Would You Pack This In Your Carry-On?

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Carry-On LuggageSee that enormous bottle of lotion in the photo? Would you pack it in your carry-on?

I ask because when I went to New York City for BlogHer awhile back, I flew out of the Akron-Canton airport. It’s a fantastic airport. Easy to navigate, quick to get through, comfortable seating areas, and everyone I talked to was very friendly.

It has all the wonderful features of a smaller airport. Even the line in security was short. I was surprised to see that there were only 4 people in front of me and everyone was in a great mood.

It was apparent that the first of the four ladies in line had not traveled often and it was most likely her first time flying. She was not with the 3 other ladies but they were trying to be helpful and telling her how to put her items in the bins and to take off her shoes. She was fumbling around a bit but was managing all right.

Then the TSA agent came over to offer advice and answer any questions for her. He told her about the 3 oz rule for liquids and lotions. She stopped what she was doing and said, “Oh no.”

This wasn’t good.

Next thing I know, she pulls out of her carry-on a bottle of lotion as big as the one above. They told her she couldn’t bring it on the plane and that she would have to throw it away.

Then she pulled out an enormous round container of what must have been very expensive cold cream or another lotion because the agent handed her a plastic bag and she started scooping the cream out with her hand.

Truthfully, I did feel a little bad for her. It was clear that she was very embarrassed and she had a line (although a small one) of people waiting behind her. I can imagine that feeling. My face would turn red, I’d start sweating, and get all shaky.

What I couldn’t understand is how could she have possibly not known that she couldn’t take those items through security? The rules have been in place for ages and you only have to turn to the tv, the radio, a newspaper, online, and even simply ask another person to find out you can’t pack liquids over 3 oz. in your carry-on bag. She wasn’t even an elderly lady who, then, maybe I could see might not have known. She was probably in her late 30s.

Eventually the TSA agent had her step to the side so the rest of us could go through. I have no idea how long the lady was there for or what she ended up doing but hopefully she made her plane and everything went more smoothly for her.

Thankfully, other than losing my belt in the x-ray machine which is a story for another time, the rest of my flight was uneventful and I was really glad everyone at La Guardia on my way home was aware of the rules. If this had taken place at a busier airport I could imagine that the agents and the people in line wouldn’t have been so patient or friendly.

What about you? Have you seen anyone pack odd items in their carry-ons? What do you think about the 3 oz rule?

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  1. Olivia Rubin says:

    Given her age, and if she was cognitively and developmentally age appropriate I find it odd that she would not know of these rules as well. Suprised they didn’t flag her for suspicious behavior.

    I don’t carry any liquids besides some face lotion, and I will just pump it into a travel container and an empty water bottle to fill when I get through

  2. md kennedy says:

    I LIKE the 3 ounce rule because it makes me pack smarter – and lighter! I can almost always travel with carry-on – even to Europe. The lady who was clueless? I would have no patience – has she been living under a rock??!!

  3. Sherry Butcher says:

    I think the 3 oz rule sucks, esp. when the stores around the area sell at less 4 oz tubes of hand cream. Would be nice if they told us why, and all places did it the same. We all know that if some one wants to do harm they well and this 3 oz rule only slows everything down.

  4. This is one of the many reasons I hate to fly. I know its for the greater good but some of the rules make it very difficult to fly with small children.

  5. No I would probably pack something smaller for more space. I dont like the rule but i dont make it

  6. Even though the rules have been in place for awhile, it still shocks me what people think they can bring in their carry-ons. I saw a guy fighting with the TSA agent about not being able to bring his pocket knife. Really? It wasn’t even a small one.

  7. I once flew with my lighter, both there and back. Still trying to figure out how they never saw it?!

  8. Trasina McGahey says:

    Even though I haven’t been on a plane in 20 years (sad, I know!) I am aware in a very vague way that they now have limits on things like shampoo and lotion and if I was going on a trip wi Owuld def be researching the specifics. It is odd that she had no idea at all.

  9. Jennifer Marie says:

    I haven’t seen anyone try to bring large amounts of anything onto a plane. I think the 3 oz seems a little small for a rule but I guess there are reasons behind it…

  10. Sarahbeth Simonson says:

    Wow. It only takes a few minutes before traveling to check the carry-on rules. I try to make sure I have it all planned before leaving.

