TSA Rules for Perfume in Carry-on & Checked Bags
TSA Rules for Perfume in Carry-on & Checked Bags
Are you ready to head off on a trip but aren’t sure if you can pack perfume in your carry-on? You don’t want to get to a security checkpoint and have a TSA officer take your favorite fragrance. While you could certainly leave it at home, there are ways to pack it so you don’t have to go without or worry about losing a costly bottle of perfume. Read on to learn how much perfume you can take on a flight and how to properly pack it.
Packing Perfume in Your Carry-on

Can you bring perfume on a plane?

Follow the 3-1-1 rule to pack perfume in your carry-on bag. This Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guideline states that you may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in 3.4-ounce (100 mL) containers in a quart-sized bag. Each passenger is limited to 1 bag. The 3 in 3-1-1 stands for the 3.4-ounce container. The 1s stand for 1-quart bag per 1 person. Most standard-sized perfume bottles are 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or smaller. When packing liquids and gels, containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100 mL) must be packed in your checked baggage, even if the containers aren’t full. The total amount of liquids and aerosols must be less than 68 fl. oz. (2 L). The perfume must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule even if it is sealed and unused. The TSA officer makes the final decision on whether an item is allowed through a checkpoint.

Packing Perfume for Air Travel

Place your perfume in a clear plastic bag in your carry-on. The TSA recommends using a clear quart-sized plastic zip-top baggie for all the liquids in your carry-on. However, there are other TSA-approved clear plastic bags available for you to use. When packing your carry-on, use samples or travel-sized perfume atomizers to save space in your clear plastic bag. That way, you have room for other liquids like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion. Most fragrances are available as samples or in travel sizes up to around 0.34 ounces (10 mL). Decant your perfume into a travel atomizer. Travel atomizers are widely available and simple to use by removing the spray cap and inserting the bottle’s nozzle into a special opening on the bottom of the atomizer. Opt for solid perfume. Many fragrances are available in solid or balm form, but it may be more difficult to find your favorite scent in this form. Check out Lush, Glossier, and Diptyque for high-end solid perfume options.

Pack larger perfume bottles into your checked luggage. The TSA allows you to take perfume containers holding up to 18 ounces (500 mL) in your checked luggage. You may take as many bottles as you like as long as the total amount is less than 78 fluid ounces (2 L). That works out to 20 3.4-ounce (100 mL) bottles if you aren’t taking any other liquids. When packing toiletries and perfume in your luggage, securely tape the perfume cap to the bottle to prevent spilling while in flight. Wrap a protective layer of clothing or bubble wrap around the bottle to help keep it from breaking. One of the best ways to protect a perfume bottle in your suitcase is to pack it in its original packaging. Most perfumes come in boxes that have some sort of padding or bracing to protect the bottle during shipment. Use a packing cube. Packing cubes are fabric cubes used to help organize your luggage when packing for air travel. They come in many different sizes that you can use to pack your perfume bottle with protective cushioning, like socks or a small towel.

FAQs for Traveling with Perfume

Will TSA throw away my perfume? As long as your perfume meets the TSA’s regulations for liquids in a carry-on bag, they won’t throw it away. However, if you have exceeded your liquids limit, your perfume may be confiscated at the discretion of the TSA officer. If the airport has rentable airport storage lockers, you may be able to place your perfume there for the duration of your trip. These lockers range from $8 - $12 per bag per day and may have limits on how long you can rent them. Check with the airports you fly through to see if lockers are available.

Can you take perfume on an international flight? Yes, as long as it follows the 3-1-1 rule, perfume is permitted on international flights in both carry-on and checked baggage. Rules for liquids are generally the same or less restrictive in other countries. Currently, some countries, like Australia, only restrict liquids on international flights. These restrictions are similar to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. Several countries, including the United Kingdom, Amsterdam, and Germany, may be removing restrictions on liquids as they install more advanced CT scanners at airport security checkpoints.

Can you bring duty-free perfume on the plane? Yes, you can bring duty-free perfume on the plane. Because these items are purchased at the airport, the TSA does not restrict the quantity. In many cases, the quantity of duty-free items is regulated by customs or duty rules. The European Union requires that duty-free liquids be carried as hand luggage (or carry-on) with the receipt in a sealed security bag provided at the time of purchase. You can’t open it until you reach your final destination.

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