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TSA 1 quart ziplock baggie issues

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flitcraft
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:24 pm      Reply with quote
I fly. A lot. And I use wonderful skincare products. And lots of them. So...the 1 quart ziplock rules for carryon baggage are a major pain in the neck for me. (I know, you can put anything you like in checked baggage. But honestly, baggage issues--long waits, theft, damage--make it a hassle to check if I don't absolutely have to. So I almost never do.)

I thought I'd pass on a few tips for others that are in the same boat. Keep in mind that the rules say, 3 ounce or 100 ml containers. So anything larger--even if filled with less than 3 ounces of product--is a no-no. Of course, some of my favorite products offer sample sizes, so I save those for traveling. And some of my also-ran products also offer sample sizes, so as long as I know the ingredients and that they won't irritate me, I haul those along too. If you have a packet sample that contains more than one use's worth of product in it, rather than tear it open and have it get messy or dried up, just put a pinhole in the packet and squeeze out what you need--the rest stays fresh.

Hang onto any small containers you get with sampling--I must have a dozen or more mini-jars that came with mineral makeup samples. (Ah, but that's another story...) Wash them out and you now have tiny little containers for creams, gels, and anything thicker than a serum. (They might work for serums, too, but I'm too chicken to find out.) If they have the original labels on them, keep them on. Although the TSA rules supposedly allow any plastic containers--labelled or not--to be included in the 1 quart baggie, I've now twice run into over-zealous and under-informed public servants that insisted that only original packaged products qualify. (They're wrong, of course, but what can you do when you're in the screening line and your plane is going to take off?) The thing is,as long as the item *looks* like it's in original packaging, they don't care. And I have yet to meet a TSA screener that knows that Alima W-1 shouldn't be a white cream in a jar!!

Do make sure that, if you plan to decant your creams and so forth that they aren't sensitive to oxygen--if so, this trick won't work. Also, if they're light sensitive, keep your ziplock in your luggage while you're in your hotel room to minimize light degradation. (Probably a bit over the top, but anyone using the number of face products and cosmetics that I use is probably a bit over the top anyway...)

Hotel sized toiletry bottles can be refilled with nicer liquid goodies, though you should assume that traces of whatever was in there first--shampoo, conditioner, or whatever--are still likely present, so keep that in mind. The best "score" in that regard are mouthwash bottles, which wash out much more easily than soapy or oilier products. And, believe it or not, I've never had a TSA screener bat an eyelash at my pink creamy lotion in a mouthwash mini-bottle!!
manslayerliz
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:55 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for the great tips, flitcraft! I'm actually getting on a plane tomorrow and I'm flying into an extremely large and busy airport, so I'm trying my DARNDEST to fit everything into the 1 quart zip-loc. My goodness, the TSA people might as well demand that I turn water into wine! Anyways, what I'm having the most trouble with is my contact lense stuff--- I refuse to decant it as I worry about sanitation issues. I read somewhere that it's possible to carry contact lense stuff and prescriptions in a separate, larger bag--- has anyone done this and gotten away with it, or did yu have problems? It's too bad that I'm traveling alone this time--- usually I travel with DH, and since he basically doesn't use any beauty-type stuff, I can fill his zip-loc baggie with my goodies as well, lol!

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Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:10 pm      Reply with quote
Great tips, thank you. I am getting on a plane tomorrow also. Manslayer, I had to fly back in November, and I was able to carry on all my medications in a gallon size bag, I just made sure all were in an original prescription box. Not sure about contact lens stuff though, sorry.
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:14 pm      Reply with quote
This is exactly what I did when I flew in December.
Make sure you TAKE A COPY of the TSA regulations.

You will be shocked when the TSA folks working really don't know what is allowed and was is not.

Embarassed

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flitcraft
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:41 pm      Reply with quote
Happy travels, liz. You can take needed medical supplies (and contact fluid counts) even if it is in a size greater than 3 ounces, according to the TSA regs (which I very much agree you should copy and take with you). What you need to do is have the lens fluid separate from your 1 quart baggie, take it out and tell the screener that you have an extra medical item so it can be hand checked. As long as you do that, you ought to be fine. Of course, there's always a possibility you'll get one of the security screeners who is clueless. If that happens, you could try politely asking for a supervisor (and hoping that you haven't cut it so close that you miss your flight.)

