Can I take drinking glasses in hand luggage?
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:”
“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 . . .”
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!