Flying with gifts is a great idea. You can shop at your own pace, and take your time carefully choosing the perfect presents for people at your destination. However, the TSA has rules that you should be aware of before you bring anything on board, especially if you’re keeping it simple with just a carry-on.
Wondering if your gifts will get the green light from airport security? Hoping your special souvenirs won’t get swiped? Some of the things that aren’t allowed — and some of the things that are — might surprise you!
It doesn’t matter if it’s clearly a gift — if that full-size bottle of fragrance you bought for your mom is over 3.4 ounces, it will be scooped by security. The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons requires that all liquids must be in a 3.4-ounce container or smaller, and all liquids must be able to fit into a single quart-size bag. When in doubt, pack liquids in your checked luggage instead.
The only exception? Duty-free liquids, such as alcohol or perfume, are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces, just as long as they were purchased at a duty-free store and are also in tamper-evident bags. If your duty-free purchases aren’t in these special bags, you’ll have to check them. Make sure you keep that receipt!