Can You Bring Picture Frames On A Plane?

Imagine gifting a beautifully framed picture or preserving a cherished memory while journeying across the sky. Picture frames are not only decorative pieces but also vessels that carry our most treasured moments. When it comes to air travel, passengers often question the feasibility of bringing such items on a plane. Carrying picture frames on flights has been a subject of inquiry for travelers wanting to keep their memories close or share them as gifts upon arrival.

The practice of traveling with various items, including picture frames, has evolved alongside the development of aviation and airport security measures. Originally, the restrictions on what could be brought aboard were minimal; however, as air travel became more popular and security incidents occurred, regulations grew stricter. Today, passengers must navigate a complex set of guidelines that determine what is permissible in both checked and carry-on luggage.

These guidelines are shaped by concerns over safety and security. In the case of picture frames, considerations often revolve around the materials used, such as glass, which could be deemed hazardous if not handled properly. Transportation authorities in different countries have set forth rules to balance the passengers’ needs to transport personal items and the imperative to maintain safety for all on board. The modern traveler must be well-informed about such regulations to ensure a seamless experience at airport security checkpoints and during the flight.

can you bring picture frames on a plane

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Can You Take Picture Frames On A Plane?

Traveling with picture frames is generally permissible on airplanes, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. The size and material of the frame can affect whether it can be carried on or needs to be checked. Smaller frames made of lighter materials can often be brought in carry-on luggage, while larger or heavier frames may need to be checked. It’s also important to protect the glass with padding to prevent damage. Security regulations may require additional screening for your picture frame, so it’s wise to arrive at the airport with extra time to spare. For those looking to delve deeper into the specifics of traveling with picture frames, including packing tips and airline regulations, the following section offers a comprehensive guide to ensure your cherished memories arrive safely at your destination.

Carrying Picture Frames on USA Domestic Flights

When traveling by air within the United States, passengers often want to bring personal items and keepsakes such as picture frames. Understanding the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) regulations ensures a seamless airport security screening process. Please note that the information provided is reflective of guidelines available at the time of writing; for the most current details, always check the TSA website or contact your airline.

TSA Regulations for Picture Frames in Carry-on Bags

  • Picture frames are generally allowed in carry-on luggage.
  • Size and material can impact whether they can be carried on board.
  • Metal and glass components may require additional screening.
  • Frames with sharp edges or components that could be used as weapons can be scrutinized or prohibited.
  • The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.

Packing Picture Frames in Checked Luggage

  • More substantial or larger frames should be packed in checked baggage.
  • Proper packing with sufficient padding is crucial to prevent damage.
  • Consider wrapping frames in bubble wrap and using a hard-sided suitcase.
  • Checked baggage is subject to TSA’s security screening process.

Special Considerations for Antique or Valuable Frames

  • Carriers have varying policies on transporting valuables, consult your airline’s policy before flying.
  • It’s advisable to carry valuable frames with you, but TSA approval is still necessary.
  • Travel insurance is recommended for high-value items.

Restrictions and Security Measures

Any object potentially considered a security risk may be confiscated or require special permission to transport. The TSA suggests passengers placing picture frames in carry-on bags should remove them and place them in a bin for X-ray screening. This is similar to the procedure with laptops and other large electronics. Should there be any changes to regulations, timely updates will be available through the TSA’s “What Can I Bring?” page dedicated to picture frames.

Tips for Traveling with Picture Frames

  • Carry a copy of the frame’s valuation for insurance and security purposes.
  • Label luggage containing frames clearly with contact information in case of loss.
  • Photograph your items prior to packaging for reference in the event of damage.
  • Notify the security officer about the presence of a picture frame in your baggage.
  • Avoid packing frames with glass in carry-on to reduce the risk of injury from breakage.

Avoiding Delays and Damage

To minimize chances of damage and delays, pay heed to best packing practices and remain informed on the latest security protocols. Always stay updated with TSA and airline-specific guidelines by visiting official websites or contacting customer service directly.

✔️ Pros ❌ Cons
Can decorate & personalize your travel destination or accommodation. Potential for damage during transit due to handling and pressure changes.
Gift for someone or a way to bring memories back home. May be subject to additional security checks.
Small frames can fit in carry-on luggage for safer travel. Large or heavy frames may require checking in, incurring extra fees and risk of loss.
Possibility to declare frame as fragile for better handling. Glass parts can be considered hazardous and may not be allowed in carry-on luggage.
No special regulations against frames in TSA guidelines. International flights might have different restrictions regarding carry-on items.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

When flying internationally with picture frames, it’s essential to consult the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines. The IATA provides general rules for the carriage of items by air, but it is important to note that they do not provide specific guidelines for every item, including picture frames. Passengers are advised to follow the general guidelines for carry-on and checked baggage, ensuring that their items are packed securely and do not exceed size and weight restrictions.

