Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

Clearing Up 5 TSA Carry-on Rules

The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) carry-on rules can be confusing and do sometimes change. And sometimes it seems weird that you can bring things in your carry-on baggage right on to the plane (like dry ice – you can bring that in your carry-on!). Get your answers here to five TSA carry-on rules that could potentially confuse you.

  1. You can bring booze in your carry-on. The TSA allows passengers to bring as many 3.4-ounce bottles of liquid that can fit in one quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag. Mini bottles of liquor are generally 1.7 ounces, so if you’ve picked up a few mini souvenir bottles on your last FAM trip, don’t worry about fitting them in your checked bag – you can carry them on. You can also carry on any alcohol you’ve purchased after the security checkpoint. Just remember that you can’t actually drink it on the plane. You can only drink alcohol that’s been served to you by the airline.
  2. You can also put deodorant in your carry-on! Stick deodorants of any size are allowed. If you have spray, gel, liquid, cream, pastes or roll-on deodorants, they have to follow the 3.4 ounce rule (so they have to be 3.4 ounces or smaller) and travel in a clear quart-sized bag. That’s probably for the best anyway – you wouldn’t want a squished gel deodorant to ruin your clothes.
  3. Electric and disposable razors, yes. Straight and safety razors, no. You would think it’s obvious that straight and safety razors aren’t allowed in carry-on baggage, but it never hurts to remind your clients, especially since straight and safety razors are becoming more popular. The blade must be packed into checked luggage, but the handle part can be in your carry-on. Disposable razors and their replacement cartridges can be in a carry-on, as well as electric razors.
  4. Carry-on e-cigarettes – don’t pack them in checked luggage. That’s if the e-cig has a lithium battery, which most do. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t allow lithium batteries in the cargo area of planes because of their potential to overheat and start a fire. And, it may be obvious, but e-cigs cannot be smoked on the plane.
  5. There are kind of a lot of rules about batteries. Basically, dry cell alkaline and rechargeable batteries along with lithium batteries should be packed in your carry-on and not in your checked baggage. TSA recommends packing all types of batteries in carry-on luggage whenever possible. And there are some types of batteries that are prohibited unless they’re being used to power a scooter or wheelchair. So if you or your clients have any doubts on what batteries are ok, check out TSA’s battery tips.

Have a TSA tip? Leave it the comments below.

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