In 2006, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) adjusted the ban on liquids, gels and aerosols. As the rules described below are subject to change, check the TSA's website
for current restrictions.
Air travelers may now carry liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on bag when going through security checkpoints.
The following rules apply to all liquids, gels and aerosols carried through security checkpoints:
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be 3 ounces or smaller.
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon-sized bags or bags that are not zip-top, such as fold-over sandwich bags, are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-sized, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from his carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for x-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.
There are exceptions for baby formula, breast milk and other essential liquids, gels and aerosols, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Please keep in mind that these rules were developed after extensive research and understanding of current threats. They are intended to help air travelers bring essential toiletries and other liquids, gels and aerosols for short trips. If you need larger amounts of liquids, gels and aerosols, such as toothpaste or shampoo, please place them in your luggage and check them with your airline.
To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of the following liquids, gels and aerosols are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary (all exceptions must be presented to the security officer in front of the checkpoint):
- Baby formula, breast milk and juice.
- All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops and saline solution for medical purposes.
- Liquids including water, juice or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition.
- Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products and transplant organs.
- Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution or other liquids..
- Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool disability or medically related items used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions.
You are allowed reasonable amounts over 3 ounces of the items above in your carry-on baggage, but you will need to perform the following:
- Separate these items from the liquids, gels and aerosols in your quart-sized, zip-top bag.
- Declare you have the items to one of our security officers at the security checkpoint.
- Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the x-ray. These items are subject to additional screening.
The TSA has also taken steps to ensure the security of the boarding areas after you pass through security checkpoints. Therefore, any liquid, gel or aerosol, such as coffee or soda, purchased in the secure area beyond the security checkpoint is allowed aboard your plane. Please note that if you have a layover and are rescreened at your connecting airport, the current rules (see above) for carry-ons apply.
You are permitted to bring solid cosmetics and personal hygiene items as such lipstick, lip balm and similar solids.
The TSA asks for your cooperation in the screening process by being prepared before you arrive. They also ask that you follow the guidelines above and try not to over-think these guidelines. Please pack liquids, gels and aerosols in your checked baggage even if you do not normally check a bag.
In addition to liquids, gels and aerosols, numerous other potentially dangerous items are not permitted in carry-on baggage. The TSA strongly encourage travelers to read more about previously prohibited items to avoid complications during screening.
It is unlikely that additional changes in the liquid, aerosol and gel policy will be made in the near future.
This security regimen applies to all domestic and international flights departing U.S. airports. Travelers should, however, check with transportation security authorities in their countries of origin for flights originating at non-U.S. airports.
For a complete list of rules governing makeup, medication, sporting goods, tools, food, electronic devices and more, visit the Permitted and Prohibited Items page
on the Transportation Security Administration's Web site.