Passport? Check. Boarding pass? Check. Small, baby turtle? Check.
We all take the essentials with us when we fly, but there's also many things a bit out of the ordinary you no doubt didn't know you can also pack. We've rounded up the weirdest and most surprising things you can actually take on a plane, in the cabin and even with you on your lap.
Etihad's website reads: "We accept the carriage of falcons in the main aircraft cabin provided that all the necessary documents have been obtained. We also accept falcons as checked baggage."
Your falcon can sit on your lap throughout the flight, and you'll be charged three times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey for one falcon. You can also book a separate seat for your falcon and you will be charged the full fare of an adult ticket for that seat. If you want to travel with two of your beloved birds, they will need their own seat, but don’t worry they can share one.
If you have four beloved birds you want to bring along, you will need to travel in business or first class as in economy you can only have a maximum of two birds.
Falcons are the only animal allowed in the cabin on Etihad, and even Guide Dogs must be checked into the cargo hold – the exception being on flights from Abu Dhabi to USA return only.
Although knitting needles have to potential to be dangerous, Virgin Australia states the wholesome craft equipment is safe to take on board, just in case you have some last-minute booties to finish off before you land.
If you're more of the painting type, add watercolours to your carry on as oil paints can’t be taken, even as checked baggage.
You might be surprised to hear you can actually take a cigarette lighter and safety matches onto an aircraft, but they need in your pocket, not in carry-on or checked baggage. However on some airlines the cigarette lighter must not contain lighter fluid. E-cigarettes can be taken as carry on but are not allowed to be used on an aircraft.
QANTAS allows passengers to carry 2.5kg each of dry ice either in your carry-on baggage as well as in checked luggage, with prior airline approval. The dry ice must be “in a vented container (a number of holes must be in the container to allow the gas to escape),” QANTAS writes on its website. Dry ice is used for a number of things, including cooling perishables, preserving food in a broken freezer and making spooky science projects, but we're not sure what you might need it for mid-flight.
^not a real avalanche rescue backpack, but more adorable.
If you're planning to hit up the ski slopes and are taking the right precautions against avalanches you’ll be pleased to know QANTAS lets you take your avalanche rescue backpack on board and in checked baggage, with prior approval. Although the pack itself seems like a normal backpack, the special design saves you in an avalanche by inflating into a large airbag, bringing you to the surface of the snow. A potential hazard while on a plane is that the airbag is deployed by gas cylinders and is highly pressurised.
European low budget carrier Ryanair has confirmed you're allowed to take “parachutes of any type, recreational or sports, or paragliding wings” and also a self-inflating life jacket as checked-in or carry-on baggage, providing they fit with the standard dimensions for baggage. Great new for nervous flyers, with the extra insurance of a BYO parachute and lifejacket there's no excuse not to take to the skies.
In the US, a vague and odd rule from the U.S. Department of Transportation states that “a service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a qualified person with a disability; or any animal that assists qualified persons with disabilities by providing emotional support,” and this surprisingly isn’t limited to dogs. Although the animal must meet strict criteria, the list of breeds permitted include miniature horses, pigs, cats and dogs. However snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders are usually not permitted on US flights and “airlines are never required to accept” them.
On Japan Airlines goldfish, turtles, and insects are permitted as carry on, providing they don’t disturb other passengers and are kept securely. Other animals such as dogs, cats, small birds (that eat seeds, fruit and insects), rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, marmots, squirrels and chinchillas can be checked in to the cargo hold; however French Bulldogs and Bulldogs are not accepted, at all on this airline.