Five Tips for Travelling with Cigars by Airplane

Plus Two Bonus Tips!

Let’s face it. Travelling by airplane has become a ginormous challenge. First you must find a parking spot in the airport’s ill-conceived parking garage. Then you have to muscle your way through a crowded airport to find the elusive security checkpoint. Next, stand in the world’s longest line. Finally, you face the Final Boss: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent. Remember to empty your pockets and remove your shoes. If you’re lucky, you get to go through the imaging machine and wand wavers just once. Whew! that’s a lot! It makes you want to smoke a cigar just reading this.

And if you’re a cigar aficionado who likes to travel with their favorite puros and accessories, it only complicates things. So, what do you do?  

Luckily, we prepared this list of five tips for travelling with cigars by plane.

  1. Storing the Cigars – Do not place your cigars in your checked luggage. The extreme climate changes in the cargo compartment can damage your cigars. Even on short trips. Instead, place them in a travel humidor. Today’s travel humidors come with a humidifier to keep your cigars fresh and come in a variety of lightweight materials that can be easily stored in your carry-on bag.

  2. Cigar Lighters – Short and sweet, don’t take your lighter with you. Especially, if you have an expensive, collectible, or limited-edition lighter. There are exceptions to the rules, but you are better off not taking it with you. However, torch lighters are a BIG NO! Consider purchasing an inexpensive butane lighter or box of wooden matches when you get to your destination. Most locations have cigar shops where you can purchase a lighter or you can get them at a local drugstore or liquor store.

  3. Cigar Cutters – Let’s cut to the chase, don’t bring them. Yes, there are ways to take them that will pass TSA inspection. But remember, the Final Boss has the Final Word! Again, purchase one at a local cigar shop.

  4. Ship Them to Yourself – You can ship the cutter and empty lighter to where you plan to be staying, but this requires planning. If you’re staying in a hotel, contact their concierge and let them know you plan to ship the items. They can advise you as to what’s the best way to ensure your package is waiting for you when you arrive. Do this ahead of time! However, your package could get lost or not arrive on time. Again, your best bet is to find a local tobacconist.

  5. Don’t Travel with Your Cigars – Wait! What? That’s no fun. Most places you travel to have cigar shops that are well stocked. However, they might not have any of your favorites. The best thing to do is call ahead and ask if they have the cigars you want. Then, ask if you can purchase them by phone or order them online and pick them up when you arrive. But do your research before you buy and make sure the shop has received positive reviews. The Cigar Scanner app has a Places section that lets you search for cigar shops. It is powered by Google My Business, so the shops are linked to Google Maps, which has reviews. Or you can look up the shop by downloading the yelp* app. 

Bonus Tip #1 – Contact the airline you plan to use and ask them about carrying cigars, lighters, and cutters. They will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Bonus Tip #2 – You can look up the information at the Transportation Security Administration’s website at  

If you plan to take your cigars with you when you travel by aircraft, please take the time to familiarize yourself with all government and airline regulations prior to travelling. Bon voyage!

Published on April 10, 2023