So can you take liquids in checked baggage? And can you have full size liquids in checked baggage?
On flights within and from the United States the TSA and the FAA regulates the amount of liquids and items you can bring in both carry-on and checked baggage.
And here is what they have to say about taking liquids in checked luggage.
There are no limits on the amount of liquids you can carry in your checked bag, but all liquids and items must be non hazardous or flammable items, the FAA have limits for medicinal and toiletry articles as they considered flammable items, you can take only 70 oz or 2 liters of toiletries in containers equal or less than 18 oz or 500 ml.
Keep reading to know more about taking and packing liquids on a planes in checked baggage in both domestic and international flights.
Let’s dive right in.
2023 TSA Liquids Checked Luggage Rules
You may already know that taking liquid items in carry-on luggage limits and restrictions, the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule made it clear, you can pack only containers with 3.4 oz / 100 ml or less and must be placed inside a quart-size bag.
And according to the TSA you are permitted to take liquids, gels, and aerosols that are over 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your checked baggage, and you don’t need to place them in a quart sized bag.
The Quantity Allowed In Checked Luggage
There are no limits to the amount of liquids you can take in your checked luggage for personal use as long as they are not considered toiletries or medical items.
The FAA has some restrictions on toiletries, like aerosols, hair spray, perfumes, colognes, nail polish, rubbing alcohol, shaving cream, inhalers, which have some kind of flammable items.
Quantity limits: The total amount of toiletries per person cannot exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces). Each container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).FAA
But the good news is you don’t need to follow any rules regarding packing your liquids inside your bag.
For instance if you want to take a full bottle of perfume, you can do so and you don’t need to follow the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule, you can exceed 3.4 oz / 100 ml and bring large containers even a 17 oz bottle is accepted.
Here is some answers from the TSA customer service.
@Elizabeth wanted to know the restrictions on taking shampoo and face wash in checked baggage.
They replied shampoo and face wash are allowed in checked bags na they can exceed the 3.4 oz / 100 ml limit.
@Jennifer wanted to bring her delicious Andria’s steak Sauce in her checked bag, and the bottle is almost 1.08 Kilograms.
The TSA answered that the amount of liquids in checked baggage are not limited, but @Jennifer needs to consider the airline baggage weight limits.
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Take Liquids On International Flights
Each country have special rules and regulations on taking certain types of liquids to their territories.
For example if you are traveling to the US and you wanted bring liquor souvenir.
One liter of liquor per person is allowed for personal use, larger amount of liquor will be subject to duty and federal excise taxes.
And if you are traveling to Canada or the UK you will need to read the regulations set by these countries air travel authorities.
Tips For Packing Liquids In Checked Baggage
Now that you hopefully have more of a grasp of the regulations the TSA has for liquid products, let’s talk about the best way to pack these liquids in your checked baggage.
- Carefully select which liquids you actually want to bring with you: Sometimes the trouble simply isn’t worth it, and if you think you’ll be able to obtain these liquids easily in the place you’re traveling to, then maybe skip adding them to your checked baggage.
- Try to choose a container made from plastic to store liquids: as glass containers break more easily. But if it’s possible, then zip-lock bags are also excellent for liquid storage. Particularly quart bags.
- Even if you’ve chosen a durable container / bag; try to wrap each container or bag in bubble wrap, pad them with clothes or other soft items, etc. And don’t put two bottles right beside each other with no padding, as they could bump against each other and break.
How To Properly Label And Document Liquids In Checked Baggage
As an extra step, some people might find it helpful to create a list of liquids that they’re bringing; and even label the containers that are storing them for more organization and less confusion.
If you want to write down a list of the liquids you’re bringing then it’s best to do so when you’re first packing. Simply jot every item down as it goes in the suitcase; you can note the type of liquid, the brand name, and even the amount of that liquid you’re bringing if you want to get fancy.
And if you want to make some labels then simply write down that information on the bag / container itself; or on a piece of paper that you can tape or glue to it. Labels can be particularly helpful if you’re not carrying the liquid in its original container, since it will quickly remind you of which liquid is which.
But an extra note for those who want to label their liquids, make sure that you label everything in a way that will stay secure. You don’t want labels falling off, or getting mixed up; as that would cause the confusion you’re trying to avoid.
How To Properly Package Liquids To Avoid Leakage Or Damage
The downside of packing and bringing liquids along for the ride is that there’s always the risk they’ll leak and cause damage to your other items. That’s why it’s so important to pack everything in the right way.
If you follow the tips listed above, then chances are that your liquids won’t leak. But there are some extra precautions that you can take…
- Always double check that everything is sealed tightly, especially bottles and containers with lids.
