How much liquid can you bring on an airplane?
Whether it’s your first time flying or you’re in need of a refresher, it’s always good to review: how much liquid can you bring on an airplane?
To keep it simple, just remember the 3-1-1 liquids rule:
- 3.4-ounce containers or less for each liquid
- 1 quart-sized, transparent ziplock bag
- 1 bag per passenger
Note: The airplane liquid allowance applies to aerosols and gels, too.
Exempt Liquids at TSA
Breast milk, formula, juice & baby food
This is fantastic news for the parents of newborns! Parents traveling with an infant or toddler are permitted to carry as much of these items as necessary during travel. Even so, these items are still submitted to special screening by TSA.
Passengers with documented medical conditions are not required to follow the same 3-1-1 liquids rule for their prescriptions. These medications, whether liquid or non-liquid, must get declared at security and subjected to a separate screening process. Clear labeling with the passenger’s name and verification from a physician are recommended for efficient clearance.
Questionable Liquids at TSA
Certain foods of controversial thickness are required to follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Some of these food items include:
- Peanut butter
- Jam and jelly
- Maple syrup
If frozen during TSA screening, frozen liquids such as gelled ice packs or ice cream are allowed. If it’s partially melted during the security check, the item must adhere to the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
Ever wondered if the airplane liquid allowance applied to certain powdery substances? As of June 2018, TSA is separately screening any container of powder at least 12 ounces or more. If your item is deemed questionable during security screening, it will get thrown away, or a TSA officer may require you to move it into your checked baggage. Learn more about the TSA powder rule.
Likewise, don’t zip up your cosmetic bag for travel and call it good. There are several toiletry items subject to airplane liquid allowance and need to fit in the quart-sized Ziploc. Here are a few to note:
- Liquid eyeliner
- Liquid foundation
- Liquid make-up remover
- Deodorant (liquid or aerosol)
- Contact solution
- Hair gel
Note: Chapsticks are permitted without adherence to the liquid constraint.
Snow globes & glow sticks
If packed in a carry-on, snow globes and glow sticks must abide by the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Otherwise, you can freely pack as many glow sticks or larger snow globes as you want in your checked baggage.
So how much liquid can you bring on an airplane? Stick to the 3-1-1 liquids rule, and for any questionable items, either ask your airline prior to your departure or throw it in checked baggage. Remember, TSA officers make the final decision if an object is permitted through security or not.