  • Ensure picture frames are well-wrapped and padded to prevent damage.
  • Check size and weight limits for carry-on and checked luggage.
  • Consider the fragility of the item when deciding whether to check it or carry it on.
  • Label the item as fragile if it is being checked.

For the most accurate information, passengers should refer to the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations and the airline’s specific policies.

Citations for IATA guidelines specific to picture frames are not available as IATA does not provide item-specific pages.

Country Specific Regulations

Traveling with picture frames may be subject to country-specific regulations, which can vary widely. It is crucial for travelers to check the customs and security regulations of their destination country, as well as any countries they may transit through. These regulations can affect whether picture frames are allowed in carry-on or checked luggage and if there are any import restrictions or duties to consider.

United Kingdom

Information on flying with picture frames in the UK can be found on the official government website, which provides guidance on hand luggage restrictions at UK airports.

Citation: UK Government Hand Luggage Restrictions


For European travel, the European Union provides regulations on items that can be brought into the EU. It’s important to check the EU’s Taxation and Customs Union website for information on bringing personal items into the EU.

Citation: EU Taxation and Customs Union


The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) offers guidelines on what can be taken on board flights in Canada, including details on traveling with personal items.

Citation: CATSA


The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs provides information on what can and cannot be brought into Australia, including details on personal effects.

Citation: Australian Department of Home Affairs

New Zealand

New Zealand’s official customs service website details the items that travelers can bring into the country, which includes information on personal belongings.

Citation: New Zealand Customs Service


Travelers should consult the official customs websites of their specific Asian destination for regulations on bringing in picture frames and other personal items.


The Singapore Customs website provides information on goods that can be brought into Singapore, including personal items like picture frames.

Citation: Singapore Customs

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Picture Frames

Different airlines have their own specific regulations for flying with picture frames. It is important to review the airline’s baggage policy before traveling to ensure compliance with their rules. Below are regulations from 10 different airlines regarding the transport of picture frames.

American Airlines

  • Picture frames must fit within the size and weight restrictions for carry-on or checked baggage.
  • Fragile items should be properly packaged.

Citation: American Airlines Baggage Policy

Delta Air Lines

  • Delta may allow picture frames in carry-on luggage if they meet size requirements.
  • Checked picture frames need to be securely packed and may incur a fee if oversized.

Citation: Delta Air Lines Baggage Overview

United Airlines

  • United accepts picture frames as carry-on or checked items, subject to standard baggage policies.
  • Oversized items may be subject to additional fees.

Citation: United Airlines Baggage Information

Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest does not list specific restrictions for picture frames but enforces general baggage size and weight limits.

Citation: Southwest Airlines Baggage Policies

British Airways

  • Picture frames must fit within the dimensions for hand baggage or checked baggage, depending on where the passenger wishes to store them.

Citation: British Airways Baggage Essentials


  • Lufthansa may allow picture frames in carry-on luggage if they adhere to size restrictions.
  • For checked luggage, frames must be properly packaged to prevent damage.

Citation: Lufthansa Baggage Overview

Air Canada

  • Air Canada requires that picture frames comply with carry-on or checked baggage size and weight limits.
  • Passengers are responsible for adequately packing their frames to avoid damage.

Citation: Air Canada Baggage Information


  • Qantas advises passengers to carry valuable items, including picture frames, in their carry-on baggage.
  • Size and weight restrictions apply.

Citation: Qantas Carry-On Baggage


  • Emirates allows picture frames in both carry-on and checked baggage within the standard baggage allowances.
  • Items should be securely packed to prevent damage during transit.

Citation: Emirates Baggage Policies

Cathay Pacific

  • Cathay Pacific requires that all carry-on items, including picture frames, fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front.
  • Checked picture frames must be suitably packed and within the baggage allowance.

Citation: Cathay Pacific Baggage Information

Packing Picture Frames in Your Luggage

Traveling with picture frames requires careful packing to prevent damage. Whether you’re taking it in carry-on luggage or checking it in your hold luggage, the following steps will help you pack your picture frames safely.

