Modest Detente in the TSA’s War on Water?

Roadwarriorette culls together some TSA blog posts to update on changes to the War on Water.

  • Deodorant. Stick deodorant is fine in any size and does not have to be in your Ziplock. Gel and aerosol deoderant mus be 3.4 oz or less and must be in the liquids bag. (Source: TSA blog)
  • Makeup. Common size facial cosmetic and medicinal products in a tube, for example mascara, lip gloss, and lip balm are not required to be placed in the 1 qt. bag. May I just say, hallelujah. (Source: TSA blog)
  • Contact solution. According to the TSA site:  You may bring all prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes. So, let’s just go with it. It still needs to be in a resealable bag, and it still needs to come out for screening. It just doesn’t have to take up room in your other liquids bag. (Source: TSA site)

Now, I haven’t actually taken my plastic Freedom Baggie out of my carryon in almost a year. Last year a line barker in Yakima sternly commanded everyone to take out their plastic baggies and screen them separately, so I did. Of course Yakima still had the full signage for family line, expert line, etc. even though they have only one line for the airport’s three daily Dash 8’s worth of traffic. And before that it had been a year still.

But I do still pack my freedom baggie with liquids, and have them easily accessible. And I’ve certainly taken to traveling with far less liquid than ever before, even things that the TSA considers to be liquid that science does not. But anything that both liberalizes the official rules, even though rarely enforced, is a good thing. It points out the stupidity of the rules previously in place. And it removes discretion for an ill-informed power-tripping screener (though your mileage always may vary in taking perfectly permissable items through the checkpoint, where the screeners rule supreme and you have few if any rights).

Keep the incremental changes coming until the day that water bottles are once again permitted through the checkpoint instead of tossed into a bin next to the checkpoint, and all good procedure suggests that dangerous substances should be!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s really OK to leave your plastic baggie full of liquids in your carry-on? I thought that was a big no-no.

  2. It’s officially a no-no, but I forget to take out my liquids bag about 50% of the time. I NEVER hear about it. (I make 2 or 3 trips per month.)

  3. The 3.4 oz liquid limit is more than maddening given that almost every small size of any product is 4 oz. I would like to know how or who could address this with the TSA, to raise the limit to 4oz. I have to “repack” almost all my creams, toothpaste, etc. to meet the 3.4oz limit. THIS IS CRAZY!!!!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE THERE HAVEN’T BEEN NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS ADDRESSING THIS.

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