I'm planning to buy some Swiss army pocket knives as gifts at the Geneva airport (there is a store past the security check point that sells it). However, my concern is that when I am in Frankfurt, my carry on will go through the x-ray again, in which case I will not be able to carry the pocket knives with me.

So I wonder if y bag will need to go through the X ray at Frankfurt airport. Thanks!

  • Knives. In the Sterile Area. I'd be keenly interested if anyone can confirm that. Apr 7, 2019 at 7:11
  • @Harper Available in the departure transit zone, apparently gva.ch/Site/Passagers/Shopping/Commerces/Mode-accessoires/…
    – Traveller
    Apr 7, 2019 at 8:34
  • @Harper As stated in this question, knives with small blades aren't banned on flights from Switzerland. But they are certainly banned on flights to and from the USA. Even if you aren't inspected before the flight to the US, I suspect carrying the knife would be against the law.
    – MJeffryes
    Apr 7, 2019 at 9:02
  • They do sell Swiss Army knives in the tax free in Zurich, but only the ones with blades below 6cm. And they do ask you where you are flying to. You are allowed to take knives with blades shorter than 6cm on flights within Europe. And since you do not normally have to pass extra security when changing flights in Frankfurt when you arrive from another European country you can in theory take them elsewhere as well. Apr 8, 2019 at 9:49
  • @Harper see my comment on the answer below
    – Alex
    Apr 10, 2019 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


As my initial reaction is confirmed by other comments, I write it as an answer.

Do not take any knives in your carry-on luggage to the USA.
Most USA flights have security just before boarding, either between piers or at the gate. I am not sure about Frankfurt but I am almost sure it has the extra check as well.
While European rules allow small size knives, up to 6 cm of cutting edge at time of writing, the USA rules do not allow any knives on planes at all and you can not be sure they use the European rules for the flight.

Maybe not as good a deal (but it might not differ as much as you might expect,) buy them in a normal shop in the country and pack them in your checked luggage.
There is a lot of competition for knife sales and I do remember seeing some good deals when I was last in Switzerland. And in Switzerland they do engrave the knives, so you can buy something very personal there.

  • Now that I've completed the trip, this is what happened: Although there was no additional x-ray check at Frankfurt (but I was told by an airport employee that it entirely depends on which terminal you land at and which terminal you head to for your next flight; transferring between certain terminals could mean additional x-ray check), there was a pre-boarding process for all flights to the US where airline agents asked you if you had in your carry-on weapons, etc. Some people were randomly selected for a secondary check, which I assume would involve either additional x-ray or opening bags
    – Alex
    Apr 10, 2019 at 8:32

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