There are certain restrictions on carrying liquids on board of an airplane, and in this regard, it is not worth the trouble to take along a bottle of Evian while flying. Plus, hanging on to a cup of Starbucks coffee while waiting to board your 6:00 am flight just to be told to finish or throw it before reaching the security check point is difficult to deal with.
Regardless of all the declared restrictions on carry-on liquids, creams, gels and the like that the TSA published, the actual execution of such rules will significantly vary from one airport to another all through the US and abroad. The reasons also differ – like insufficient training, own interpretation of the rules by TSA employees or simply, laziness in sticking to them. In any case, TSA employees are searching for needles in a haystack since a huge number of travelers pass their patrol each day. So, managing to get your favorite beverage transported is actually a toss of a coin.
If you are a traveler, you can argue with a screener who insists that you throw the bottle of fresh water, or just take the necessary steps to avoid any unpleasant incidents that can spoil the dream vacation you long for or an important meeting with a client. Some tips on carry-on restrictions to make the experience a bit more pleasant are as follows:
Tip No. 1: Take a plastic zipper bag (1 quart)
This is neither a sandwich bag nor any of the plastic bags used for produce at your local grocery. It should be a quart with possibly few markings.
Tip No. 2: Store liquids and creams in brand name bottles.
Many people make the mistake of transferring a few ounces of shampoo from the original bottle into a smaller plastic/metal bottle that has no markings, which is not a good idea. One of the things that will easily capture the attention of TSA inspectors are items that cannot be immediately identified. So, make sure your liquids are in a brand name container – even though they do not match the label.
Tip No. 3: Lots of people make the mistake of transferring a certain amount of liquid in bottles capable of containing liquid that are beyond the limits.
This is certainly not good at all. The bottle must be able to hold three ounces at the most, no matter how much is inside it.
Tip No. 4: Take note of the following if you will travel between two non-US cities.
In case you are traveling aboard a US flag carrier, the rules imposed by such carriers are usually stricter than they are in the US. As an example, there was a recent flight on American Airlines bound for Singapore from Tokyo, where all kinds of liquids, creams, lotions or pastes that were purchased were prohibited from being hand carried into the aircraft.
Tip No. 5: Always check your bags.
While nobody likes to do this if not needed, it would be such as hassle to contend with the apprehension, uncertainties and irregularities of trying to bring along any kind on non-solid item beyond security or the next level of security, which is present at many international airports that service flights to the US.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is plain and simple. With respect to carry-on liquids and their restrictions, be smart and do not go against the system. You may encounter a TSA inspector who may use you as an example, then you will definitely lose.