but I had two bread machines, English made. They had measuring spoons, the old one was a different size than the newer one. Maybe this was the slow collapse of the British empire, though I don't remember if it was the first spoon that was bigger.

Of course the things I've lost at return flights, like the small scissors and the butter knife, were the things I forgot to put in the large suitcase at the end of the trip. That's why it happened on flights back home and not at the start, when I packed the things at home.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

In the UK many of us still use both Imperial and Metric, although Metric is more the norm nowadays (and the legal requirement). It's just that many people still think in Imperial, and measuring equoipment/sizes etc often have both shown. You don't have to learn Imperial though. :-)

As you are flying out of Budapest you will go through security under the EU rules I linked above, no TSA rules. Although the EU document is not 100% clear I'd suggest you work with the statement that 'knives which have a blade longer than 6cm' are not allowed...a 'sharp point or edge' is open to interpretation by individual security staff. How sharp is 'sharp'?




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

It's amazing that Americans did their space program with their non decimal measuring system.

As for knives and scissors etc. I lost them only when I forgot to check thoroughly at the end of a trip. I never plan to forget something, but it has happened. I'll see what I find about glass regulations, and later I'll see if I find to buy these drinking glasses, which are apparently not in fashion now.




answered by
a VT member from North America

Until the '70s, Canada also used the Imperial System of Measurement. Then Metric came in & is now the norm everywhere but in people's heads. I lived in Europe all those years so adapted to Metric rather quickly. Still, I'll say "One pound please" and not "454 grams please" (older people in rural areas in France do the same. My friend's mother was a butcher and she always said "Take one pound of meat..."

When I returned to Canada, with French recipe books, I was confused by U.S. cookbooks or gran's cookbook here calling for 6 oz. can of tomato paste for example... or flour, etc. (it's about 200grams.) Further difficulty in Canada: someone in the Department of Weights & Measures decided we wouldn't use "grams" here... Solid or liquid, it's all in mL (milliliters). That tomato paste can for Mum's old recipe is 156 mL. I think they're trying to drive us crazy. It's ridiculous to come home with a leg of lamb, check your new Canadian cookbook & see that the leg should weigh 2000 mL... In everybody's mind, a gigot weighs 2 kilos or about 4 1/2 pounds. If the Weight guys don't listen to protesters, we're voting them out.

I bought a fully-equipped "Swiss knife" contraption in China, the authentic Swiss would have been $150. I paid $36 for the Chinese model at the market in Kunming. I forgot about it in my hand luggage when returning to Kunming from Bangkok. Security told me I had to abandon it in Bangkok... Anyway, I just looked at my ruler... I'm sure the longest blade was max 6 cm, probably less. But this was no butter knife... seriously sharp. Even had mini scissors on the gadget that could cut through metal!

(I sort of practiced with smilies here...)




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

My husband's Swiss knife ended in a security bin. He had got it as a present at work for some round birthday, I'm sure it wasn't that expensive. I couldn't open it because the spring was too hard, so I wasn't too sorry about it.

The conversion of weights and sizes is still better than an old German cookbook I have at home: "Yeast for five Pfennig". Obviously this book was from before the great inflation.




answered by
a VT member from North America

Rachel, yes... obviously an old book and worth keeping. What a funny title!




answered by
a VT member from Melbourne

whoever use ml as a unit for mass or weight has rocks in their head. I buy 1/2kg or 500grams of lots of things. Australia has made the "pint" metric for milk It is 600ml (the proper conversion is 585 I think). I remember showing my colleagues in the office in China how to work out the capacity of a glass- they were using burettes! All you do is set the glass on a scale and tare the scale then add water until full. The number of grams of water will be the same as the capacity in cc or ml. They were very happy to find that out.
The worse one is quart. England has a quart measure but America has two different quart measures, one for dry and one for wet and neither are the same as the English one. It used to frustrate me when I was inspecting product in China.
I had a sort of combination plier that was similar idea to a Swiss Army knife and that didn't get confiscated. Carry that TSA brochure and show it them and see what they say.




answered by
a VT member from North America

@[VT member c5b51], Thanks [VT member c5b51], for the "tare the scale" info. I bought an electronic scale & always "tare". That scale works in all units, at the tap of a finger.
I get frustrated with quarts & pints to begin with, still used in many instances (maybe I have too many cookbooks from all over the world), and I didn't realise that American quarts are different for dry & wet... which means at least one of them *would* be different from the English quart. You just informed me that neither are the same as the English one... very frustrating! would have been more so had I experienced this in China... my head hurts!
I did realise that in cooking, particularly baking, results are better when I weigh ingredients than when I fill cups with flour (or other), no matter how delicately & without packing I do it.




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

My mother in law used to say "add as much flour as it takes".




answered by
a VT member from North America

Rachel, was your mother-in-law protecting her copy rights? :-)) In my case, it's water to flour that I add when the need for more is obvious... always for pie dough. Recipes call for too little water.




answered by
a VT member from Binyamina

My husband is just making bread, and he has three different flour packages in use. They are all of heavy paper, without a plastic lining. So the flour gets or loses moisture from the air. Here the moisture changes a lot (58% at the moment - very pleasant).

Maybe your weather is regularly drier than where they tested the recipes. Anyway, my husband just said that he added some more water than usual.




answered by
a VT member from Perth

Here's an easy recipe for beer bread Rachel. 3 cups of SR flour, 1 375ml bottle of beer, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix together roughly to form a damper and bake at 180 for around 50 mins. Actually it's not quite a bottle of beer.... so you can have a couple of swigs before cooking ;o)




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