Can You Bring Spices On A Plane? (through TSA)

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Have you ever been somewhere where you found the most unique, flavorful, aromatic spices and wanted to purchase them to take home? In the same way, many people want to travel with spices from home that they are used to, but are spices allowed on a plane?

Dry spices are allowed on a plane in checked and hand luggage. Dried spices follow the powder protocol by TSA – more than 12 oz containers of bags will require removal from carry-on bags for additional screening. Wet spices follow the liquid rule and cannot exceed 3.4 oz or 100 ml if packed in hand baggage.

Can You Pack Spices In Checked Luggage For A Flight?

The TSA does not have any problem with passengers carrying spices on a plane in checked luggage. There are also no quantity limitations on taking spices on a flight. It is recommended that all spices should be packed in checked baggage.

Can You Pack Dry Spices In Hand Luggage?

Dried spices are not only permitted in checked luggage, but the TSA allows you to carry your favorite spices in your carry-on bags. There is no limit on how many spices you can take, but there are some guidelines to take note of:

  • Spices are treated as powder. If any spice exceeds 12 oz, airport security will require you to remove it from your carry-on bag for additional and separate screening.
  • Security may also need to open your spices if they feel it is necessary for safety measures. It can cause a delay and inconvenience if that happens.
  • Large bags or containers of spices can obstruct the visibility of other items in your bag. This is also why you are required to remove the items from your bag.
  • Due to the above points, it is recommended that you pack all spices more than 12 oz, if not all, your seasonings into your checked luggage.
  • The TSA personnel have the final say at the airport security checkpoints. If they cannot come to a resolution about any of the spices you have, they do not have to let your items pass through and can confiscate them.

How Should You Pack Spices For A Flight?

When packing spices for a flight, ensure that your glass containers are secured with bubble wrap, so they do not break or shatter on impact. The baggage staff often handles checked bags pretty aggressively when loading and offloading the plane.

Spices in plastic should be safe unless the plastic bags are thin or low quality. You want to think about placing them in an additional plastic to be safe in case they rip, or there are any holes.

Additionally, some spices are highly aromatic, and the scent can linger on clothing for a long time. Using paper bags or wrapping them in newspaper and then plastic can help prevent the smell of spices from getting to your other luggage items.

Is Chili Powder Allowed On A Plane?

There are often concerns about chili powder and chili-based items when flying. Sometimes TSA agents do not allow it because of safety reasons. Albeit, if you pack chili powder in your checked luggage, you will unlikely have any issue taking it to your destination.

Chili spice is allowed in hand luggage, but remember that there is a chance you could lose it at security checkpoints. It also follows the powder protocol that any spice above 12 oz must be removed from your bags for additional screening.

Are Wet Spices Allowed On A Plane?

Wet spices like chili paste are permitted on airplanes by the TSA. Wet spices, however, follow the liquid rule by the TSA. That means if it is more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml, you can only take it in checked luggage as there is no limitation for them in checked bags.

For hand luggage, the size of wet spices must not exceed 3.4 oz or 100 ml and must be placed in your quart-sized clear, resealable plastic bag with other carry-on liquid items. Packing your wet spices in checked baggage is best to avoid inconvenience and save space.

Can You Take Whole Spices On A Plane?

Whole spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns, chilies, etc., are all allowed on a plane in checked and hand luggage. It is always best to pack those items in checked baggage to avoid additional screening and delays at security checkpoints.

Since they are solid items – not liquid nor powder, you will not have quantity limitations in your hand luggage. TSA agents, however, may still want to do additional screening because they are food-based items, specifically if you take large quantities.

If you have whole spices in liquids, such as chilies, garlic, etc., in the preserve, you can pack any amount you want to carry in checked luggage. The liquid items cannot exceed 3.4 oz or 100 ml if you take them in hand luggage.

Can You Take Dried Herbs On A Plane?

Dried herbs are a fun and exciting way to season some foods and salads. They are also aromatic and add an essence to dishes. This is why many people love to travel with their herbs or buy unique types from destinations they visit to try at home.

The TSA allows passengers to take herb seasonings in checked and hand baggage on a plane. It is recommended to pack spices and seasonings in your checked luggage because there are no limitations or restrictions that way.

You will be permitted if you want to pack your herbs in your carry-on bag. Herbs are also treated at powder and follow the same protocols. If you carry more than 12 oz of dried herbs in your hand luggage, you must remove it for additional screening.

Can You Fly With Spices Internationally?

Most airlines don’t have an issue with you bringing spices and herbs on a plane domestically and internationally. Flying nationally within the US shouldn’t be an issue, but check with your airline for any additional guidelines on traveling with spices.

If you want to fly with spices out of the United States to a foreign country, you should also find out from your airline about any requirements on carrying them. It is also essential to check with your destination place for any restrictions.

Some countries may not permit you to bring in spices, or they might have specific seasonings banned from entering the country from abroad. Ensuring you have the correct information before traveling can make your journey smoother.

Can You Take Spices Into The US From Abroad?

The US does not generally have an issue with permitting spices into the country from foreign destinations, specifically if it is for personal use. It is also vital that your spices are labeled correctly, preferably in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Additionally, it is essential that you declare any spices, seasonings, and herbs when traveling to the United States from abroad, even if it is not mentioned as a requirement. It is better to be safer than sorry and state that you have spices in your luggage.

If security finds it necessary, they will go through your items, and if they find an issue with something, they can take it away, and you lose it. That is better than you not declaring and being caught, which could result in major grievances and fines.