Airport prices are pretty high and can be a waste. That is why most people prefer carrying their own water bottles from home on a plane. You may be wondering, well, it is just water, so it should be fine, but can you take a water bottle on a plane or not?
After passing through airport security, water bottles are allowed on a plane if the water was bought at an airport store or kiosk. Any liquid that is more than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml will be confiscated at security checkpoints because it does not meet the minimum TSA requirements.
Is A Water Bottle Allowed On A Plane?
Technically, a water bottle is allowed on a plane. There are a few instances when this is possible, as explained in the following points:
If the bottle is empty
Passengers are allowed to carry empty bottles through security. Many parents of young kids do this too to have a bottle that is easy for their kids to use. People who prefer hydro flasks or want to avoid plastic bottles also carry their own.
You can fill the bottle at the airport at a water station if available. On the plane, you can pour the little cups of water they give into your bottles to ease drinking and avoid spills.
If the water was bought after passing through security
There are kiosks and other stores in the airport for shopping after passengers pass through security. Many of these stores sell drinks in full sizes, and the plane allows those because they know you could have only purchased it after security control.
If you filled the bottle at the airport before security control
As mentioned in the first point, passengers can carry their own bottles if they are empty. Airport security will not let you pass through if you have a full-sized bottle that is filled unless it does not exceed the TSA rules.
If it is empty, they will let you pass with no issues, and you can fill the bottles at a water station or pour bottled water that you purchase into your preferred drinking vessel, e.g., a hydro flask or your kid’s sippy cups.
If the water is less than 3.4 oz or 100ml
The TSA guidelines state that no liquid that exceeds 3.4 oz or 100 ml is allowed through security. In some stores with specific bottled water brands, you get tiny-sized water that fits the TSA standards. Airport security is likely to allow those, though.
Does Airport Security Allow Water Bottles?
Airport security allows empty water bottles even if they exceed the TSA rule of 3.4 oz or 100 ml. If the bottle is empty, airport security has no reason to stop you or confiscate your bottle. It is a common practice for passengers who prefer their own bottles.
Some examples of bottles you can carry through airport security:
- Toddler sippy-cups
- Kids’ straw cups
- Kids water bottles
- Adult water bottles
- Hydro flasks
- Tumbler insulated mugs
- Reusable travel coffee cups
You want to ensure no liquid is inside, or you could risk losing your bottles and cups. The security staff doesn’t have anywhere to pour the liquid, so they will confiscate the entire bottle/mug/cup.
The only time airport security will allow water bottles to pass through is if the size of the water bottles is equal to or less than 3.4 oz or 100 ml.
How To Fill An Empty Water Bottle On A Plane?
Since carrying empty water bottles is becoming more common recently, people are curious to know how to make it work and get them filled. If you don’t fill it at the airport water stations, or you did, but the water is finished, you will need to refill it on the plane.
You will probably need to top up if you have a long flight. Most airlines provide complimentary bottled water, but you want to make sure of that before your flight if you have to pay for it.
Here are a couple of ways you can fill your empty bottles on a plane:
- Ask for extra water cups/bottles and pour the water into yours. Doing that helps make drinking easier, prevents spills, and is more hygiene.
- Ask a flight attendant to fill your flask/mug/cup with boiled water (if that’s what you require).
Can You Carry Water On A Plane For A Baby?
According to the TSA, passengers with babies are allowed to carry water in reasonable quantities. It does not specify the amounts, but passengers should use discretion.
If you are carrying water for baby formula, whether in a bottle or flask, airport security will allow you to pass through with it. You will need to remove it from your carry-on or baby bag to undergo separate screening (as you would a laptop).
A flask of water is typically allowed. One to two water bottles should be allowed if you take it for baby formula. You can always get more water (boiled and room temperature) on the plane if you run out, so it is best not to overpack and run the risk of trouble at security checkpoints.
Can You Carry A Frozen Water Bottle In The Plane?
Some passengers carry iced water bottles expecting to take them through airport security control, claiming it is not liquid. While that might make sense, you will probably not win trying that.
The security staff will confiscate your iced water bottle since the contents of the bottle are still liquid. It is always best to fly by the rules of the airport and airlines – even if you don’t like them – if you want to avoid issues and delays.
Can You Board A Plane With A Full Water Bottle?
As mentioned, passengers can board a plane with a full water bottle, even if it exceeds the TSA size limits. If you managed to get the bottle to the boarding gates, you purchased or topped it up at a water station after security checkpoints.
The essential point to remember is that is not always the case. Sometimes airlines do not allow it regardless of where you got the water. The security staff sometimes confiscate full or partially filled water bottles at the boarding gates or inside the bridge.
It is difficult to distinguish a bottle filled with water from one filled with harmful or dangerous chemicals used to make liquid explosives. Some airlines are extra cautious. To be prepared, checking your airline regulations and restrictions before flying is best.