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Cutlery in your Hand Luggage: Make No Mistake about it!

Cutlery in Hand Luggage


Your grandmother’s cutlery is about to fly? No problem! (well, maybe…)

In any case, I will assist you with this – as always with questions about hand luggage – and will be most happy to give you a helping hand in this matter.

So let us plunge right into the pleasure.


Is cutlery allowed in hand luggage?

There is no clear answer to this question. Whether cutlery may be transported in hand luggage depends primarily on whether the cutlery in question is sharp/pointed or not.

Sharp/pointed cutlery has a bad chance of surviving the security check, as security officers may consider it to be a potential weapon. Sharp metal knives and pointed metal forks are particularly critical.

Blunt/non-pointed cutlery such as metal spoons or chopsticks, on the other hand, are usually problem-free.

Experience shows that plastic/wooden cutlery is also tolerated in hand luggage. However, there is no guarantee for this either.

Conclusion: If you have the possibility to do so, then it is better to store all the silverware in your checked baggage.


What do the airlines refer to when it comes to silverware?

As a rule, the airlines’ general terms and conditions do not directly prohibit cutlery.

What do the airlines then refer to?

The general terms and conditions of the airline usually contain a paragraph on pointed and sharp objects.

At Ryanair, for example, this corresponds to paragraph 8.4.9 “Pointed/edged Weapons & Sharp Objects.”

Silverware is neither mentioned here nor with most other airlines explicitly, but it is always a matter of interpretation which items belong to a certain category and which not.

In their live chat, the Irish airline told me that Ryanair does not allow any kind of cutlery in their hand luggage (plastic or metal).


Special care should be taken with knives

Under the cutlery, knives have the smallest chance of surviving the security checkpoint.

The reason for this is that due to the mostly sharp blade, these knives are considered by the security officers as a potential weapon (usually listed under sharp & pointed objects in the general terms and conditions of the airlines).

So pack knives in your checked baggage whenever possible.

If you would like to take other types of knives with you on your journey in addition to cutlery knives, take a look at our article “Rules for Knives and Other Sharp Objects in Hand Luggage”.


Cutlery in hand luggage: Overview

CutleryProblematic at the Security Checkpoint or not?
Fork (metal)Usually a PROBLEM. Does not make it through the security checkpoint in most of the cases.
Spoon (metal)Usually OK = passes
Knive (metal)NOT ALLOWED. The most problematic amongst cutlery.
Chopsticks (wood or metal)Usually OK (because chopsticks are generally blunt).
Plastic CutleryUsually make it through the security checkpoint.


What is the best way to pack cutlery in your luggage?

Silverware is particularly easy to pack in tissue paper or newspaper. Wrapping in napkins can also be a possibility.


Some tips for packing the cutlery

  • Put the forks and spoons together to form a stack.
  • So that the cutlery does not scratch each other, they should fix the stacks, for example with household rubbers.
  • You can then wrap the stacks in the packaging (either tissue paper or newsprint).
  • Then stow in a carton if necessary

Special care must be taken when packing sharp knives.

If the baggage is searched by the security officers, it must, of course, be ensured that they are not injured by the sharp blades of the knives. And of course for your own safety!

The dangerous elements of the knife are the tip and the cutting edge. If you have sharp knives, you should, therefore, make sure that they have as little room to move as possible in your luggage. If necessary, you can attach a cork to the tip of the knife.


The perfect travel cutlery for on the go

If you are still looking for suitable travel cutlery, then I might have something for:

The bamboo travel cutlery from Bambaw.

I recommend this travel cutlery for four good reasons:

  • The travel cutlery is made of bamboo and therefore environmentally friendly
  • The cutlery is free of harmful substances
  • The case is made of jute and very lightweight
  • As the cutlery is made of bamboo and not metal, it has a good chance of being allowed to fly in hand luggage


Hybrid cutlery


Um, sorry, what? You mean spoons, I guess?

No, sporks!

A spork is a hybrid cutlery that looks like a spoon but has two tines. The word “spork” is a blended word from fork and spoon.

By the way, sporks have a relatively good chance of surviving the security check in one piece. Because sporks are usually not as long and pointed as a fork.


Cutlery in checked baggage

As we have seen, the carriage of cutlery in hand luggage is only possible to a limited extent. If you have checked in your checked baggage as well, then you should better store your cutlery there whenever possible.

Stowing cutlery in checked baggage is permitted without restriction. Even when it comes to larger and very sharp knives, transport is not an issue here at all.


Related Questions


Knives in hand luggage? 

Knives up to a blade length of 6 cm are tolerated in hand luggage in some cases. However, carrying knives in carry-on bags is not advised, as those knives – even the little ones with a blade length of less than 6 cm – often get confiscated at the security checkpoint. So it is best to leave your pocket knife at home or to stow it in your checked baggage.


Are eatables allowed in hand luggage? 

Eatables are generally allowed in hand luggage, as long as we are talking about solid food. If we are talking about food in liquid form, then the rules for liquids in hand luggage need to be observed.

The tricky thing here is to actually know what counts as “liquid food” and what not.

For instance, Nutella, Jam and Soft Cheese are all considered to be liquid foods and can, therefore, only be carried in very small quantities (up to 100 ml and they would need to go into the bag for liquids..but honestly, you probably don’t want to do that, right?)


Can you take glass on a plane in hand luggage? 

If you would like to bring glassware in hand luggage, caution is advised. The rules & regulations for glassware in hand luggage are not very clear. Please read our informative article “Glass & Ceramics in Hand Luggage” to get some valuable info on this very topic.


Can you take tweezers in hand luggage? You are allowed to carry tweezers in your hand luggage. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Have a quick look at our article “Tweezers in Hand Luggage” to learn more about this topic.


What can’t you take in hand luggage? 

Certain items are forbidden in hand luggage. For instance, you are not allowed to carry tent pegs, fishing rods, and badminton rackets in hand luggage.

Moreover, all pointed & sharp objects and everything that could potentially be used as a weapon is also prohibited in hand luggage.