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Traveling to Portugal? Here’s Why Flying is the Best Way to Explore the Country

Portugal, with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, has become a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re planning to visit Lisbon, Porto, or any other city in this beautiful country, flying is undoubtedly the best way to explore all that Portugal has to offer. In this article, we will discuss why flying is a convenient and efficient mode of transportation for your Portuguese adventure.

Speed and Convenience

When it comes to traveling long distances within Portugal or from abroad, flying offers unparalleled speed and convenience. With numerous international airports throughout the country, including Lisbon Portela Airport and Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, you can easily reach your desired destination in no time. Unlike other modes of transportation such as trains or buses, which may involve multiple transfers and longer travel times, flying allows you to save precious hours that can be better spent exploring the wonders of Portugal.

Accessibility to Multiple Destinations

One of the most significant advantages of flying in Portugal is the accessibility it provides to multiple destinations within the country. Whether you want to dive into Lisbon’s vibrant city life or explore the enchanting coastal towns along the Algarve region, flying allows you to reach these diverse locations quickly and effortlessly. Moreover, smaller airports like Faro Airport cater specifically to tourists visiting popular vacation spots like Lagos or Albufeira. This means that you can easily hop between different regions of Portugal without having to worry about lengthy journeys.

Seamless Connections with International Flights

Flying not only offers excellent domestic connectivity but also provides seamless connections with international flights. If you’re planning a multi-country European adventure or coming from farther away like North America or Asia, flying into Portugal will likely be your first stop before embarking on further exploration. The major airports in Portugal have excellent connections with major international hubs, making it easy for travelers to reach their final destination without any hassle. Additionally, Portugal’s national airline, TAP Air Portugal, offers a wide range of connections from various cities worldwide, ensuring a smooth and convenient travel experience.

Cost-Effective Travel

Contrary to popular belief, flying can be an affordable mode of transportation when planning your trip to Portugal. With the rise of low-cost carriers and competitive airfare options, you can often find great deals on flights to and within Portugal. By being flexible with your travel dates and booking in advance, you can save significantly on airfare costs while enjoying all the benefits of flying mentioned above. Moreover, airlines often offer promotional fares during off-peak seasons or special events, allowing you to explore Portugal without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, when it comes to exploring all that Portugal has to offer, flying is undoubtedly the best way to travel. With its speed and convenience, accessibility to multiple destinations within the country, seamless connections with international flights, and cost-effectiveness, flying provides an unrivaled experience for travelers visiting this beautiful country. So next time you plan your Portuguese adventure, consider taking flight and embark on a journey filled with unforgettable memories.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


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Liquids Rule

You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.

Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that alarms during screening will require additional screening.

  • Medications
  • Infant and child nourishments

Inbound International Flights

You may carry duty free liquids in secure, tamper–evident bags, more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your carry-on bag if:

  • The duty free liquids were purchased internationally and you are traveling to the United States with a connecting flight.
  • The liquids are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and do not show signs of tampering when presented to TSA for screening.
  • The original receipt for the liquids is present and the purchase was made within 48 hours.

The items inside the secure, tamper-evident bags must be screened and cleared. Any item that alarms or is unable to be screened will not be permitted in your carry-on bag. We recommend packing all liquids, gels, and aerosols that are over 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your checked baggage, even if they are in a secure, tamper-evident bag.

Liquids more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml not in a secure, tamper-evident bag must be packed in checked baggage.

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Everything You Need to Know About the TSA’s Liquid Limit

The tsa allows liquids under 3.4 ounces in your carry-on—but what’s considered a “liquid” isn’t always obvious..

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Don’t forget to remove your liquids when going through TSA screening.

Photo by Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock

Whether you’re a carry-on-only kind of person or not , knowing the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) liquid limits is essential for anyone who travels by plane in the United States. Yet understanding which of your toiletries, foods, and other items even count as “liquid”—let alone how best to pack them—can get confusing. Use this guide to understand the TSA’s rules and restrictions about liquids, common exceptions, and tips to help ensure your next airport security screening goes smoothly.

