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List of Items That Need to Be in a Quart-Size Bag for Travel

When carrying luggage on board an airplane, you'll need to place certain items within a transparent and sealed quart-size plastic bag. The Transportation Security Administration enforces this rule for all flights departing from or arriving at U.S. airports. In addition, many international flight security agencies have adopted the rule, making quart-size bags vital gear for many travelers.

General Rules

When packing fluids in carry-on luggage, use containers with a volume of 3.4 oz. or less. All fluid containers must fit within a single clear plastic bag with a volume of one quart and with a zip-style closure. You must remove these bags from larger pieces of luggage to pass them through security screening devices. The Transportation Security Administration has devised the slogan "3-1-1" to remind passengers of the basic requirements: they may carry 3 oz. (technically 3.4 oz.) per container in one bag with a volume of one quart.


For the purposes of airplane security, gels are considered a fluid and must follow the 3-1-1 rule. While TSA does not issue a set list of gels, common items include many gelatinous cosmetics and beauty products -- for example, styling gel, gel toothpaste and gel deodorant. These product frequently come in packaging of more than 3.4 oz., so consider purchasing travel-size products or transferring a small quantity into a smaller container. Explicit exceptions to the ruling on gels include gel medications, such as petroleum jelly used for medical purposes and prosthetic devices including prosthetic breasts and bras.


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