Airport Security – Carry On Rules and Regulations for the US and Abroad


Most of us have had to deal with the trials and tribulations of the TSA rules, including the liquid ban. Rules vary based on country visited, so be sure you pack according to destination. The following guidelines are for traveling from or connecting through the listed country. Unless otherwise specified below, liquids must be packed in checked baggage. In all cases, plastic bags must be presented to security checkpoint separately from carry-on bags and be sealed.

Asia

  • China and Japan: Travel-size toiletries (3 oz. container or smaller) that fit in one quart-size, clear plastic, zip-top bag.
    Exceptions: Breast milk, baby formula, baby food in small containers (if a baby or small child is traveling). For diabetic passengers, up to 5 ounces of liquid/ gel medications or juice to address their medical condition.
    Duty Free/Liquids Purchased from the Airport: Liquids purchased from the secure concourse may NOT be brought on the aircraft. Duty Free purchases are only allowed if they can be delivered directly to the aircraft. For international passengers connecting in the US, duty free purchased liquids/gels/aerosols measuring 3.4 oz. or less may be brought on board after clearing customs only if the item is placed in the standard bag.

  • India: Food items EXCEPT the following: camelbaks (similar backpacks and water bottles must be empty), gel-based sports supplements, gelatin, puddings, yogurts or gel-like substances.
    Exceptions: Breast milk, baby formula, baby food in small containers may be carried on if a baby or small child is traveling. For diabetic passengers, up to 5 oz. of liquid/ gel medications or juice may be carried on to address their medical condition.
    Duty Free/Liquids Purchased from the Airport: Liquids purchased from the secure concourse may NOT be brought on the aircraft. Duty Free purchases are only allowed if they can be delivered directly to the aircraft. For international passengers connecting in the US, duty free purchased liquids/gels/aerosols measuring 3.4 oz. or less may be brought on board after clearing customs only if the item is placed in the standard 1 quart bag.

Europe

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  • Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom: Travel size liquid containers are permitted, provided they do not exceed a maximum capacity of 100 ml/3.4 oz. each. The containers must be packed in one transparent re-sealable plastic bag that does not exceed 20 cm x 20cm (8 inches x 8 inches) or equivalent to one liter capacity per passenger.
    – Exceptions: liquid medicine or baby milk/food (if a baby or small child is traveling).
    – Duty Free/Liquids Purchased from the Airport: Liquids purchased from the secure concourse are allowed on the aircraft. Duty Free liquids purchased on a EU based airline or at an EU airport are only allowed when purchased on the same day as travel. Duty Free liquid purchases must be carried in a bag that is tamper-evident and displays satisfactory proof that the liquid was purchased on the day of travel. For international passengers connecting in the US, duty free purchased liquids/gels/aerosols measuring 3.4 oz. or less may be brought on board after clearing customs only if the item is placed in the standard one quart bag.

  • Ireland: NO liquids in hand luggage.
    – Exceptions: Breast milk, baby formula, baby food in small containers may be carried on if a baby or small child is traveling. Exemptions to the liquids rule apply for liquid medicine or baby milk/food (if a baby or small child is traveling).
    – Duty Free/Liquids Purchased from the Airport: Liquids purchased from the secure concourse may NOT be brought on the aircraft. Duty Free purchases are only allowed if they can be delivered directly to the aircraft. For international passengers connecting in the US, duty free purchased liquids/gels/aerosols measuring 3.4 oz. or less may be brought on board after clearing customs only if the item is placed in the standard 1 quart bag.

North America

  • United States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands: Travel-size toiletries (3.4 oz./100 ml container or smaller) that fit in a one quart size, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. The bag must be completely closed/sealed and must be submitted for inspection separately from other carry-on baggage.
    – Exceptions (can be carried on in larger quantities if declared to the TSA at the checkpoint):
    Baby formula, milk, breast milk, baby food if a baby or small child is traveling, medications (liquid, gel, and aerosol), liquids (include juice) or gels for diabetic or other medical needs
    – Duty Free/Liquids Purchased from the Airport: Yes, liquid duty free purchases made within the US may be taken aboard. For international passengers connecting in the US, duty free purchased liquids/gels/aerosols measuring 3.4 oz. or less may be brought on board after clearing customs if the item is placed in the standard bag mentioned above.

Via American Airlines

For countries not listed above, contact your airline to find out specifics. Many countries have restrictions in place, but the information is a little difficult to find.