What is the TSA liquid limit?

The TSA’s liquid limit for carry-ons—known as the 3-1-1 rule—allows travelers to pack liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes under 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) in their carry-on bags. Passengers are allowed up to one quart-sized bag per person , or roughly nine 3.4-ounce containers in a single quart-sized bag. Anything more will have to go in a checked bag or risk being tossed out.

If your liquids are stored in containers larger than 3.4 ounces, even if there’s only 3.4 ounces left inside the bottle, you can’t bring them through security.

Completely empty bottles, such as your reusable water bottle , are allowed through the TSA checkpoint since (spoiler alert!) they don’t contain any liquids at that moment.

Which toiletries TSA allows in your carry-on

The TSA allows all of the following common toiletries in your carry-on only in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less:

  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Lotions and sunscreen
  • Gel hair products

In other words: yes, you can bring toothpaste, deodorant, and sunscreen through TSA checkpoints but only if they are in travel-sized containers.

Powders and powder-like substances, including baby powder and some makeup items, aren’t restricted in your carry-on bag. But if you’re carrying more than 12 ounces (350 milliliters) of a powder, you’ll need to place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening, and it may be subject to additional screening—so it’s a good idea to budget an extra few minutes at the security checkpoint if you think this might happen.

Tips for packing your toiletries in your carry-on

To comply with TSA regulations, invest in small, reusable toiletry bottles, like these capsules by Cadence.

To comply with TSA regulations, invest in small, reusable toiletry bottles, like these capsules by Cadence.

Courtesy of Cadence

Especially if you don’t have TSA PreCheck , it’s helpful to pack all of your toiletries in a quart-sized (or smaller) clear plastic toiletry bag for screening. Although improved airport technology means that far fewer air passengers (both in PreCheck and non-PreCheck lines) will have to take their liquids out out of their carry-on, it’s still helpful to have all of your liquids in one bag just in case you get pulled aside for additional screening. For an upgrade from that large Ziplock, we recommend the standard-sized Clarity Jetset Case from Truffle ($88), which has a clear window panel and is comparable in size to a quart-sized bag.

Since toothpaste is considered a liquid, paste, or gel by the TSA, most of us toss those tiny one-ounce tubes in our carry-on bags. However, if you want to ditch the hard-to-recycle packaging, consider toothpaste tablets, an ecofriendly alternative that’s not subject to the 3-1-1 rule. We like Humankind’s fluoride toothpaste tablets ($12), which resemble small mints and turn to paste when you crush them between your teeth. Matador has also recently released a reusable toothpaste tube ($10), which you can fill (and refill) with your regular toothpaste.

For travel toiletries that are easy to rebottle (like shampoo or body wash), consider investing in reusable bottles or containers so you can always keep your preferred brand on hand. Some of our favorite TSA-approved toiletry bottles include:

Buy Now: GoToob three-pack of 3.4-ounce bottles, $30, rei.com

These easy-to-fill, leakproof silicone tubes are ideal for shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and body washes. GoToob’s line comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 1.7 to 6 ounces, and are easy to clean between refills.

Matador FlatPack

Buy Now: $13 for one or $35 for three, matadorup.com

Each three-ounce, TSA-approved bottle is made from a durable, waterproof, nylon-based fabric. Like GoToob, they’re leakproof and easy to fill, but thanks to their flexible, fabric-like design, they will shrink to their contents, taking up less space in your pack. >> Read the full review of the Matador FlatPack

Buy Now: $14 for one or $74 for six, keepyourcadence.com

The refillable travel containers by Cadence are small, leakproof “capsules” that click together with magnets. At 0.56 ounces, they’re best for makeup and toiletries you don’t need much of—like a weekend’s worth of shampoo or a week of that under eye cream you only need a dab of.

Foods are subject to liquid limits

The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule applies to food too, meaning you’ll need to make sure any foods that count as liquids, gels, or pastes (like yogurt, peanut butter, pâté, jams, or that tasty pimento cheese spread you tried to bring home from Charleston) are less than 3.4 ounces or packed in your checked bag. There are some exceptions, like frozen foods and juice for babies, and the TSA’s website is the best resource to check for specific items.

Exceptions to TSA’s liquids rule: Full-sized liquids that you can bring through security

The TSA has several important exemptions to its liquids rule. You’re allowed to bring full-sized bottles of the following:

Hand sanitizer: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TSA currently allows travelers to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in their carry-on bags. These will be screened separately.

Medication: You’re allowed to bring medically necessary liquids, aerosols, and gels through security. This also includes the ice or gel packs you may need to keep your medications cool. You are not required to store these items in a plastic, resealable bag, but you should remove them from your luggage and let the TSA officer know what you’ve packed.

Baby formula and breast milk: Like medication, you can bring freezer packs to keep these items cool, and you should remove them from your luggage and notify an agent when you go through security. More baby-related exceptions? Gel or liquid-filled teethers and canned or jarred baby food.

Of course, the final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint rests with the TSA officer.

If you’re ever unsure about a specific item, the TSA’s website has a handy, searchable list of prohibited and allowed items worth checking before you travel. You can also now text the TSA with your questions.

This article was originally published in 2022. It has been most recently updated on March 21, 2023, with additional information.





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10 Full-Size Liquids You Can Actually Take Through Airport Security

By Rachel Chang

Vector illustration of a detailed airplane on the urban airport scene. Retro style.

For the better part of two decades, we’ve limited the liquids we carry through airport security. The magic number settled upon was 3.4 ounces, or 100 milliliters, of liquid in a container—an amount that became an  international standard developed by explosives experts . 

As frequent travelers are well aware, bottles that are 3.4 ounces or less can be stashed into a single one-quart plastic bag, and each traveler is allowed one—in a rule that’s been dubbed the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Oversized liquids can still be packed, but need to go into checked-in baggage.

But as screening devices have become more savvy, there has been talk of those limits being eliminated, especially as a  recent report said the UK will scrap the rules by 2024. “The introduction of new technologies has played a significant role in how aviation security has evolved over the past 20 years, thanks to strong industry partnerships and TSA’s agility in adopting technology that enhances security and improves the passenger experience,” a TSA spokesperson says. While there’s no timeline in place yet, the agency “anticipates the limit on liquids will be lifted in the coming years.”

So in the short run, travelers still need to limit the fluids they pack in carry-ons. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. “TSA requires additional screening to ensure the safety of these liquids,” the spokesperson says of the items. “Travelers in this group should notify security of their medically-necessary liquids.”

In general, those  exceptions need to pass a three-prong test . They need to be required during the duration of your flight or at your destination, they can’t be available at the airport in the area past security, and they can’t be available at the destination. But when it comes down to it, the  TSA says on its site , “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”

Here are some of the most common exceptions of oversized liquids that can be taken through security. 

Prescription liquids, creams, and gels

Medication that has been prescribed specifically for you is perhaps the most common item that qualifies as an exception. TSA recommends that it’s clearly labeled so there's no question about what is inside. “You are responsible for displaying, handling, and repacking the medication when screening is required,” the agency’s site dictates. Depending on the situation, medication can either be screened visually or with an x-ray machine. It may also be tested for traces of explosives.

In some situations where the officers aren’t able to properly screen the item, you may be asked to open the container and transfer it to an empty container to test, or possibly dispose of a small quantity. 

In cases where you would like to make sure the medication isn’t opened or X-rayed, simply inform the TSA officer. “Additional steps will be taken to clear the liquid and you will undergo additional screening procedures to include a pat-down and screening of other carry-on property,” the site says.

Liquid medications and contact lens solution

In general,  liquid medications that are not prescriptions and  contact lens solutions are limited to 3.4 ounces, but TSA does allow “larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip,” with the caveat you must declare them to security officers first. 

Breast milk and infant formula

Passengers traveling with infants have enough to worry about on their flights—and being able to provide the little ones with the proper nourishment should not be one of those concerns. Technically, TSA categorizes  breast milk and  baby formula as “medically necessary liquids.” The child doesn’t need to be present for the exception. 