- And even if something is in a container/bottle, for extra safety, you can store the container or bottle in a zip-loc bag so that if it leaks it won’t affect your other items.
- If you’re still worried about leaks and damage, then you could even find a towel or piece of clothing that isn’t important to you to wrap around the liquids.
- And if it’s at all possible, don’t put anything too valuable in the same suitcase as your liquids.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Although we’ve talked about the best practices for packing liquids into checked baggage, the article wouldn’t be complete without also mentioning some of the worst practices that you should avoid.
Taking Prohibited Liquids In Checked Baggage, Like Flammables
As was mentioned earlier, there’s a long list of prohibited liquids. Some liquids will be prohibited or limited by individual airlines, but some aren’t allowed by TSA itself. And one of the biggest mistakes you can make when bringing liquids along in your checked baggage is to pack a prohibited liquid.
This is why you should always double check, especially since there are so many variables at play. TSA, the specific airline, the place you’re traveling to, etc; could all affect which liquids you’re allowed/not allowed to bring. Liquids in checked baggage for international flights could look a lot different than domestic flights.
But although we can’t cover everything, here are two categories of liquid items that you should never bring.
- Alcohol liquids above a 70% ABV or 140 proof are prohibited.
- Flammable and/or hazardous liquids are prohibited; examples are gasoline, lighter fluid, or liquid bleach.
Trying to take larger amount of Liquids In Carry-on Bags Instead Of Checked Baggage
When you’re getting ready to travel by plane, you usually pack a carry-on bag that contains things you’ll need during the ride itself. But a common mistake is thinking that you can store liquids in your carry-on bag when it actually belongs in checked baggage.
You can bring a small amount of toiletries and liquid in your carry-on bag, but there are strict regulations. Which is why the TSA recommends that most liquids go in your checked luggage, as we said earlier.
All you need to remember in order to decide which place your liquids should go, is the 3-1-1 rule. Each passenger on a plane, according to this rule, is allowed one quart sized bag containing liquids packaged in containers that hold 3.4 ounces or less in their carry-on bag. Anything else should go in your checked baggage.
Not Properly Documenting Or Labeling Liquids In Checked Baggage
We briefly touched on the potential negative effects of not documenting or labeling your liquids when packing them in your checked baggage.
But just to make sure people don’t make this mistake, let’s quickly dive a little further into it.
First of all, if you don’t document or label the items you pack then you could get confused when it’s time to unpack them.
You might mix up liquids, think you need to buy a liquid that you brought with you because you forgot, etc.
But it could also cause you to spend more time in the screening process, because you won’t be able to tell the screening officials the liquids you packed as efficiently. And furthermore, if you tried to mislabel something in order to sneak it past; then you could face serious consequences. This could even happen if you mislabeled it accidentally.
So it’s best to make sure you’re being thorough and accurate when you’re making your lists and labels.
I have checked Twitter to see if I could find out any more answers from airlines and here is what we’ve found.
|United Airlines||According to United Airline Liquids that less than 3.4oz / 100 ml, must be placed inside a single quart size or liter size clear sealable bag when taking them on board the plane.|
Any liquids that are more than 3.4 oz / 100 ml must be placed in your checked bag, and transported in the hold.
|American Airlines||According to AA You are good to bring 1 quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes on American airlines in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item in carry on.|
But any liquids that exceed the mentioned size need to be placed in your checked bag before going through the security checkpoint.
|Southwest Airlines||Southwest Airlines allows liquids and aerosols that are more than 3.4 oz only in carry on luggage.|
Any containers that are more than 3.4 oz should be placed in your checked baggage.
|Delta||Just like any other US airline, Delta allows any large quantities of liquids in checked luggage.|
Delta will not accept any liquids that are more than 3.4 oz/ 100 ml on carry-on baggage.
So make sure that you place any larger liquid items in your checked bag.
|Air Canada||According to Air Canada Liquids, gels and aerosols (e.g. hairspray, medicines containing alcohol, perfume, and cologne) are accepted in checked baggage provided:|
Their total capacity doesn’t exceed 2 L or 2 kg (75 fl. oz.) per passenger.
For alcoholic beverages and liquor it is based on their alcohol content:
-Alcohol content less than 70% (140 proof): accepted in checked baggage
-Alcohol content of more than 70% (140 proof): not accepted in either checked or carry-on baggage.
Final Thoughts on Taking Liquids In Checked Baggage.
Even though packing liquids for a flight can seem like a jigsaw puzzle.
You can bring liquids in checked baggage in unlimited quantities.
Only toiletries need to not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces) for each container and 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces) in total for each product.
One thing I want to add is that do not take any expensive items in your checked bag, whether it is a liquid or any other item, you don’t know what is going to happen to your bag when it is out of your sight.
We hope this helps.
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