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Please tell me one more time about those 3 oz. things...

Okay, I get that my meds can be separate from my regular bathroom stuff.
I get that I can have just 1 one-quart zip-lock bag in which I put anything that oozes, pours, etc.
But I am still confused about labels--if I bring shampoo, for instance, doesn't it have to be in the original container, with the original label?
If I pour laundry detergent into a 3 oz. container, no original label, won't the security people have a field day?

Posted by
1003 posts

Perhaps explaining the reasoning behind the 3oz limitation will elucidate it. They have apparently figured out that you need MORE than 3oz of a particular liquid to be able to mix it with other things to be harmful. How they know this, who knows, but that's why it is a volume restriction and not an actual substance restriction.

Posted by
301 posts

No, you'll be fine. The "security people" don't care if you have Woolite or shampoo or any other non-lethal substance in your 3-ounce bottles. Go and have a good time and don't worry about original labels. That's not part of the TSA directive.

Posted by
13 posts

I have been having a problem finding saline solution and Contact lens cleaning solution in an approved size bottle for carry on. The smallest bottles I can find are 4oz. I guess the airlines have never tried to buy carry on saline. Anybody have any info?

I can't believe that the airlines are now going to approve lighters can be carried on but my saline solution that is 1 oz over the limit is a risk?

Posted by
124 posts

For Teresa, you MAY be okay taking on your contact lens solution because it is medically required for your lenses. I also found this website that has a 3 oz. bottle for sale

www.1-save-on-lens.com/cgi/saveonlens.cgi?da=blrenu

What I have found on my many times through security that if you have a quart-size plastic bag filled with your solutions, such as refilled shampoo, conditioner, etc. 3 oz. bottles, toothpaste, hand cream, lip gel and so on, no problem.

However, when I came home from Paris last weekend, I had two pains au chocolat and croissant pastries, as well as two boxes of Godiva chocolates, I had to put the chocolate items into my checked luggage. Apparently, not allowed in carry-on bag.

Posted by
970 posts

Teresa, it's been some time since I wore contacts, but, assuming you could sterilize an empty 3 oz. container, couldn't you safely fill it with solution?

Also, unless you're heading to the boonies, you can buy solution at your destination. Contacting the company that markets the brand you use could get you the name it's sold under overseas. They could also tell you if they make a travel size.

Also, this place -- http://www.minimus.biz/default.aspx -- sells a bunch of stuff in little travel-sized bottles. I don't see any solution there now, but perhaps in the future they'll carry it.

Posted by
8 posts

Teresa, I would check the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) for information on the 3-1-1 rule and the exceptions. My reading of it is that you can carry a larger size of saline solution as long as you declare it separately.

Posted by
1455 posts

Target has saline and the Rub Free multi purpose soft solution for 3 oz. Its in the travel size bin.

I was informed that your 3 oz can be a clear container not the original. The TSA has the right to inspect it, so be prepared to tell them the content. If you bring shampoo, why not bring the travel size of an actual shampoo? You can dump the original shampoo and fill it with your favorite, or, for travel's sake, just use the new brand.

I bring soft soap in a clear 3 oz container and have never been asked what it is. As long as it is not bigger than 3 oz, they will let it pass.

Posted by
40 posts

The funny part is that I went through all this preparation and the TSA lady just picked up my bag, glanced at it and said "you're fine." When I got through the line, I turned around and saw other inspectors opening plastic bags and going through them. This happened at each inspection. I'm not sure why.

Posted by
1455 posts

I agree! It depends on the luck of the TSA agent, and what kind of "mood" they are in.

Posted by
9363 posts

Target does sell both saline and contact lens solution in the sample size bin area, as does Walmart. Target also sells Ziploc "travel bags", which are the quart-size bags, in the same area.

Posted by
505 posts

I don't think contact lens fluid containers over 3oz are allowed unless you can show a prescription. An optometrist, optician or GP can probably write a prescription if you require specific solutions which only come in larger sizes.

To clarify - NO, you cannot put solutions in a new container. Solutions have to be sterile - eyes are not something you want to risk to infection - and solutions become un-sterile as soon as they leave the original bottle. It would be very, very risky to use solution from anything other than the original container.

Unfortunately, not everyone can use the general solutions which are made in the small bottles. For instance, I am allergic to the preservatives, so can only use a few brands of solutions which lack them. Perhaps I could use others, but it's not something I really want to test given the pain if I get it wrong.

Kate

Posted by
8 posts

The following is a quote from the TSA website. I guess maybe the question is whether saline solution for contacts is considered saline solution for medical purposes.

