By Emily Peters
Contributing Writer

Perhaps you’ve recently heard about the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations that certain amounts of powder will no longer be able to fly under the radar in your carry-on luggage.

That’s right folks: for international flights headed to the United States, as of June 30, 2018 your spices, protein powders, ground coffees, etc. that exceed 12 ounces will be better off in a checked bag. Failure to do so can result in additional security screenings, confiscation or forced checked baggage.

The new regulation follows on the heels of last July’s thwarted plot to blow up an Etihad Airways plane in Australia. A similar TSA regulation last year banned large carry-on electronics, affecting multiple foreign airports with flights headed to the U.S. While that ban has since been lifted, it does leave one wondering what CAN one carry on to flights these days?

Avoid the Obvious

Obviously, there’s no need to bring your BB gun or box-cutter in your carry on, but less obvious restrictions to things like bowling pins might not be as well-known. For a complete list from TSA, their site here is a great resource. The best resource, however, will be with the exact airline your clients are flying. Rules will vary, so it’s your job as the travel professional to educate your clients as much as possible.

Common Needs

Though there are hundreds of regulations listed on the TSA site above, some needs are more common than others. We’ve compiled a short and sweet go-to list of what CAN be brought in a carry-on that should address your average traveler’s concerns.

  • Powders under 12 ounces (specifically for flights originating outside the U.S. flying in, but best practice to keep it under this amount regardless)
  • Liquids under 3.4 ounces (100 mil.), all stored in ONE quart-sized bag.
  • Alcohol mini-bottles under 3.4 ounces are also allowed on board, but they must also be in the same single quart-sized bag as your other liquids. You also cannot serve yourself, but it must be poured by a flight attendant. Nothing over 140 proof is allowed no matter the size.
  • Larger bottles of alcohol and wine — this can get tricky. In general, pack these puppies in your checked luggage. You can only have a maximum of 5 liters between 24% and 70% alcohol in your checked luggage, with no limit on alcohol under 24% (like wine). Again, nothing over 70% is allowed even in your checked luggage. If you purchased alcohol duty-free and can’t check them, they should be okay to take on board as long as they are unopened. Again, check your client’s specific airline regulations to guide them. Nothing would hurt more than buying a lovely Bordeaux in France then to have to abandon it before they board. Best practice: decare whatever alcohol your clients have, just for safety’s sake.
  • Breast milk, juice and formula are allowed in “reasonable” quantities, whatever that means—so check with your client’s airline to be sure. The child doesn’t need to accompany the parent for them to bring the liquids with them.
  • Fresh fruit and veggies are typically okay on domestic flights, but if you’re flying FROM Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin islands to mainland uS, that’s gonna be a no from TSA.
  • Frozen meat and frozen foods can also be brought aboard, but but must be properly packed in ice with no liquid present. That means not even partially melted ice or ice packs.
  • Snacks and other food items in carry-ons are also permissible, but more airports are getting into the habit of having travelers pack these separately and remove them for screening, same as one has to do with large electronics and liquids.

Phew! There’s more where that comes from, but these basic regulations should give you and your travelers a guideline as to what they can bring. When it doubt, leave it at home or put it in checked baggage. Good selling!

Are you ready to start your independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.