Flying as a Cigar Enthusiast - Do’s and Don’ts

Flying as a Cigar Enthusiast - Do’s and Don’ts

If you are a cigar enthusiast, there will come a time when you need to travel whether it’s for business or a holiday. In such an instance, it’s understandable that you want to take your cigars with you! What better way to unwind after a business meeting, or on the beach than with a stogie?

But traveling with cigars can be complicated and in this article, I answer two important questions - can you bring cigars on a plane, and are cigar lighters allowed on planes? This includes observing TSA regulations for flights within and out of the US, and tips so that you can transport your cigars safely.

Packing Your Cigars

I advise packing your cigars in your carry-on luggage as you can keep an eye on them and the plane cabin is climate-controlled whereas the luggage hold is not.

Ideally, you should store them in a travel humidor as this will keep the cigars safe and from getting squashed, but also keep them at an ideal temperature and humidity level so they keep their quality and flavor.

Security and Customs Considerations

The great news is, is that cigars are allowed on planes as per the TSA either in your carry-on bags or checked bags so there are no restrictions.

However, I always advise checking the regulations and guidelines from individual airlines, and the customs procedures of new countries you plan on entering with your cigars. For example, when traveling to the UK, you can only bring 50 cigars with you or an equivalent amount of cigarettes or tobacco.

Are Cigar Lighters Allows on Planes?

Cigars are one thing, but you have to understand if lighters are allowed on planes too. This varies by country but for this article, I’m concentrating on US airline rules and what the TSA allows for internal and international flights.

You can find complete info on the TSA website in the flammable section, but to give you a summary, you CAN take the following cigar lighters on a plane in both your carry-on bags and checked bags providing they have no fuel:

  • Disposable lighters.
  • Zippo lighters.

If they have fuel, they must adhere to an exemption which states you can carry two fuelled lighters providing they are stored in an enclosed Department of Transport case.

In contrast, torch lighters, arc lighters, plasma lighters, and other similar cigar lighters cannot be taken in your checked baggage.

They can be taken in your carry-on bags, but you must take measures to ensure the lighter cannot accidentally ignite such as removing the battery or placing it in a protective case. You can’t recharge your torch lighter during a flight either.

Do’s for an Enjoyable Cigar Travel Experience

hand holding a passport and boarding pass

When traveling with cigars I try to abide by some simple do’s including:

  • Take a cigar cutter that complies with TSA regulations on blade lengths.
  • Use a travel humidor.
  • Sample local cigars as well as taking your own.
  • Read airline regulations on checked baggage and carry-on luggage.

Cigar cutters are generally allowed on flights, but oftentimes the cutting blade has to be less than a specific length.

A travel humidor is the safest and most convenient way to store your cigars during a flight so investing in one of these is a great option.

Although I love taking my own cigars on my travels, it’s great to try cigars from the locals too so don’t miss out on sampling new makes and tobacco strains.

Lastly, ALWAYS check individual airline regulations and baggage requirements, and don’t just assume the TSA standards are enough.

Don’ts to Avoid Common Pitfalls

With my list of do’s, there are also some things that I try to avoid so that my cigars travel safely, and I don’t encounter any issues:

  • Throw your cigars in your suitcase.
  • Leave your cigars in a space where they can roll around.
  • Try to take the humidification solution onto the flight.
  • Try to bypass any laws or regulations.

When looking at can you bring cigars on a plane, the worst thing you can do is simply throw them into your suitcase. Either they will get crushed and ruined, or they will roll around and get damaged or the tobacco could go everywhere.

Never try to be smart and bypass rules and regulations either! You may think that you can sneak a torch lighter onto a flight, but the potential backlash and consequences could be severe. The TSA has rules and regulations for a reason - to keep you safe!

Travel Safely and in Style With Your Cigars

I hope you have found this cigar travel guide useful. I prefer to take my own cigars with me as well as sampling the local produce when I travel, so knowing the do’s and don’ts and understanding things like flight regulations is incredibly beneficial.

4th Dec 2023 Kevin Kauzlaric

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