“To ensure the health and welfare of certain air travelers, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of the following liquids, gels and aerosols are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary (all exceptions must be presented to the security officer in front of the checkpoint):

All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including KY jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;”

Posted by
970 posts

Mary, that's good to know, but whether or not Teresa can put a full-size bottle of solution in her carryon still depends on the decision of the TSA officer who deals with her.

The only sure thing seems to be to get someone to write a presciption.

It's also worth checking out the rules at the airport Teresa will use for her return flight. There's a very good chance they play by different rules.

Posted by
13 posts

thanks to everyone for all the info. I did look at the TSA website and it seems that saline may be exempt from the 3oz. restriction. But to be sure I think I will ask my eye doctor to write me a prescription. I was planning on buying new in europe and only wanted enough to get me through a few days, but I also can only use 1 brand, because I am alergic to all others I have tried.

I will try Target and see if they have my brand in small bottles also.

Posted by
40 posts

Even more interesting.... I received a nasty comment from someone saying 'Who cares what you did?' Just a reminder that we are all sharing our experiences on this board. Take what you like and leave the rest. A comment like that is inappropriate and in very bad tase.

Posted by
192 posts

Well, I flew for the first time since the zip-bag, 3-oz. rule began, and things went quite well.
I was amazed at how much stuff I could cram into that quart-sized bag: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, face cream, lip stuff (like Chapstick), deoderant, hand lotion, antibiotic cream.

There was more fuss made over my setting off the beeper thing, actually. I have a fake knee now, and the darn thing always sets off the alarms. Airport security doesn't give a hoot WHY you set it off, they wand you anyway. I guess an 8" scar isn't proof enough. But, I can't complain, it went well also.

Thanks for all the help with my original question. I feel like I know what I'm doing now. :)

Posted by
50 posts

Nothing has to be labeled. The rule is stupid anyway and they don't really care what's in the container as long as it's less than 3 oz. So pack whatever you want in there...as long as it follows the stupid 3 oz. rule!

Posted by
9363 posts

Can't blame just the TSA -- it's a worldwide rule.

Posted by
57 posts

I too worried at the contact solution being 4 oz. I checked the TSA website and it said if you had something over 3 oz pack it separately and hand the bag to the agent. I printed out the page in case I got a snotty agent (sorry but there are some). I put my regular plastic bag in the tray and handed the solution bag to the agent telling him your website says I have to do this. He just told me it was fine and passed me through. My sister on the other hand had a tough time getting her spare lens through in Miami. It all depends on where you are and the human but carry the instructions and there isn't much they can say. On the other hand going through Paris I forgot to put my makeup foundation in the plastic bag. It went through the scanner with no problem but during the hand check of my bags the woman very pointedly took it out of my purse and put it in my plastic bag. Such a stupid waste of time since I was now being cleared for the second time.

Posted by
10 posts

So, it seems as many 3oz containers as you can stuff into one of those bags are permitted. Seems one could therefore bring 12 oz of one substance on board... Perhaps I am wrong.

Posted by
14917 posts

Some folks have run into problems if the container did not state the volume.

As for random TSA checks, they are meant to be random. Some people are checked ONLY because they are the 7th, or 12th or whateverth person going thru.

Posted by
11253 posts

The bag must be able to be closed and best to let it lie flat

Here's the TSA's website devoted to the 3-1-1 bag:

TSA 3-1-1 Bag

Posted by
11832 posts

The best bet for contact lens solution is to ask your eye doctor for a starter kit. It comes with a small bottle of solution that is perfect for travel. I haven't noticed them in the travel size, but I had lasic a few years so really haven't looked.

I highly recommend lasic. I like camping and travel and don't like packing glasses or contacts for either. Just be sure to choose a competent doctor.

Posted by
82 posts

As far as Jim's comment, you are correct. The limit is on volume, not what's in the container. There is nothing in the TSA regulations that says "one per". I have traveled a lot carrying two 3 oz bottles of a shampoo, etc, and have never been questioned about it.

And from an engineer's point of view, yes it does indeed defeat the intent of the rules. They limit the volumetric amount "for safety", but the rule would allow 4 or 5 bottles of the same liquid. So you'd really have the same amount anyway.

I've always wondered about that one myself.

Posted by
11253 posts

Much of TSA doesn't make sense. Why do we still have to take our shoes off when practically no one else makes you do so? Why do they still scream to take your belt off even when you tell them there is not metal in the belt? Why is there no consistency with the rules?

Perhaps a new administration will get rid of the power freaks running TSA and put in people who actually now what they are doing.