What's the limit of liquids allowed in your purse while flying with United Airlines?

  • I'm going to visit my boyfriend and as any girl, I want to smell nice for him. I'm flying with United, and I have an 89 ml body spray, 29 ml and 60 ml hand sanitizer. Is that allowed?

  • See http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/3-1-1-liquids-rule for rules about liquids when flying within the US. (The rules are set by the government, so it's irrelevant what airline you are flying.)

    Liquids in containers of volume up to 100 ml each are generally allowed, so they should be fine. You will have to take out these items, as well as any other liquids, gels, aerosols, creams or pastes in your purse or carryon luggage, and put them in a quart-size plastic bag.

    You are only allowed as much liquids as will fit in the plastic bag, so if any of your items has an unusually bulky container, or you have a lot of other liquids in your carryon, you may have to put something in your checked luggage, or leave it at home.

    If your flight starts outside the US, the rules may be somewhat different, as the TSA only handles airport security within the US.

    Containers *up to* 100ml are allowed (not less than). Also I think the maximum total volume offer person is 1000ml.

    @JoErNanO's comment is very important here - individual containers up to 100ml, total volume up to 1000ml

    @JoErNanO: Thanks, I clarified "under" to "up to". Do you have a reference for the 1000ml figure?

    (+1) Two things could perhaps be clarified: It's the container that must be smaller than 100 ml (i.e. 100 ml of liquid in a larger container is *not* OK). 1L is not a limit on the volume of liquid or the total capacity of the containers, it's the volume of the bag (1 quart in the US). Because the containers themselves are bulky, not always full and sometimes have shapes that do not fit neatly in the bag, the total volume of liquid you can carry in practice is much lower than 1L.

    @Relaxed: Thanks, I clarified that it is the size of the container. It was also my understanding that the limit is not "1000 ml total of liquid" but rather "as many 100 ml bottles as you can fit in the bag" as in my current answer, which is why I asked JoErNahO for a source for the former claim.

    To be honest I remember reading this somewhere near the security checks at LHR. The only references I could find saying that `the max volume allowed is 1000ml` are easyjet's website, and Cathay Pacific's. After doing a bit of research I think that the max 1000ml indication is misleading, as the meaning is that the bag contains a max volume of 1000ml. I have therefore added an answer to complement yours.

    @JoErNanO: That could also be a UK rule, different from the US rule.

    One additional note regarding the last paragraph: While it's true that TSA only directly handles airport security in the USA, they _do_ enforce some of their requirements on most (all?) flights bound for the USA. Additionally, if you are flying into the U.S. and then connecting to another flight, you _will_ have to go through a TSA security checkpoint before boarding your connecting flight (and, of course, connection or not, you will have to go through a TSA checkpoint on the return.)

  • Total Volume of Liquids/Gels Per Person

    As Nate correctly points out in this answer, the volume of each individual container must be ≤ 100ml (3.4 fl.oz.). This raises the question of what is the total volume of liquids/gels you can carry on board? Because the volume of the bag is approximately 1000ml (≃ 34 fl.oz. ≃ 1 quart), one could easily think this is the maximum allowed volume. However, since containers rarely tessellate due to their irregular, dissimilar shapes, and because the containers themselves take up space, the actual maximum volume you can carry will equate to less than 1000ml. Therefore the answer is you can carry as many ≤ 100ml containers as you can fit in the bag, so that the bag closes correctly.

    United also mentions this in their Carry-on Bag Policy webpage:

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows each traveler to carry on liquids, gels and aerosols in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less, inside a single quart-size (liter-size) clear, sealable bag.

    International Inbound Flights

    It is worthy to note that passengers on international flights connecting through the us, are allowed to carry on-board liquids in containers of volume > 100ml if they meet the following conditions, quoted from the TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Webpage:

    1. they are in transparent containers;
    2. you bought them at a duty-free shop, and
    3. the store packed them in a secure, tamper-evident bag

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM