TSA Liquid Rule: 10 full-size liquids to get you through airport security

TSA Liquid Rule: 10 full-size liquids to get you through airport security

  • Travel
  • December 10, 2022
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For nearly two decades, we’ve limited the number of liquids we take through airport security. The magic number that was agreed upon was 3.4 ounces, or 100 milliliters, of liquid in a container – an amount that has become an international standard developed by explosives experts.

As frequent travelers know, bottles weighing 3.4 ounces or less can be stowed in a single 1-liter plastic bag, and each traveler is allowed one — in a rule dubbed the 3-1-1 rule for liquids becomes. Oversized liquids can still be packed but must be in checked baggage.

However, as recording devices have become more sophisticated, there has been talk of lifting these restrictions, especially as a recent report says the UK will lift the rules by 2024. “The adoption of new technologies has played a significant role in aviation security evolving over the past 20 years thanks to strong industry partnerships and TSA’s agility in introducing technologies that increase security and enhance the passenger experience,” said a TSA spokesman . While there is no timetable yet, “the agency expects the liquid restriction to be lifted in the coming years.”

So in the short term, travelers still need to limit the liquids they pack in carry-on luggage. But as with all rules, there are exceptions. “TSA requires additional screening to ensure the safety of these liquids,” says the spokesperson for the articles. “Travelers in this group should notify security of their medically necessary fluids.”

In general, these exceptions must pass a three-step test. They must be needed during the duration of your flight or at your destination, they may not be available at the airport in the area after security, and they may not be available at the destination. But when it comes down to it, TSA says on its website, “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”

Here are some of the most common exceptions to oversized liquids that can be taken through security.

Prescription liquids, creams and gels

Medications specially prescribed for you are perhaps the most common items that are considered exceptions. TSA recommends that it be clearly labeled so there is no question as to what is inside. “You are responsible for issuing, handling and repackaging the drug if screening is required,” the agency’s website stipulates. Depending on the situation, drugs can be checked either visually or with an X-ray machine. It can also be checked for traces of explosives.

In some situations where officers are unable to properly inspect the item, you may be asked to open the container and transfer it to an empty container for testing or possibly discard a small amount.

In cases where you want to ensure the medication is not opened or x-rayed, simply inform the TSA officer. “Additional steps will be taken to remove the liquid and you will be subjected to additional screening procedures to include a search and screening of other items you are carrying,” the website said.

Liquid medication and contact lens solution

Generally, nonprescription liquid medications and contact lens solutions are limited to 3.4 ounces, but the TSA allows “larger quantities of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in amounts reasonable for your trip,” with the caveat that you can must first declare to the security forces.

breast milk and infant formula

Passengers traveling with young children have enough worries on their flights – and being able to provide them with the right nutrition shouldn’t be one of those worries. Technically, TSA categorizes breast milk and formula as “medically necessary liquids.” The child does not have to be present for the exception.

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