Posted on Oct 5, 2011 in Travel
I am traveling with my 3 week old baby and I know there are certain rules that apply to items that can be taken on a plane. What will they allow me to carry for him?
With all the new rules it can be super hard to know what you can and cannot take on the airplane. Let’s talk about the basics of air travel with your tiny one.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons is the easy way to remember what you can bring on the plane, and how to pack it. Stated simply, it reads like this:
In general, you are not allowed to carry on containers with more than 3 ounces of fluids or gels. If you want to split hairs, the TSA does allow up to a 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle, but for simplicity’s sake, this is usually stated as 3 ounces. The clear, zip-top plastic bag containing your gels and liquids must be removed from your carry-on luggage and placed in one of the bins (like the one your shoes go in) and be put through the x-ray machine. By taking the bag out while going through security it takes much less time for you and the other passengers, as any bag still containing liquids must then be hand searched by the TSA screeners.
Additionally, don’t forget that any container larger than 3 ounces containing liquid or gel is always allowed in checked luggage, so if you are planning on checking bags anyway and won’t need some of your larger bottles for the flight, this is a hassle-free way to bring those items.
There are however some exceptions to the rule when traveling with little ones. Again, according to TSA, you must declare larger liquid items. This includes medicines, baby formula and breast milk. These are allowed in quantities that are considered reasonable, with “reasonable” meaning amounts that you can reasonably say will be required for the length of the trip. Getting through security with these types of items may take a bit longer, so try to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. While you will not be denied carrying on these items, they will be inspected by the security staff and may need to be opened and inspected before you are allowed to pass through to the gates.
This rule goes for older children as well. Toddlers enjoy their sippy cups and apple juice (at least mine do!) and these items may be carried on by following the same procedure. If you’d rather bypass the hassle of security hand inspecting your juice, once you pass security there are typically stores that sell many items your child may want. You can purchase these items after you have gone through security, and these are allowed to be carried on the plane. You will, of course, pay a premium over what a small bottle of apple juice would cost in the supermarket, but such is the price of convenience. A good tip is to check ahead by looking at the airport website to see what types of stores they have past security, so you can plan ahead.
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