In order to expedite the process, TSA suggests—but doesn't require—that the liquids be transported in clear and translucent bottles, so that they can be screened by the Bottle Liquid Scanners. (Those in pouches may not be able to.) While there is a chance you may be asked to open them, nothing will ever be placed in the liquid. The agency also adds that the screening process shouldn't affect the formula, but if you prefer they not be x-rayed, alternative testing means can be taken.

Baby and toddler food and drinks

In addition to breast milk and formula, food and drinks for babies and toddlers are also allowed, including puree pouches. They also technically fall into the “medically necessary” category.  Water for babies is also allowed in “reasonable quantities.” 

Liquid teethers

TSA also recognizes how important teethers are to babies and has “ liquid-filled teethers ” specifically called out as an item that can be brought through the security check.

Ice, gel, and freezer packs and other accessories to medically necessary items

Ice, gel , and freezer packs that are required to keep other medically necessary items in their required cool state are also exceptions, no matter what state they are in (solid ice or liquid gel). Additionally, IV bags or other accessories to medical supplies are also allowed. 

Hand sanitizer 

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, one major allowance was added to the list— hand sanitizer . While they may be readily available beyond security check and at your destination, the hygiene item was added, especially for use on the plane, as some experts have said that extra precautions should be taken on airplanes and airports to prevent the spread of germs .

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Until further notice, hand sanitizers of up to 12 ounces are allowed since “TSA understands that COVID-19 is at the forefront on the minds of travelers, as health officials are encouraging that individuals wash their hands frequently,” the  site says . 

Live fish in water

Assuming your  live fish in water needs more than 3.4 ounces of water, this is another exception to the rule, as long as they’re in a clear transparent containers and properly inspected by the TSA officer. 

Biological specimens 

Liquid exceptions can be made in the name of science.  Non-infectious specimens in preservative solution can be carried through if it’s for scientific research. But they’ll need to be very specifically packed.

There can be up to 30 milliliters of free liquid in a heat-sealed inner plastic bag and then no more than one liter in the outer packaging, which needs to be marked: "Scientific research specimens, 49 CFR 173.4b applies." (Specific instructions for the regulation are  here .)

Duty-free purchased items in officially sealed bags

Shopping at the airport? Those liquid souvenirs can be taken home as well, as long as they are properly sealed by the cashier in a  security tamper-evident bag (STEB). The system was “developed to allow an exemption" to liquid volume rules for items purchased at duty-free airport retailers or on board an aircraft, according to the  International Civil Aviation Organization . 

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Airline Luggage Restrictions

Carry-on items.

The FAA has limited passengers flying within the United States to one piece of carry-on luggage and one personal item. Personal items may include: handbags , briefcases , laptops , daypacks and small backpacks . In addition to one carry-on and one personal item, passengers may bring on board a coat, reading material, small bag of food and devices such as wheelchairs and walkers.

You should check with your airline first, but most domestic airlines permit a carry-on piece of luggage that is 45 linear (total) inches. A common sized bag for carry-on luggage is 22"x 14"x 9". Most airlines have a carry-on weight limit of 40 pounds.

International airlines may have different restrictions for carry-on luggage. Again, it is always best to check with your airline first to get their exact requirements.

Airlines enforce all size and weight limits much more strictly now than in the past. Bags are weighed at check-in and many airlines have placed bag sizers at their gates. If your carry-on bags are too big, you will have to check them. This might cause them to be classified as "extra bags" which usually carries an extra charge .

Be sure to check your airline's website prior to travel.

Measurements must include handles and wheels.

To calculate linear dimensions add the length, width, and height together.

Checked Luggage

Most airlines will allow you to check one bag and have one carry-on bag. There is normally a maximum weight limit of 50 pounds per checked bag as well as a size restriction. The most common maximum size bag allowed is 62 linear (total) inches. A common size bag for checking through is: 27" x 21" x 14".

