TSA Liquids Rule 2023 - TSA 3-1-1 Carry-On Liquid Limits 2023

The TSA (Transport Security Administration) enforces a strict "3-1-1 Liquids Rule" for airline passengers flying with liquids in their carry-on bags or hand luggage, even in 2023. All passengers are allowed to bring one small bag with liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes through the TSA Security checkpoint. Strict limits, known as the TSA's "3-1-1" Liquids Rule, apply to the size and quantity of these liquids:

  • 3 Oz - Container Size Limit: All liquids and toiletries are limited to a maximum size of 3.4 oz / 100 ml in a single bottle. No bottle of liquid, aerosol, gel, cream, or paste larger than 3.4 oz / 100 ml is allowed through the security checkpoint.
  • 1 Quart - Size of Clear Zip-Top Bag: 1 Quart is the size limit of the clear bag that all of your 3.4 oz / 100 ml liquids must be placed in. This must be a zip-top clear/transparent bag, which you must remove from your carry-on luggage and scan separately when crossing the security checkpoint. 1 Quart is 32 fl oz, which is approximately 1 Litre / Liter.
  • 1 Bag per Passenger: There is a limit of only 1 transparent zip-top bag per passenger. If you are flying with additional liquids or gels, they must fly in your standard checked luggage, as you are only allowed to bring 1 bag per passenger.

Exceptions to the TSA 3-1-1 Carry-On Liquids Rules

TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Does Not Apply to Medication

Medication is allowed through the TSA checkpoint in your carry-on luggage in sizes larger than 3.4 oz / 100 ml and more than in your 1 quart zip-top bag. When flying with liquid medication in your carry-on, you must declare these items to the officer at the TSA checkpoint, remove the liquids from your carry-on bag to be scanned separately, and know that they may be subject to additional screening.

Flying with Baby Formula or Breastmilk

Baby formula and breastmilk is considered a medical necessity and may be brought in quantities larger than those specified in the 3-1-1 liquids rule (3.4 oz / 100 ml, 1 quart-sized bag). Be sure to declare your breastmilk or baby formula at the checkpoint, scan it separately from the rest of your carry-on luggage, and know that it may be opened, inspected, or subject to additional screening. You ARE allowed to bring medically necessary gel ice packs to keep your breastmilk or formula cold, but these may also be subject to additional screening.

3-1-1 Exception: Duty-Free Purchases from International Flights Connecting in USA

There is now an exception to the 3-1-1 liquids rules when flying with duty-free purchases from an international location with a connecting flight in the USA allowing you to bring duty-free liquids that you purchased with you through security. You must meet ALL of the following requirements in order for these liquids (whether perfumes, alcohol, or other liquids) to be allowed through the security checkpoint:

  1. You are traveling Internationally into the United States, catching a connecting flight
  2. The liquids are in TRANSPARENT containers
  3. You bought them at a Duty-Free store
  4. The store packed them in a secure, tamper-evident bag

If your liquid Duty-Free purchases such as perfumes and alcohol are not in a secure, tamper-evident bag, or do not meet any of the other requirements, you must pack them in your checked bag, otherwise they will not be allowed through the security checkpoint and will be confiscated. When flying with duty-free items into the USA, you may be able to pack these items into your checked suitcase when picking up your bags to "re-check" them when crossing US Customs, before crossing the TSA Security checkpoint.

Can I Bring Duty-Free Perfumes or Alcohol on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring duty-free alcohol and perfumes on a plane, but there are specific rules and restrictions that you should be aware of. The duty-free perfume or alcohol must be purchased after having already crossed security, and be carried in a secure tamper-evident bag provided by the duty-free store.

You can bring duty-free perfume and alcohol in your carry-on baggage if it is in a container of 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less and fits within the quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag required by the TSA's 3-1-1 liquids rule. Otherwise, it must be packed in your checked luggage.

You cannot cross the TSA Security checkpoint with duty-free alcohol, perfume, or other liquids if it is larger than 3.4 oz / 100 ml, unless it is packed in a secure tamper-evident bag and you meets all of the requirements for the 3-1-1 liquids exceptions as explained above.

Can I Bring a Reusable Water Bottle through the TSA Checkpoint?

Yes, you can pass through security with your reusable water bottle, but must be empty when you go through the security checkpoint. You cannot bring a filled water bottle with you, as it will not meet the 3-1-1 liquid rules.

Your water bottle must be completely empty - a large water bottle with less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml of water in it will still not be allowed, and you will have to dump the rest of your water.

There are usually water dumping stations as you enter the TSA checkpoint, and you can refill your water bottle after going through security. Most airports have water bottle filling stations where you can fill up your bottle to have water with you for your flight.

The material of the bottle should be safe for air travel, which means it should not be made of glass or other materials that could shatter.

Can I bring shampoo, conditioner, or other toiletries on a plane?

Yes, you can bring toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant with you through security, as long as it meets the 3-1-1 liquid rule requirements. Your best bet is to purchase a travel-sized toiletry set with small bottles, or to purchase refillable squeeze-tube bottles that meet the 3.4 oz / 100 ml size requirements, and fill those up from your shampoo at home.

Larger bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries (whether liquids, aerosols, or gels) greater than 3.4 oz / 100 ml are only allowed in your checked luggage, and cannot be brought through security and into the cabin of the plane.

Can I Bring Wine, Beer, or Alcohol Mini-Bottles through TSA Security?

Yes, you can bring alcohol in mini-bottles through security, as long as they fit the 3-1-1 Liquids rules, meaning they are in containers smaller than 3.4 oz / 100 ml, and packed in a clear 1-quart ziptop bag. Mini-bottles of liquor are typically 1.7 ounces / 50 ml.

