Hand & body lotions are considered liquids on airplanes. They are a cosmetic product and therefore they are regulated by the TSA. At the time of this blog post, the TSA will allow up to a 3.5oz container of lotion onto an aircraft. The TSA stands for the Transportation Security Administration. This administration has the final word for what is and isn’t allowed on aircraft on United States domestic and international flights.

The TSA agent at the airport has the final word over if something is allowed or not onto an aircraft.



What Is The TSA’s Job?

The TSA’s main concern is to keep aircraft safe. This includes screening everything and everyone that goes onto an aircraft. The TSA does a phenomenal job of screening over 100 million passengers and pieces of luggage throughout the year. Aircraft are very high targets for terrorists and the TSA takes their job very seriously.


What Is Accepted:

The TSA has a full list of what is all accepted on aircraft right here. If the agent says that the item is not allowed, it’s not allowed no matter what the website says. Never get upset or try to argue with an agent. This holds up the line, makes you look like you don’t know what your talking about, and can make you miss your flight.


Rules Always Change:

The rules about what is allowed on an aircraft always seem like they are changing. If you have any further questions or concerns about the rules it’s best to contact the TSA or your airline for the latest updates.


Flying When You Need Lotions:

You are allowed to carry a quart size bag of products through a checkpoint. The bag has to be clear and zip shut. All lotions, shampoos, and ect.. must be put into the same bag. The products inside the bag need to be packaged in a container that is less than 3.5oz each.

The bottom line is that you can carry as many 3.5oz or less containers that fit into a clear quart size bag that can be resealed.



Tips For Flying With Lotions:


Keep Easy Access To Everything:

When go through airport security you will be required to remove all liquids from your bag. You can save a lot of time by putting these items on the very top so you don’t have to dig around your luggage at the airport to find them.


Get To The Airport Early:

Sometimes the TSA will stop and ask questions about what is in the containers.  This can take extra time and you may miss your flight if you don’t get to the airport early enough. Tell them the truth, never lie to a TSA agent. This happens mostly on international flights. The TSA is making sure that you aren’t trying to import a banned product or substance into another country.


Respect The TSA’s Decision:

Sometimes the TSA agent may make a decision that you may think is unfair or that you don’t like. The best thing to do in that particular situation is just to agree to the agent. Don’t say anything back or try to argue with them; they aren’t going to change their decision.


Put Hand & Body Lotion In A Checked Bag:

If you are using a checked bag you can put your lotion in a clear bag in with that luggage. Currently, there is no limit on how much lotions that you can put into a checked bag (within reason). The only downside is that you will not be able to use your lotion on the flight.


International Flying With Hand & Body Lotion:

If you are flying internationally, I would recommend buying a lotion that weighs under 3.4oz and keeping your lotion in its original packaging. Sometimes when flying from country to country, customs doesn’t like to have unlabeled products. A lot of people try to sneak in banned substances into other countries this way. This way customs know exactly what you have.

The TSA’s website states that that agent at the checkpoint has the final decision on what items are allowed through.



How To Contact The TSA:

Sometimes you may have additional questions or need to contact the Transportation Security Administration. You can click here for information on how to contact the TSA.



Hand & Body Lotion Through Security:

Sometimes it’s just easier to have a container that is already the right size for carry on. You won’t have to worry about anything except making sure it’s in a clear quart-size bag with all your other liquids. If you are a frequent traveler, you could start buying lotions in containers that are less than 3.5oz.

It may be hard to find a company that sells that size of containers. You can check out our store here to get the right size container to take on an aircraft.


Checked Bag Lotion:

The easiest way to carry lotion is if you are going to check your bag. However, there are some downsides to this. The main downside is the cost. It can get very expensive to pay for a checked bag on an airplane. Sometimes the airport can lose your luggage as well. This isn’t as common. There is no limit on the size of the bottle you can have if you check your bag. Your items should still be put into a clear reusable bag just to be on the safe side. Lotion can stain and you don’t want it getting all over your clothes in your luggage.



The 311 Rule:

Sometimes you may have heard people talking about the TSA’s 311 rule. The 311 rules says that you can’t bring liquids and lotions in containers that weigh over 3.4 oz. They have to all fit into one quart-size clear bag. Only one clear bag is allowed per traveler.
3.4oz or less
1 clear quart-size bag
1 bag per traveler.


Why 3.4 liquid rule exists:

The 3.4 liquid rule is a rule that simply states that you can’t carry on liquid products in containers larger than 3.4oz. This is because in 2006 a plot was foiled where someone was trying to bring liquid explosives onto an airplane. Thankfully the plot was broken up. After this incident, the TSA stepped it up. They went out and tested a whole bunch of explosives and found that 3.4oz of product posed very little risk for flying passengers.

The liquid rule exists to prevent a terrorist from bringing materials on an aircraft that could cause an explosion of some kind.



Best Hand & Body Lotion Container For Flying:

The best container for lotion while flying is a container that the lotion already comes in. This will be the easiest way. Look at your lotion container and see the ounces. If it is under 3.4 ounces you are good to go. Put that container in a clear plastic quart size bag along with other liquids.

If your lotion container is over 3.4 ounces you will need to repackage it. If you have a larger bottle with something missing from it, you will still have to repackage it into a different container. 

The best containers you can find are the travel size containers you can buy at many stores. They are cheap, durable, and most of them fit the rules for flying.

After you put your lotion into a travel container, put it into the clear quart-size bag along with your other liquid products.



Put Hand & Body Lotion In Checked Luggage:

Lotions are considered liquids on airplanes according to the TSA. They allow you to carry a maximum of 3.5oz in a single container for a carry on bag. There is no limit for the amount of lotion that you can carry if you are putting the lotion in a checked bag.

If you are paying for a checked bag, it would be better to put the lotion in that container.

This is because of a few reasons. You may not need lotion during a shorter flight. However, if the flight is a long flight it wouldn’t hurt to have it in your carry on bag. The fewer items you have, the less it takes to get through the checkpoint.

You are required to take out all lotions, food, electronics, and cosmetics and put them into a separate bin. If you put all of that stuff in checked luggage, it won’t take you as long to get through the line.