Airline carriers will allow overweight, oversize or additional baggage for additional fees. These fees can be quite expensive, and the airlines are typically very stringent in enforcing these policies. Make sure you know the exact details of your airlines checked baggage restrictions and avoid unnecessary fees.

Checked luggage may be opened for inspection at the airport and, if your luggage is locked, the lock may be broken for the inspection. Try a TSA approved lock to avoid any potential damage to your luggage or locks.

Do not put film in luggage to be checked. The screening machines may damage your film permanently.

There are countless luggage and travel accessory options that can make your travels smoother, simple, and safe.

Always place items like cameras and prescription medicine in your carry-on bag. Be certain to have your personal information clearly written on luggage tags on both the outside and inside of all your bags and luggage. If traveling overseas, make a copy of your passport. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you, showing flight numbers and hotel names and phone numbers.

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What’s Allowed in a Carry On Bag?

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With the ever-increasing costs of checking a bag, many travelers prefer to get by with just a carry-on. Airline restrictions, however, can be confusing. Below, we’ve compiled a detailed list of what you are and are not allowed to bring in your carry-on bag.

Personal Care

One of the most asked questions is whether you can bring deodorant on a plane. Short answer: yes. But there are specific rules regarding the type of deodorant and whether it is solid deodorant or liquid.

The rules about the personal items you are allowed to bring on an airplane have changed. For example, after 9/11, it was commonly thought that nail clippers were not allowed. They never actually made the list of prohibited items, but many were confiscated at the discretion of the TSA agent.

Don't risk it. Make sure you know what you can pack in your carry-on bag and what you will need to place in your checked luggage. Remember, purchasing items upon arrival is usually an option.

Medical Items

Most medical items are allowed on an airplane. In fact, it is recommended to carry them on in case they’re necessary for immediate use. That means items like contact lens solution should be packed in checked luggage unless you have a bottle under 3.4 ounces. Other items, like prescription medication, are allowed on the plane.

Can you take needles on a plane? Yes, needles are allowed on the plane if they are accompanied by injectable medication.

Can you take a heating pad on a plane? Yes, air-activated or electric heating pads are allowed on planes as long as they don’t contain flammable liquids or gasses.

Can I bring pill bottles on a plane? Yes, pill bottles are allowed. TSA does not require medication to be in prescription bottles.

When you travel with medical items, many of them will need to be declared to the TSA agent and screened. Items such as needles and liquids larger than 3.4 ounces will need to be inspected.

Sporting Equipment

Sporting equipment is generally prohibited as carry-on, as items like baseball bats, ski poles, golf clubs, and pool cues could all be used as weapons.

You can, however, pack roller skates, rollerblades, and somewhat oddly, ice skates in your carry-on, according to the  TSA website . Whether the airport security agent on duty will allow ice skates through depends on individual judgment,  but try to use shoe travel bags as an extra precautionary measure.

Self-Defense Items

Travelers often ask whether you can fly with pepper spray. While it's understood that travelers may want to protect themselves, self-defense items are not allowed in carry-on luggage. This includes pepper sprays and mac.

By their very nature, self-defense items have the potential to cause harm and should be transported in checked luggage. Even then, you can only pack one four-ounce container of self-defense spray in checked luggage. It must have a safety mechanism that prevents accidental discharge.

E-Cigarettes and Vaping Devices

Given the rules prohibiting smoking on planes, you might think vaping devices would have to be in checked luggage. The opposite is true. You cannot pack e-cigarettes in checked luggage; all vaping devices must be packed in a carry-on. Any liquids needed for the device must comply with carry-on liquid rules.

Please note that while you must pack vaping devices in a carry-on, you are not allowed to vape on planes. Doing so carries hefty legal fines.

Food and Drink

Airport food is expensive. Instead of paying a premium for snacks at the airport or onboard, greatly lower those costs by bringing food from home on the plane.

For the budget-minded traveler, most food items won’t have any issues getting through security. The one limitation you have to pay attention to is that 3.4-ounce rule; any liquids, gels, or creams will need to be under that amount or purchased once you’re inside.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of items that we rarely bring on a plane. But there are exceptions. For example, you can bring a fishing pole on the plane as long as it meets the size limits for travel.