You are allowed to bring mini-bottles into the cabin of the plane, but most airlines do not allow you to drink your own alcohol on the plane. There are a few airlines, most notably JetBlue (although no longer in 2023), that allow you to drink your own BYOB alcohol in flight, but it must be opened and served by a flight attendant. It is illegal for you to open and drink your own alcohol on the plane. You are not allowed to open and drink your duty-free alcohol on the plane.

Delayed Flight?

Check out our Flight Delay Compensation Guide on how to claim compensation for delayed/canceled flights. You may be eligible for up to $700 USD in compensation. Claims can be made for delayed flights within the last 3 years.

TSA Carry-On Restrictions 2023 - List of Prohibited Items

Below is the latest version (2023) of the TSA Prohibited Items list. Please review this list prior to your flight to have a smooth trip through airport security, as it has been updated for 2023 according to TSA's latest updates.

The prohibited items list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure travelers security, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) may determine that an item not on the Prohibited Items List is prohibited.

This TSA Prohibited Items list specifies which items can be brought in your carry-on bag, which items can be packed into your checked luggage, and which items are never allowed. Some items may be brought onto the flight if packed and declared appropriately, subject to certain restrictions.

Sharp Objects
Sporting Goods
Guns and Firearms
Martial Arts and Self Defense Items
Explosive and Flammable Materials
Other Items
Powders in Carry-On

Guns and Firearms

Item Carry-On Checked
Ammunition - Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. If ammunition is permitted, it must be declared to the airline at check-in. Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. No Yes
BB Guns No Yes
Compressed Air Guns (to include paintball markers) - Carried in checked luggage without compressed air cylinder attached. No Yes
Firearms - firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. No Yes
Flare Guns - May be carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. No Yes
Flares No No
Gun Lighters * No Yes
Gun Powder including black powder and percussion caps No No
Pellet Guns No Yes
Realistic Replicas of Firearms No Yes
Starter Pistols - can only be carried as checked baggage and MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. No Yes

Rules for Packing a Gun/Firearm for Air Travel

If planning on flying with a gun/firearm, take a look at our must-read guide to TSA's rules for How to Legally Pack a Gun for Airline Travel. It's really quite a simple process, but you must follow the TSA's rules for packing and declaring your gun properly to avoid any issues at the airport.

NOTE: Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply.

Explosive and Flammable Materials

Flying with Cannabis / Marijuana?

Please refer to the Rules for Flying with Cannabis 2023 page for up-to-date information regarding the rules for flying with marijuana in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Flying with E-Cigarettes / Vape Pen?

Visit the Flying with E-Cigarettes and Vapes 2023 page for rules and information on packing your e-cigarettes in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Item Carry-On Checked
Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities) No No
Blasting Caps No No
Candles - Solid wax candles, including scented candles, are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage. Gel candles are prohibited in carry-on bags, but are allowed in checked luggage. Yes Yes
Chlorine for Pools and Spas No No
Common Lighters - Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please leave it at home. Yes No
Dynamite No No
E-Cigarettes Yes Yes
Fire extinguishers and other compressed gas cylinders No No
Fireworks No No
Flammable Paints (See Other Items below for non-flammable paints) No No
Flares (in any form) No No
Fuels (including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel) No No
Gas Torches No No
Gasoline No No
Hand Grenades No No
Lighter Fluid No No
Liquid Bleach No No
Plastic Explosives No No
Realistic Replicas of Explosives No No
Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries No No
Small compressed gas cartridges (Up to 2 in life vests and 2 spares. The spares must accompany the life vests and presented as one unit) Yes Yes
Spillable Batteries - except those in wheelchairs No No
Spray Paint No No
Strike-anywhere Matches - One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage. No No
Tear Gas - Self Defense Sprays containing more than 2% by mass of Tear Gas (CS or CN) No No
Torch Lighters - Torch lighters create a thin, needle-like flame that is hotter (reaching 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit) and more intense than those from common lighters. Torch lighters are often used for pipes and cigars, and maintain a consistent stream of air-propelled fire regardless of the angle at which it is held. Torch lighters continue to be banned. No No
Turpentine and Paint Thinner No No
Vehicle Airbags No No

Some airlines do not allow Electronic cigarettes in checked baggage. In these cases, you may travel with electronic cigarettes in your carry-on bags only. Smoking is never allowed onboard any flight.

NOTE: Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply.

*Permitted in checked baggage only if it does not contain lighter fluid.

NOTE: There are other hazardous materials that are regulated by the FAA. This information is summarized at www.faa.gov, click on Passengers, then Preparing to Fly.

Other Items

Item Carry-On Checked
Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint No No
Gel shoe inserts - Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened. No Yes
Gel-type candles No Yes
Non-flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint (3.4oz/100ml) Yes Yes
Non-flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint (greater than 3.4oz/100ml) No Yes
Snow globes and like decorations regardless of size or amount of liquid inside, even with documentation. No Yes

Hand Warmers

Bringing hand-warmers onto your flight is typically allowed, but some packing rules do apply. These depend on the type of handwarmer, which dictate which set of rules they fall under.

Air Activated - These are the more common disposable types that are activated when you open the package and expose them to air. They contain liquid, so you need to adhere to the TSA 3-1-1 guidelines. They can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Battery Powered - Battery powered hand warmers are permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Crystallization - This is the type that you flex or squeeze to activate. They contain liquid and require adherence to the TSA 3-1-1 liquids guidelines. They can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Lighter Fuel - These hand warmers are permitted in carry-on bags. They can be packed in checked baggage as long as they are empty with no noticeable fuel vapors. If they contain fuel, they must be placed in a DOT marked airtight case. Lighter fuel by itself is prohibited all together.

Last Updated:
1 Sep 2023

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