Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

New TSA Rule Affects Powders in Carry-ons

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) never fails to quietly introduce new rules for your carry-on baggage . The latest one, already in effect, is focused on powdered substances in your carry-on.

Powdered substances are generally allowed in your carry-on. If the amount of powder you want to fly with exceeds 12 ounces (the size of a soda can), it may require additional screening, which may include opening the container so TSA can sniff around a bit.

It’s important to note that, according to the TSA, any powder that is flagged during screening, including items deemed medically necessary, may not be allowed through security. So if you or your clients are concerned the powder may not clear screening, TSA recommends placing it in your checked baggage.

You can still put food in your carry-on, but as with everything, it must go through the x-ray screening and may even require additional screening. Here’s a quick reminder of the foods that are permitted in your carry-on bag, in unlimited quantity:

  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Hard cheeses
  • Pasta
  • Protein powders (but be careful, now!)
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables

But if you want to avoid additional screening (and who wouldn’t?), you should remove all food products from your carry-on bag and put them in a bin.

So if your brand-new protein powder container somehow gets busted on your way to the airport, it’s best to try to get it into your checked luggage. If that’s not possible, eat as much of it as you can before the security checkpoint. Just kidding – if there's more than 12 ounces of it left and you put it into another container, just take it out of your carry-on and maybe give the TSA agents a heads up on it.

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