Armed with the TSA regs, a polite and calm demeanor, and a little bit of luck, you should be just fine. Have to tell you that I saw something hilarious a few months ago--someone had a huge bottle of something in their baggie, clearly much larger than 3 ounces. But it was only labeled in metric milliliters. The screener took out the bottle, examined it closely, shook her head and said "I have no idea how much 300 ml is in ounces." She let the woman bring the stuff aboard! (For the record, the limit is 3 ounces or 100 milliliters...)
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Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:10 pm      Reply with quote
manslayerliz wrote:
Anyways, what I'm having the most trouble with is my contact lense stuff--- I refuse to decant it as I worry about sanitation issues. I read somewhere that it's possible to carry contact lense stuff and prescriptions in a separate, larger bag--- has anyone done this and gotten away with it, or did yu have problems?

i get the smaller contact solution bottles (the ones that usually come in a kit) and fly with those. i only had a problem when these new regulations began and had to "compromise" by allowing the screener to squeeze out part of my bottle so "it met with the 100ml regulation." since then, i've flown several times and they've been cool.... if you're having trouble getting it into your one baggie, just use another one for your medical products (pills, inhalers, nasal spray, contact solution, contact case, whatever) and pull that out as well. it makes it obvious that this baggie is for medical use (and gives you more room) and even the densest screener gets it. you may get a comment that you *didn't* need to put your pills or whatnot in there, but more likey they'll just be appreciative that you took the time to seperate the items they might possibly question....

i take long flights (paris/los angeles) and spent a lot of time on the phone making sure that contact solution would be allowed as no airlines were willing to supply it to passengers who take out their contacts in flight. contact solution *is* a medical necessity and they've really relaxed the 100ml rule. you are better off, however, if you can find one of the smaller travel bottles (even though i know they charge more for the convenient size.... don't worry, you'll be fine.
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Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:52 am      Reply with quote
Definitely print out the TSA regs on their website! Looks like everyone else has offered the correct advice... yes, contact solution can be included with your meds etc and doesn't have to conform to the 3oz/ 100ml rule.

Have a good trip Liz!! Smile

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tiger_tim
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Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:00 am      Reply with quote
Quote:
And I have yet to meet a TSA screener that knows that Alima W-1 shouldn't be a white cream in a jar!!


rofl Laughing Laughing Laughing

I don't have to get on a plane till June and the rules just came in here in Japan, so first thing I have to do is find a suitable baggy! Laughing I also have to buy a small size samsonite suitcase to use for check-in of all the liquids I used to carry as in-cabin luggage (booze, bottles of shampoo, long-life cream.. the list is endless...)

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Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:20 am      Reply with quote
Be careful that your bag is actually about the size of the North American quart bag. On one of my travel boards, one Australian lady got in trouble with TSA on her trip back home because her bag was a metric size. Unfortunately, she argued a little too harshly and got arrested.
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Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:01 am      Reply with quote
Genie wrote:
Be careful that your bag is actually about the size of the North American quart bag. On one of my travel boards, one Australian lady got in trouble with TSA on her trip back home because her bag was a metric size. Unfortunately, she argued a little too harshly and got arrested.


rofl yes, we Aussies like to argue the point...

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steffers
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Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:41 pm      Reply with quote
flitcraft wrote:
The screener took out the bottle, examined it closely, shook her head and said "I have no idea how much 300 ml is in ounces." She let the woman bring the stuff aboard! (For the record, the limit is 3 ounces or 100 milliliters...)


That is so funny. I guess the American screeners are going to have to "get their metric on!" I haven't got a clue what ounces and gallons are. Anyway, as a flight attendant, we get exempt from all this madness when travelling for work except when leaving the UK. I just came back from London 2 days ago, and I must say, they are very thorough. You must also remove your plastic baggie from your carry-on, and send it through the scanner on top of your luggage so it is in plain view, kind of how you would treat a laptop.

I think for people bringing on cabin baggage only, i think the trick is to forego certain items. We are going on holiday to Italy in May, and as I won't be working, I will have to leave out certain items in my carry-on, eg. my fave hairspray that does not come in travel size, etc. I'll just have to do without until i get back!

In my experience, from talking to other travellers, I have not heard of a restriction in the actual size of the plastic baggie, the security staff is more concerned with containers being under 100ml, and the total amount of liquids which can't exceed a certain amount (1 litre?).