  11. Too big imo. I also don’t understand how some people don’t know about this rule. I HAVE had situations where my baby’s food jars had to be checked and even had ONE confiscated once claiming there was something “odd” about it. JUST THAT ONE out of a few I packed for a trip overseas. Are you freaking serious??? I thought that was ridiculous, but the security guy was being a real pita to my husband for no reason.

  12. I’ve seen SO many ladies in my travels having to toss HUGE bottles of expensive creams. sad, but rules are rules

  13. I think the rule is a bit silly, but 3oz makes easier carrying.

  14. personally the 3 oz rule was made for our own protection 1 bad apple spoils the whole tree im assuming but while it does suckit makes for an interesting trip!

  15. I understand they are making these rules for our protection but its kind of sad that such rules are in place. I may not like it but I sure as heck will follow it

  16. I would definitely carry this…nice and convient

  17. Yeah, I would feel bad for her, too. I guess there are lots of people who do not fly or have not flown in years and have not kept up with the rules.

  18. Kim Henrichs says:

    Oddly enough I see this happen a lot. I can’t believe there are people who still do not understand that they will confiscate things. But if you fly rarely maybe you don’t know. It’s a bummer when they take an expensive item and won’t let you go repack it or anything.

  19. Betty Baez says:

    I caught some grief over bringing baby water and formula on a plane a couple years ago thankfully they let me go through because I just kept saying to them “am I suppose to have my baby starve and scream on the plane because of a stupid rule” oh and another time I bought one of those mugs that you stick in the freezer that have a little liquid I refused to throw it out because I bought it as a gift so I had to go back and check it in with my luggage whoops!

  20. Jessie C. says:

    I was forced to throw some NEW bottles of skin care away a few years back, precisely the day this 3 oz. rule started, I was in the airport and ready to fly from MPS to SFO. Terrible experience, sigh.

  21. I don’t fly often, but I would definitely look up the rules before I pack for a trip

  22. betty wojnar says:

    I really don’t want a hassel on the airplane so I don’t pack any thing weird…but some times weird things to someone else aren’t weird to me.

  23. Love the story – but there is always somebody out there who does not know about the rules or think that they are an exception and they will let them through!

  24. Caitlin McClure says:

    I don’t like the rule. I only learned about it before traveling a few months ago.

  25. Miz Vickik says:

    I haven’t seen anything too out of the ordinary. As for me, I’m usually all checked out on the sizes and having things in the right containers and all, although every once in a while I’ll still have a small, wayward tube of sunscreen outside of the bag or something. Mostly I’m fine with it, though I do hate trying not to lose track of my travel documents during all of the show changing and whatnot. =)

  26. For me, I would have looked at all the rules before even heading to the airport. Then if this did happen to me, I would probably ask TSA to throw the container away so I didn’t hold anyone else up.

  27. We never fly and although I know there are a lot of crazy rules about what you can and cannot pack, I really have no clue about it and would probably be that person. I’m so glad that I have a fear of flying because I love road trips and I can pack whatever I please in the trunk of my car and nobody can take it away from me!

  28. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I have never really seen anybody pack wierd items. I fee terrible for this woman though, I feel the 3oz rule is good to keep , and there for a reason, however it can be a pain.:)

  29. I think the 3 oz. rule is pretty silly but I do try to adhere to it

  30. I’m not very happy with 3 oz policy but for safety reasons I’d do it

  31. I think the 3oz rule is fine. I always condense my items into smaller containers anyway, so I am not lugging around big bottles.

  32. I would just bring the sample/travel sizes. Make the process and the time spent easier!

  33. I like to bring travel size products with me when I fly.

  34. Mary Williams says:

    I have to be honest, I had no idea there was a limit on sizes of liquids you could bring on a plane. I’ve only flew once in my life, I’m 31, so that could have easily been me in that line. Or any of my friends for that matter. Thank goodness that everyone was nice to her, and no one gave her a hard time. I would have been humiliated if it had been me.

  35. I fly so rarely that I haven’t seen this happen. I’m sure it happens a lot …maybe people just hope to sneak things through.

  36. i have never seen anyone pack weird items, but i think the 3 oz rule is okay just put your stuff in a smaller container and if your going to be somewhere for awhile just ship your stuff there if its something expensive that you dont want to have to buy again, it does make it a little innocence but i dont pack big things anyways

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