What Is A DOT Approved Case? [Explained]

Whether you’re a smoker or someone going on an adventure in the wilderness, a good lighter can make a world of difference for you! However, carrying a lighter on an aircraft comes with its own share of trouble. 

Generally, in the US, you cannot check in your luggage with a lighter. In order to do so, you need to put them in a DOT-approved case. So, you might be asking, what is a DOT-approved case? 

The US Department of Transportation recognizes a DOT Approved case as safe for carrying flammable substances. You need a DOT-approved case to carry more than one lighter. If you have a certain category of lighters, you should also put them in a DOT-approved case.

A Dot approved lighter case is shown in the picture

However, there’s more to the picture than just a DOT approval. In this article, we’re going to discuss all you need to know about carrying lighters on a flight. Let’s begin!

What is a DOT Approved Case? 

DOT-approved cases are basically cases recognized by the US Department of Transport for carrying more than one lighter. The department has a very strict set of regulations for materials to ensure they’re safe for travel. 

Generally, DOT looks into cases, containers, and vehicle parts such as headlights and flares. 

For a product to be DOT-approved, they need to follow requirements by the Department of Transport. However, it’s important to note that the term “DOT-Approved” can be a misnomer. 

A dot approved case for the lighter is shown in the picture which can be carried in the pplane as approved by TSA

Because the Department of Transport doesn’t approve products on a case-by-case basis, instead, manufacturers have to comply with the regulations to make their products available in the market. 

So, generally, companies use the term “DOT-approved” as a marketing tool since they wouldn’t be in the market in the first place without approval. So, DOT approval is a sign of compliance, not high-end quality.

Bonus: What to put on Luggage tag

What Makes a Lighter Case DOT Approved?

The fixed guidelines for making a lighter case DOT-approved aren’t available on the internet. But, we can get an idea by looking into the materials of DOT-approved cases in the market.

Major lighter manufacturers like Zippo, Colibri, and Prometheus have DOT-approved cases in the market. Certain common features in them allow them while check in on a flight. 

Firstly, the case should have a hard exterior made of durable material. Most DOT approved cases are made of a polycarbonate material that makes them crush and damage-proof. The inside is insulated with foam and lining. 

The lining makes it waterproof and prevents fumes or materials from getting out of the case. Furthermore, the liners have an opening that fits in with the size and shape of the lighter. This ensures that it’s fit tightly. This ensures that the pressure or movement in the airplane’s cargo doesn’t cause any damage.

Now that we’ve discussed what a DOT-approved case is, we need to know exactly when a DOT-approved case is needed.

When do you need a DOT approved case? 

Generally, you can carry one lighter with you as a carry-on, but in specific scenarios, you must carry a case. If you have more than one lighter that you need to carry, you need a DOT-approved case. You need to put the lighters locked in the case and inside your luggage. However, you might need to get it checked before boarding.

You also need a case if you’re carrying something like a torch lighter or any lighter that doesn’t have butane as its flaming agent. These lighters are considered riskier than conventional lighters and can cause accidents during movement. 

In that case, not only do you need a special permit container, but you also need a permit for these lighters. So, make sure your paperwork is done properly, and everything is in check before the flight. 

Bonus: Can you bring corkscrew on a plane

Where to Buy DOT Approved Lighter Cases? 

Generally, you can find DOT approved cases in any major hardware store nearby. Also, superstores such as Walmart have them in stock most of the time.

If you’re looking for options online, you can find a bunch of good quality ones on Amazon. Also, most companies have their websites where you can get them. However, shipping and availability are an issue in that case. 

What are the Rules for Taking Lighters on a Plane?

If you’re planning to take lighters onboard, you need to be aware of a few things. Since lighters are flammable substances, they can be risky in flight. So, you need to be aware of all the rules and regulations, 

How Many Lighters Can You Take? 

Generally, you can only take one lighter when boarding a flight. Furthermore, it either has to be a butane-powered lighter or a lighter with absorbed flammable liquid. However, you cannot have them in your luggage or check them in.

Most airlines will want you to carry the lighter in your pocket instead of your carry-on. Because carry-ons are still subject to movement in their compartments. And these movements can damage the lighter or cause the liquid to spill. 

So, make sure you have talked to the authority before boarding and follow their regulations properly. It’s important to know the rules before booking a round trip to save yourself from any hassle.

What Lighters are Prohibited in a Plane? 

While you can take one lighter with you, you can’t take every category of lighter. Lighters that contain unabsorbed liquids, such as cigars and wick lighters, are strictly prohibited in planes. Since they contain more liquid than butane lighters, they’re more susceptible to turbulence. 

Furthermore, torch lighters or lighters that are used for more heavy-duty work is not allowed on aircraft. Finally, lighters that look like weapons or explosives are not allowed on planes. Generally, these lighters have a poor build quality and get damaged easily.

Can you Take Matches on a Plane? 

Yes, most airlines have similar rules with matches as they have with lighters. You can carry a maximum of one packet of safety matches with you in your pocket when boarding. However, you need to notify the authority and get approval for it. 

Matches that are deemed unsafe such as strike-everywhere matches are strictly prohibited. Similar to satellite phones being illegal, you need to know the rules beforehand. These matches can light up during movement and can cause serious accidents. So, it’s better not to carry them when in flight, 

Can You Carry Lighter Fluid on a Plane? 

The only amount of lighter fluid you can carry is the one within your lighter. If you have a lighter that uses absorbed fluid, you can carry the liquid in the lighter, and you’re good to go!

However, you cannot carry any containers of lighter fluid or any other flammable substances in the lighter.


Can I Bring Matches In My Checked Luggage? 

No, you cannot take any matches in your checked luggage. You can take a maximum of one packet of safety matches in your pocket at max.

Can I Fly With a BIC Lighter? 

If the lighter is one with butane or absorbed fluid, you can carry it in your pocket. Otherwise, you can put it in a DOT-approved case to carry it. 

Can I Take Cigarettes on a Plane? 

You can take a maximum of 200 cigarettes on a plane. However, they need to be in your luggage and checked in before the flight.


Carrying a lighter on your flight can be a hassle. You need to adhere to several rules and regulations, and a DOT-approved case is one of them. A case is a must if you want to take your favorite lighter on an adventure. 

In this article, we’ve discussed everything you need to know about DOT-approved lighters to help you get a better idea. We hope you find this article helpful!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *