Traveling with cigars can be a tricky operation. We summarize the do’s and don’t for a hassle-free checkpoint. Preparing ahead will also spare you some disappointment heading into a vacation or heading home with souvenir cigars on your luggage.
Protecting Your Cigars
For cigar enthusiasts, protecting cigars are essential to keep them from degrading in quality. Under the weight of other baggage, cigars without a proper casing will get crushed. A space for cigars in your carry-on bag is a wise thing to do, plus keep them in a Ziploc to keep them fresh. Ideally, keep your cigars in your carry-on so that the fluctuations in temperature will be minimal. The cabin pressure will keep a steady atmosphere compared to the conditions in the luggage.
TSA Rules for Flying with Cigars
TSA are the guys you encounter and will check your items to see if they will be a safety hazard. They will allow certain things based on the rules and prevent dangerous goods from getting to the plane.
Try to keep to the rules as much as possible, but keep in mind that a TSA agent might still confiscate what they deem a threat, especially with sharp objects and lighters.
What You Can Pack in Your Carry-On Bag
- One (1) book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted in your carry on bag
- Soft flame, disposable, or Zippo lighter
What You Can Bring with Exemptions
- Soft flame cigar lighters with fuel are considered a safety hazard if they do not follow the DOT-approved casing. Be sure to check with DOT for exemptions because DOT allows for two (2) fueled lighters only if the case is safe and is approved under their rules
- Cutters that have a blade shorter than 4 inches is allowed in your carry-on
- Blades that are exposed should be kept in the checked baggage or kept safe in a case or sheath
- Cutters that are typical such as handheld punch, guillotine, and V-cutters are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, but take note that a TSA agent can confiscate it if deemed a threat
Not Allowed at All in Either Carry-On or Checked Bags
- All matches
- Torch flame lighters
- Soft flame lighters with fuel that is not approved by DOT
- Cutters that have blades longer than 4 inches or an exposed blade without case or sheath
Take note that cutters and lighters are better prepared for check-in luggage than in your carry-on bag. This arrangement will lower the chance that they will get confiscated. Since they don’t carry much weight, it wouldn’t affect the rest of your items inside the baggage. Just pack them inside a small case to keep everything organized.
Caring for Your Cigars
Cigars are delicate items. If you do not have a humidification pouch, try getting one because your cigars can last more than a week in the case of emergencies. Place your cigars in a Ziploc bag with a proper seal, and pack them in a good, solid case with some cushion inside. The case will keep them fresh and safe from getting crushed.
Buying Cuban Cigars Abroad
Cuban cigars are no longer allowed to be brought in the United States as of September 24, 2020. This restriction includes any cigar that is considered a product of Cuba. The limits may still apply if the cigar used Cuban materials but produced in a different country. US Customs Border and Patrol will confiscate the cigars if brought in a home flight to the US.