This question was asked earlier today: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q/943/167

Are questions like this appropriate for Aviation.SE?


4 Answers 4


This question does not belong on Aviation.SE

1. Is this question something that an expert or professional would be interested in answering?


Experts and professionals fly commercially just like everyone else, and they'll be just as annoyed if their snow globe gets confiscated. But this question doesn't require expert knowledge, and (in and of itself) won't attract experts to the site.

2. Is the question answerable?

Not sustainably.

There are a number of items that are not allowed on airline flights, and the list changes and evolves over time.

Good questions don't bring traffic to the site, good answers do. If the answer that we provide is out of date, any traffic that sees it will not just get zero value, they'll get negative value.

To avoid this, the answer will need to be consistently updated over time. Is this possible? Yes. Is it likely? From my own personal experience with the Stack Exchange system, no. It won't be fast enough.

3. Keeping in mind both of the items above, is it worth it to have the question anyway to drive traffic to the site?

I say no.

My views mirror those of Tim Post, in his answer here:

In short, avoid asking questions that are easily found and answered elsewhere just for the sake of getting content into the site. If a new person arrives and asks one of these, nail that question with fantastic answers that show the depth and craft of this community.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree; if anything, it's better as a CW question for travel.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Jan 13, 2014 at 1:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In response: 1) Agreed. 2) I disagree that is is not answerable by the entire community (and it is CW). Also it is the answer in this case that adds value, not the question. 3) In this case, the answer is not "easily found and answered elsewhere" because the info is not all in one place, but instead maintained by different agencies and policies. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jan 13, 2014 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ The same thing that makes having an answer on aviation.SE nice also makes maintaining it a nightmare: The list of "prohibited items" isn't centrally maintained. There's the TSA list, which is a good start, but the FAA also has specific guidance on "dangerous cargo", and individual airlines may also make their own rules - can we reasonably keep on top of this answer so the information stays current/valuable? or is the best possible answer we can give "Call your airline in advance and verify that you can bring the stuff you intend to bring"? $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Jan 13, 2014 at 19:12

I agree that it should be removed, but only because of (deleted) comments on the post that suggest that it would be a better fit for travel.se. I hadn't thought of that when I created the question/CW answer, but it would be more appropriate there.

I do still feel that list-type answers like this would be in scope otherwise though as long as the are community wiki.

I'm going to go ahead and delete the post (since it is mine) now.


I think whether or not this question is on topic is debatable - obviously, since this question exists - but my opinion is that it belongs on http://travel.stackexchange.com rather than here.

I admit that it's partly a question of taste, but what a passenger brings on board is largely irrelevant to actually conducting to the flight. It may affect the weight and balance, and there may be specific rules for stowing and handling hazmat but whether or not a passenger has a golf club in the cabin or not just doesn't seem to make any difference from an aviation point of view. It's more about the passenger experience and how passengers are treated, and the decisions are made and enforced on the ground before the passengers get to the aircraft anyway.

Some variations that would be on on-topic in my opinion are:

  • What additional procedures must flight crew follow when transporting hazmat?
  • What danger is posed to an aircraft by the presence of [whatever] on board?
  • Could a passenger break an aircraft window during cruise using [whatever]?

I think this type of question is fine, so long as it's CW, for the reason the @lnafziger pointed out in a comment on his question:

List type questions like this are allowed as community wiki questions because everybody can help out with it! People here will go through security and see a new item that isn't allowed and will add it to the list, etc.

A follow-up chat message shows he's not just rehashing Wikipedia:

There isn't an external resource that has everything. Even the TSA site refers people to www.faa.gov for info on HAZMAT items. Go ahead, go to that site and find the HAZMAT list. I dare you. And then imagine what a non-pilot will go through.


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