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When travelling by plane, there are so many things to think about. Such as what you can and can’t put in your carry-on and checked luggage. Including can I take a water bottle on a plane with water, or empty? Air travel rules are strict, so it’s important to prepare ahead. Can you bring a water bottle on a plane? CATSA and TSA regulations state the following:
You can bring a water bottle, or container of water in your carry on. As long as it’s in a 100 ml (3.4 oz.) or smaller container. There are some exceptions for babies needing formula or breast milk, and people with medical needs. Empty water bottles are allowed. Fill them up once you are through security.
Just be aware, that it is ultimately up to the TSA agent / security officer as to what they will allow through.
We’ll go through everything you need to know from a traveller and TSA and CATSA perspective (the USA and Canada air transport authorities). Including:
- The 3-1-1- Liquid Rule
- Which types of bottles and sizes are allowed for carry on and checked luggage
- Exceptions to the rules
- Frequently asked questions
- Top 3 favorite travel water bottles
The CATSA is the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and the TSA is the United States Transportation Security Administration.
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AIRLINE APPROVED WATER BOTTLES
As many of us also try to be more responsible travellers, and reduce single-use plastic, being able to bring a reusable water bottle is important.
Bring your empty bottle through security, then fill it up past sceening. Water fountains or bottle filling stations are becoming more common at airports.
You’ll be happy to have some extra liquid on a long flight on your next family vacation to Hawaii. Or wherever your travel takes you. Learn more family travel tips, and pre-travel prep you’ll need to do before you leave.
3-1-1 liquid rule
The 3-1-1 liquid rule allows you to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the security checkpoint.
However, the size is limited to 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) or less per item in your carry on. All items larger than these must be put in your checked luggage.
Here are the TSA water bottle rules & liquid rules.
Here is some is similar info from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website:
These limits apply to items such as toothpaste, shampoos, mouthwash, lotion and other personal care items. Whether they are in a glass bottle, plastic bottles or a reusable bottle.
If taking international flights, be sure to double check their rules.
Examples of liquids, aerosol and gels that need to follow the 3-1-1 rule
|Aerosol Cheese String
|Pudding / Jello
Types of Bottles Permitted
There are limits to the amount of liquid, rather than the material of bottles you may bring in your carry-on or checked bag.
Here are our top 3 favourite reusable, well travelled water bottles:
- Overall favourite – ThermoFlask Insulated Stainless Steel with 2 lid options for it’s lid versatility, plus it keeps water cold for hours (double walled insulation), and has reliable leak proof lids.
- Best Stainless Steel – Hydro Flask Standard Flex Cap Bottle for it’s comfortable grip, easy to drink out of and fits well into a backpack water bottle sleeve or a car cup holder.
- Best for Water Filtering – GRAYL UltraPress Water Purifier Bottle for its high-grade water filtration system for travel, camping or hiking. And it’s comfortable to drink from and durable for all your adventures.
Maximum Size Bottle Allowed
You can bring empty water bottles or containers of any size in either your checked or hand luggage. Within reason of course. As long as they’re empty, you’re safe.
Exceptions to the Liquid Rules For Carry-On
Both the CATSA and the USA Transportation Authority provide some exceptions to the liquid carry-on rules. Generally these are for liquids related to baby and child nourishment, medications and medical neccessities.
Baby Food, Drinks and Breast Milk
Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (including puree pouches), may be brought onto the plane in reasonable amounts, greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 millilitres. This also includes their cooling accessories (freezer, gel and ice packs).
Place these items separately on a screening tray and let the TSA officer know at the start of your screening process.
If you don’t want these items opened or x-rayed, let them know in advance. They may be able to use different screening processes.
Persons with Disabilities & Medical Conditions
Essential prescription and non-prescription medications are usually exempt from the liquid items rules.
Both the TSA & CATSA allow larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, aerosols and gels. In reasonable quantities for your trip.
- Medically necessary liquids and/or medications must be separated from your other belongings and declared to the officer.
In Canada, documentation to support your medical needs or condition is not required. However it’s a good idea to carry just in case.
In the US, you may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition. But it doesn’t look like it’s mandatory. TSA Cares is a helpline to help travellers with disabilities and medical conditions through the screening process.
Tips for Travelling with a Water Bottle
Travelling with a water bottle is not only handy, but better for the environment. Every bit of plastic ever created is out there somewhere. A scary thought.
Here are some tips for travelling with a reusable water bottle:
- Empty your water bottle before you go through security. You won’t be allowed to bring a full water bottle.
- Place the empty reusable water bottle in bin beside your bag, to make it easier for them to inspect.
- Put water bottles and containers with liquids, pastes, gels more than the allowed 100 ml (3.4 oz.) in your checked bag. Follow the 3-1-1 rule.
- Let the TSA officers know if you are carrying liquids that are exempt from these rules.
- Place exempt liquids, gels, medications, aerosols in a separate bin for inspection.
Before flying back from vacation with all your souvenirs, check out the rules on bringing magnets on planes.
Can you bring a metal water bottle on a plane?
Yes you can bring a metal water bottle through airport security and onto the plane, as long as it is empty. According to the TSA website there are no limits placed on the type of materials the water bottle is made of. Rather it’s the volume of liquids that has the restriction. Empty your metal or stainless steel water bottles first, and you should easily pass through
Can you bring an empty water bottle on a plane?
Yes, according to both the TSA and TCSA, you can bring an empty water bottle in either your checked or carry-on luggage. There are no limits placed on the size of a water bottle. However you may want to check any large bottles, or thermoses to save room in your carry on.
Can I bring an empty metal water bottle on a plane?
Yes you can bring an empty metal water bottle on a plane. Just make sure to take it out of your bag so it’s easier for security to check. This will save you time and hassle in the long run.
Can you bring an unopened water bottle through TSA?
As the average single-use bottle of water is 500ml, you would not be able to bring an unopened water bottle through TSA security. As it is above the 3-1-1 liquids rule, it would be confiscated at security. It would be best to either drink the water beforehand, or just buy bottled water after you’ve made it through the security line.
Can we carry water bottles in checked luggage?
Water bottles that are empty, or full of approved liquids can be carried in your checked luggage. As long as you are packing items that aren’t on the prohibited list, you should have no problems.
Can I bring an empty water bottle on a plane, Canada?
According to Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, yes you can bring an empty water bottle on a plane in Canada. In either your checked or carry-on bag. You may also bring an empty thermos/insulated beverage container.
Can you bring a hydro flask on a plane?
Like other containers, as long as your hydro flask is empty you may bring it on a plane past security. Empty hydro flasks of any size may be placed in your carry on bag or checked bag, according to the TSA and TCSA. Just make sure you have no liquids at all. As the screening agents may confiscate your bottle even if you have below the 100ml limit.
Can I bring an empty water bottle through TSA?
If you are wondering can I bring an empty water bottle through TSA, yes you can. Any size water bottle (within reason), that does not carry a liquid may be brought through TSA.
Can you bring water on a plane?
You can bring water on a plane in Canada and the United States if you purchase it, or fill up your water bottle once you are past security.
What size empty water bottle can you take on a plane?
You can take any size empty water bottle on a plane within reason. As long as it fits in your carry on or personal item, if you’re not checking it with your luggage.
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