Other items are much more common. We lay out a few of those rules below.

Carry-on Liquid Rules

Let’s start with the TSA carry-on liquid rules, the regulations that affect the most people. All liquids must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces, and all liquid containers must fit into a one clear quart size bag. This includes any liquid, including carry-on toiletries and over-the-counter  cold medication . Gels are considered liquids for purposes of travel.

Medically necessary liquids are exempt from this rule, as are liquid foods for infants. If you are packing such items in your carry-on, be sure to let the TSA security officer know.

For carry-on toiletries, the fewer liquids, the better. Pack solid soaps, deodorants, and shampoo instead of liquids if possible. You can buy liquid shampoo and toothpaste in travel size.

For most carry-on bags, follow the carry-on liquid rules and pack your ziplock of liquids at the top of your bag for easy access. Some carry-on luggage include removable TSA-compliant clear toiletry bags which can be easily taken out and repacked during security checks, making them perfect for traveling with liquids. Examples of such bags include the Travelpro®  Platinum® Elite 21” Expandable Carry-On Spinner and the Crew™ VersaPack™ Max Carry-on Expandable Spinner .

Can you Bring Glass Items on a Plane?

Glass items, including glass picture frames, are among the items you can  surprisingly pack in your carry-on . Essentially, if the glass item can be wrapped safely and fits into your carry-on, you’re allowed to take it on a plane.

Carry-on luggage is the safer option for glass and other delicate items, as checked baggage can be roughly handled. Be sure to wrap glass items securely to ensure nothing breaks during travel. You can wrap glass items in clothing to provide some protection. Bubble wrap offers more protection, but does have the disadvantage that it takes up more space in your carry-on. For glasses and bottles, fill the glassware with paper or small, soft items of clothing and wrap them in two or three layers of paper before wrapping them in clothing.

Snow globes are subject to carry-on liquid rules and must be small enough to fit into your quart-sized bag along with other liquid containers. Larger snowglobes should be packed in checked luggage, as they would otherwise be confiscated under TSA’s liquid regulations.

What Can't You Bring on a Plane?

Carry-on luggage rules determine everything from how much liquid you can take on a plane to what type of toiletries and sports equipment are permissible.

Knowing what is allowed in a carry-on bag can mean the difference between breezing through TSA security and having items confiscated. But, the list of items you cannot bring on a plane is too long to cover in its entirety here.

Firearms, ammunition, and fireworks are prohibited, as are all knives and safety razors (including pocket knives and Swiss Army knives). Straight razors and replacement blades for straight razors are also not allowed. Most tools also cannot be packed in carry-on luggage, as they have the potential to cause harm.

Certain foods are prohibited if you’re traveling internationally or from Hawaii to the US mainland, including meats, vegetables, and plants. You may be able to take such food onto the plane to eat during the journey, but if you try to take it off the plane at your destination, it will be confiscated, and you may face fines or legal repercussions.

Check out the  TSA website  before packing your carry-on for a full list of what you can and cannot pack in carry-on and checked luggage. And if you’re looking for a new piece of carry-on luggage, be sure to join us as we put carry-on luggage to the test .


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Airline and TSA Carry-On Restrictions

Elina Geller

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Table of Contents

Airline-specific carry-on luggage rules

Tsa liquid limits, how many ounces are allowed on a plane, additional tsa carry-on rules, final thoughts on tsa rules for carry-ons.

Whether you’re purposefully packing light or supplementing your checked luggage, it’s important to keep Transportation Security Administration (TSA) carry-on luggage size in mind when packing a bag and heading to the airport.

After all, not all airlines allow full-size carry-ons for free, and most have slightly different rules on what size those bags can be. Don’t get caught unaware at the gate; hefty baggage fees and inconvenience may await.

Here’s what you need to know about airline and TSA carry-on size allowances.

Airline carry-on dimensions differ depending on the carrier. When purchasing your flight, you’ll be able to see your carry-on and personal item limits.