Good luck all travellers! And if you're not sure, leave it at home!

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Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:09 am      Reply with quote
Unfortunately these kind of regulations came into force in Hong Kong last week, which means that next week for the first time in years I'm going to have to fly with check-in luggage.
What bothers me most is I'm not convinced that these kind of passenger restrictions are necessary and/or effective...
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Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:40 am      Reply with quote
On my flight FROM Hong Kong to US, the people got it ALL wrong and there are signs that say NO liquids/creams allowed period and they were REMINDING people of these at the check-in counters. I didn't even bother saying anything but I feel bad for other travellers who got the wrong information. To my knowledge from what I read it's just liquids and gels, creams don't seem to fall in this category.

My mom also had a huge bag of pills and she has like 5 prescription eye drops that she NEEDS and had no problem going through the checks prior to boarding (the ones that they actually OPEN up your bags to check)!
manslayerliz
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Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:45 am      Reply with quote
Well, I had quite the interesting trip! Tanks to everyone's good advice here I went to the TSA website bfore my trip and printed out the information that said that I was allowed to bring my contact lense solution, even if it exceeded 100 ml. Frankly I'd love to be able to bring a smaller bottle of contact lense solution with me, but the ONLY kind my eyes will tolerate (Aosept) does not come in travel-size bottles in the US anymore. (The last place I saw one was Japan, maybe I should stock up next time I go...) So, that means I have to lug a big bottle of it when I travel, ugh! So, I put all my non-prescription goods in a 1 quart baggie, and then I put my Aosept, saline, and drysol in a bigger baggie. I then highlighted the passage from the TSA website, and stuck it in with my medical stuff. The TSA website says this: "You are not limited in the amount or volume of medically necessary items (contact lense solution, prescriptions, etc), BUT if the necessary items exceed 3 oz or are not contained in a 1 quart bag, they must be declared to the security officer for further inspection." Sounds like no big deal, right?

Unfortunately, in Cleveland I ended up with a security office who was I swear borderline mentally retarded. I sent all of my items through the x-ray machine, and then I said "I have some medically necessary items to declare, if you please." The security guy looks at my two bags of stuff, this is the exchange that followed:
SG: You have two bags of stuff here. You are only allowed to have one.
Liz: Actually, the larger zip-loc bag contains medically necessary items which would not fit into a 1 quart bag. According to the TSA website, it's ok for them to be in a separate bag.
SG: This is contact lense solution? It's too big! It needs to be 3 oz or less.
Liz: Here, take a look at this page I printed from the TSA website. It says any amount of contact lense solution is ok.
SG: (reading) "You are not limited in the amount or volume of medically necessary items...." ... ... ... This bottle is too big. You are only supposed to bring enough for your trip, and you can't tell me that you need this big bottle for your trip.
Liz: I need this big bottle because it does not come in a smaller size.
SG: That's not true, the man in front of you had a smaller bottle!
Liz: It must have been a different brand.
SG: Well then you need to use a different brand!
At this point I was going to open my mouth, ask for a manager, and do everything I could to get that mouth-breathing blithering idiot FIRED for hassling me so much, but he then decided to let me through so I just grumbled about it to my sister on the phone for an hour and felt better.

On my way back, at Houstan's airport, I was prepared for another battle, but this time the security person was a woman. I said to her "Excuse me ma'am, I have some medically necessary items to declare." Without even looking at them, she said "That's fine sweetie, have a nice day!" What a relief!

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Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:13 am      Reply with quote
manslayerliz -- i am an Opti-Free gal myself and can use nothing else so i undertand! i need more solution so i will look for your brand here and if i find any small sizes i will nab them for you. (i'm back in the states in two weeks so it wouldn't be a hassle to ship them.) i'll let you know.

BTW: i lucked out when i got the retarded guy hassling about my solution on one of my flites. i'd just had my first surgery and pulled out my arm (he was sitting at a table) from the sling with it's eight inch bloody incision scar and started babbling about my 6 1/2 hour surgery. he was so disgusted by the sight, he let me go without further ado! Bad Grin
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Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:55 am      Reply with quote
ladies, you need lasik surgery!! Laughing

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Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:42 am      Reply with quote
tiger_tim wrote:
ladies, you need lasik surgery!! Laughing

wanna pay for it???
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