For Carry-On Luggage

When packing picture frames in carry-on luggage, you must consider the size limitations and security protocols of airlines:

  • Measure Your Frame: Verify that your frame is within the airline’s carry-on size limits.
  • Use Bubble Wrap: Wrap the picture frame in bubble wrap. Secure it with tape to cushion against impacts.
  • Protect the Corners: Use corner protectors to shield the frame’s edges from dings and scratches.
  • Separate Glass from the Frame: If possible, remove the glass and wrap it separately, surrounding it with clothes for extra protection.
  • Pack Tightly: Ensure the frame is snug in your carry-on to avoid movement during transit.
  • Place in the Middle: Sandwich the wrapped frame between softer items, like clothing, to serve as an additional shock absorber.

taking picture frames through airport security

For Hold Luggage

Checked luggage endures more rough handling than carry-on bags, so extra precautions are necessary:

  • Sturdy Container: Use a hard-shell suitcase that will not easily collapse under pressure.
  • Wrap in Bubble Wrap: As with carry-on, envelop the picture frame in several layers of bubble wrap.
  • Edge Protectors: Use cardboard or commercial edge protectors to guard the frame’s periphery.
  • Cardboard Sandwich: Create a “sandwich” by placing the bubble-wrapped frame between two pieces of cardboard that exceed the frame’s dimensions.
  • Fill Empty Spaces: Use clothes, foam pads, or packing peanuts to fill any gaps in your luggage to prevent the frame from moving.
  • Seal and Label: Close your suitcase securely and consider labeling it with a “Fragile” sticker to (hopefully) ensure gentler handling.

Travel-Friendly Decorative Items Similar to Picture Frames

When traveling by plane and looking to bring along decorative items akin to picture frames, consider compact and lightweight options such as collapsible vases, magnetic photo pockets for cabin use, and travel-themed wall decals. Small canvas art prints are sturdy and can add a personal touch to your destination. Additionally, portable digital photo frames are perfect for displaying multiple images without the risk of glass breakage. For a more personal ambiance, pack some string lights with clips to hang photographs, or opt for foldable photo cubes that can display multiple pictures and double as storage. Always ensure these items comply with airline regulations regarding carry-on and checked luggage.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Picture Frames On A Plane?

Traveling by air often raises questions about what items are permissible to bring in checked luggage or carry-on bags. Picture frames are items that many wish to bring, whether they’re gifts, souvenirs, or personal treasures. The FAQs below address common concerns and rules related to bringing picture frames on a plane, helping passengers to pack correctly and avoid surprises at the airport.

Can I bring picture frames in my carry-on luggage?

Yes, you can bring picture frames in your carry-on luggage. However, you should ensure that the frame, especially if made of glass, is properly protected to prevent breakage and potential injury.

Are there size restrictions for picture frames in carry-on bags?

Yes, your picture frame must comply with the airline’s size restrictions for carry-on baggage. Check with your specific airline for their size and weight limits.

Can I carry a picture frame with metal parts on a plane?

Yes, you can, but it will have to go through security screening. Be prepared for additional inspection if the metal parts appear suspicious on the X-ray.

Will I need to remove the glass from a picture frame when bringing it on a plane?

It’s not required to remove the glass, but it’s recommended to pack it securely to prevent damage. If the glass is loose or seems risky, TSA agents may require further inspection.

How should I pack a picture frame in my checked luggage?

Use bubble wrap or other protective material to secure the frame. It’s advisable to place it between soft items and ideally in the center of your suitcase to provide additional padding.

Is there a limit to the number of picture frames I can bring on a plane?

No official limit exists, but space and weight restrictions for your luggage still apply. Excessive numbers could lead to additional fees if they cause your baggage to exceed weight limits.

What’s the best way to protect a large picture frame during a flight?

For a large picture frame, consider using a cardboard box and packing materials, such as bubble wrap or foam, to cushion the frame. You can also mark the box as “Fragile” to alert handlers.

Can I bring a vintage or antique picture frame on a plane?

Yes, but pack it carefully to prevent damage. If it’s extremely valuable, consider purchasing additional travel insurance or shipping it with a service that provides special handling.

Would TSA have concerns about electronic picture frames in carry-on luggage?

Electronic picture frames are allowed in carry-on luggage, but since they are electronic devices, they need to go through the security X-ray machines. They may also be subject to additional screening.

If my picture frame is damaged during the flight, what should I do?

Report the damage to the airline as soon as you notice it, preferably before leaving the airport. Check if your travel insurance or the airline’s policy covers such damages for a possible reimbursement.

Packing It All Up

In summary, travelers can indeed bring picture frames on a plane, whether it’s in their carry-on luggage or their checked bags. The primary considerations when packing picture frames involve the size and material of the frame, as well as the protection of the glass component. It’s essential to adhere to the airline’s size restrictions for carry-on items to ensure the frame can be accommodated overhead or under the seat. For larger frames that won’t fit in overhead compartments, checking them in is the better option.

Moreover, travelers should take particular care in packaging frames with glass. Using bubble wrap, cardboard, or even specialized frame protectors can prevent breakage during transit. As for security measures, frames are subject to the usual security checks and passengers should be prepared for additional screening if any aspect of the frame appears suspicious. TSA rules do not explicitly prohibit picture frames, but they do outline that any item that could potentially be used as a weapon or appears dangerous can be confiscated. Therefore, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and pack frames securely and sensibly, keeping airline regulations in mind.