A personal item is typically a small backpack, purse, briefcase, diaper bag, camera bag or any item of a similar size that can fit underneath the seat in front of you. A carry-on bag could be anything from a large backpack to a small rolling suitcase. But it’s less shape than size that matters, so here are carry-on luggage size restrictions for each of the major domestic airlines:

Alaska Airlines

On an Alaska Airlines flight, you can bring a carry-on and a personal item for free.

Carry-on bags are limited to 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high including wheels and handles. All three measurements shouldn’t add up to more than 45 inches.

For personal items, Alaska offers examples of a purse, laptop or briefcase.

Alaska doesn't list weight limits, but it says that passengers should be able to lift items that go in an overhead bin.

» Learn more: Guide to Alaska Airlines baggage and other fees

American Airlines

For an American Airlines flight, passengers get one personal item and one carry-on, no matter what type of fare is bought (elite members included).

Carry-on bags shouldn’t be larger than 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high including handles and wheels.

Dimensions of personal items should not exceed 18 inches long, 14 inches wide and 8 inches high.

There are no weight restrictions for carry-on luggage.

» Learn more: American Airlines bag fees: How they work, how to avoid them

Delta Air Lines

Delta flyers are allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item.

Including wheels and handles, measurements may not exceed 22 inches long, 14 inches width and 9 inches high. The total length plus width plus height of baggage must not exceed 45 linear inches.

For personal items, Delta says size examples are purses, small backpacks and laptops.

Three places have weight limits: Singapore (7 kg, about 15.4 pounds), Beijing (10 kg, about 22 pounds) and Shanghai (10 kg, about 22 pounds).

» Learn more: Delta Air Lines baggage fees: How they work, how to avoid them

Frontier charges for both checked luggage and carry-on bags, and the price depends on the route you fly. It also varies depending on if you buy the bags before via the web or mobile app, at the ticket desk, or the boarding gate.

Carry-on bags must weigh less than 35 pounds and must not exceed 10 inches deep, 16 inches wide and 24 inches high. Bags must fit in the overhead bins.

Checked bags must be no longer than 62 linear inches (length + width + depth) and must weigh under 40 pounds. Bags weighing more than 40 pounds will incur additional charges per bag per direction. Bags weighing 41-50 pounds will cost you $50 more and bags weighing 51-100 pounds will cost $100 more.

Personal items cannot exceed 8 inches deep, 18 inches wide and 14 inches high.

» Learn more: Frontier baggage fees: How they work

Not all JetBlue passengers are allowed the same carry-on items. Passengers who bought Basic Blue fares get one personal item (except Mosaic customers who always get a carry-on). Blue, Extra Blue, Blue Plus and Mint fares allow one carry-on and one personal item.

Including wheels and handles, length, width and height measurements may not exceed 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high.

Personal items can be no more than 17 inches long, 13 inches wide and 9 inches high or smaller to fit under the seat in front of you.

There are no weight limits for carry-on luggage on JetBlue.

» Learn more: Guide to JetBlue baggage, cancellation and other fees

Southwest Airlines

Southwest is known for having a generous free checked luggage allowance, but carry-on restrictions are similar to most other airlines — one personal item and one carry-on per traveler.

Carry-on measurements should not exceed 24 inches long, 16 inches wide and 10 inches high.

Personal items are limited to 18.5 inches long, 8.5 inches wide and 13.5 inches high.

Southwest doesn't list weight limits for carry-on items.

» Learn more: The guide to Southwest baggage and other fees

United Airlines

Most travelers flying with United can bring one carry-on and one personal item, but if you’re traveling on a basic economy fare, you’re allowed one personal item only (unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier Member, are traveling internationally or have a MileagePlus credit card, like the United℠ Business Card ).

Including handles and wheels, the maximum dimensions for a carry-on are 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high.

Personal items are limited to 17 inches long, 10 inches wide and 9 inches high.

United doesn't publish weight limits for carry-ons.

