Travel Advice

How Much Liquid Luggage Can You Carry in a Plane?

Liquid Luggage
Written by Jane Sophia

Can we carry liquids on the plane? If so what sorts of liquids are allowed and what are banned? Will the in-flight beverages include the banned liquid luggage items?

It is imperative for you to know the rules about liquid luggage even before you plan your trip as there is no point in excusing yourself of your ignorance to the flight staff and airport authorities.

There is some liquid luggage allowed on planes and you need not assume that all kinds of liquids are banned in your hand baggage.


Have you heard of TSA which reads “Transportation Security Administration” when expanded?  All airlines strictly follow the rules laid by TSA. Before the year 2006, everybody was allowed to carry liquid luggage in planes but a terrorist attack forced the TSA to ban liquid luggage in flights.

This liquid luggage ban was implemented in August 2006 but there was some relaxation in September itself.

The allowed liquids are:

  • Baby needs
  • Prescribed liquid medicines
  • Aerosols
  • Liquefied nutrition
  • Saline bottles
  • Liquid cosmetics
  • Gels
  • Shampoos
  • Hand sanitizers

However, these allowed liquid luggage should be carried in transparent bags. The airport security system swiftly modified the security scanner to detect the allowed and banned liquids.

Quantity of Liquid Luggage

Nonetheless, you should not take full advantage of the new rules and carry huge quantities of liquid luggage. You are allowed to carry only so much that lasts the flying duration. The granted quantity should adhere to TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.

So, What Does This 3-1-1 Rule say Regarding Liquid Luggage?

You cannot carry more than 3.4 ounces or 100 cc.  That’s the “3”

The liquid containers must be placed in 1 transparent plastic bag. That’s the first “1”

Each passenger is allowed only 1 bag. That’s the second “1”

Hey folks, this rule is applied only to hand baggage only.  You can carry liquids in your check-in baggage as long as they’re not prohibited items.

Airtight Packing for Liquid Luggage

When you carry liquid luggage in check-in baggage, you must ensure they don’t spill inside your bag and spread to other luggage lying around.

What About Large Quantities of liquid?

I know your next question. What if the flight duration is more than 10 hours wherein 100 cc of baby needs (milk and juice) are certainly not sufficient? Even certain liquid medicines are required more than the allowed 3.4 ounces.

You are permitted to carry more if your needs are reasonable, provided you declare them at the boarding pass counter. Even ice can be carried for certain medicines that require cool storage.

The food supplied in flights is mostly solid. I observed that some flights do not even offer food. In such cases, if you are on a liquid diet, it is advisable to pack your own liquid food at your home and carry in your cabin bag. Flights that do not offer free food may sometimes sell water and juices. You can safely rely on them.

If you are a shrewd traveler like me, you would bring your own travel meals.

For complete information on the 3-1-1 rule, visit the TSA website.

For a complete list of prohibited items, visit the TSA webpage on prohibited items.

About the author

Jane Sophia

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