» Learn more: What you need to know about United Airlines baggage and other fees

Depending on the airline you fly with as well as how long you’re traveling for, you might wonder whether you’re better off traveling with a checked bag rather than a carry-on . This can be especially relevant if you’ve got some liquids with you that exceed the TSA carry-on liquid limits.


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Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement when you charge the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to the card. Available once every 4 years.

Statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement when you charge the application fee for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS to the card. Available once every 4 years.

If your credit card offers reimbursement for the application fee for programs like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you must pay the fee with the card. You cannot submit a claim for reimbursement if you paid with some other method. Reimbursement will usually appear as a statement credit in your account within two months.

Cards typically offer reimbursement of only one fee once every four to five years. Check the terms and conditions of your card for the specific rules that apply. Note also that these cards only reimburse the application fee for a trusted traveler program. They don't automatically enroll you in the program or guarantee that you'll be accepted by the program. You still have to apply and go through the required screening, which in the case of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry includes an in-person appointment.

Aeroplan® Credit Card .

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card .

Chase Sapphire Reserve® .

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® .

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card .

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IHG® One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card .

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The Platinum Card® from American Express .

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card .

United Club℠ Infinite Card .

United℠ Explorer Card .

United Quest℠ Card .

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card .

Terms apply.

» SEE the best credit cards that pay for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

Before you even make it to your departure gate, you have to clear a TSA checkpoint. This means you must adhere to the TSA liquid limit in order to make it through security.

Containers that are 3.4 ounces or less are allowed, but there are other rules to keep in mind as well.

Carry-on liquid limit

The TSA liquid rule — also known as the 3-1-1 rule (3 ounces, 1 bag per 1 person) — is straightforward: "You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item." Any liquids in larger containers will have to go into checked baggage (and are subject to overweight fees).

A basic clear, zip-top container qualifies as an eligible quart-size bag for passing through security.

The easiest way to manage the amount of fluids in your carry-on is to start with containers that are no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters and your quart-sized bag.

The maximum carry-on liquid size and amount will depend on how much you can fit into your single quart-sized bag.

3-1-1 liquids rule exemptions

The 3-1-1 liquid rule has several exceptions if you're traveling with certain liquid medicines or baby food.

TSA allows larger amounts of certain medically necessary liquids, gels and aerosols in "reasonable quantities" for your trip. The amount allowed is not stated.

The only catch? You must declare the medication to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection, alongside any accessories associated with your medicine, such as freezer packs or syringes.

Labeling your medical items can help facilitate the screening process.

Formula and breast milk are considered medically necessary liquids, and thus exempt from the carry-on liquid limit. Water and juice for babies is also allowed in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters.

These child and infant nourishment items are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. You may also bring teethers that are gel- or liquid-filled and canned/jarred/processed baby food in your carry-on baggage.

» Learn more: 7 ways to avoid paying bag fees

Duty-free liquids

The final exemption to TSA liquid limits apply to duty-free liquids purchased during inbound international flights. It's important that these bags are secure and temper evident and stored in a transparent bag.

Be sure to keep the item's original receipt handy in case a TSA officer asks to see it.

» Learn more: Can you bring food through TSA?

The only flammables allowed in a carry-on are cigars, cigarettes, disposable and Zippo lighters, and dry batteries (like AAs or AAAs).

Camping and sports equipment

You can carry-on an air mattress with a built-in pump (by following special instructions), antlers, basketballs, footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, bike chains and bike pumps. Bicycle allowances vary by airline, but baseball bats, bear spray and bear bangers are never allowed — nor is aerosol insecticide.

Other items

There are some banned items, including knives, firearms and box cutters. A full list of which can be found on TSA’s website .

Still not sure if something you plan to carry-on is restricted? Send a photo to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger to find out.

» Learn more: What foods you can bring on a plane

No matter which airline you fly with, first make sure you know what size carry-on you’re allowed to bring onboard and are familiar with (and prepared for) TSA’s carry-on restrictions, too. Then, you can expect a smoother and less stressful airport and airliner experience.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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