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3-1-1 & TSA: Do I have this right?

Hi, all! About to pack our TSA 3-1-1 quart bags and want to be sure I have this right. Powder (blusher, baby powder & laundry soap) does not have to be in there, and neither do pills? I just want to be sure that "gels, liquids, creams and pastes" are it. Deodorant, does have to go in the 3-1-1, right?

When I fly domestically, I bring so little that I put in items I am not sure I need to in the "better safe than sorry" train of thought. Getting ready for overseas, I am bringing lots more.

Also, I am packing prescription pills in original containers in my carry-on luggage, but our vitamin bottle is as big as my head so I am putting those pills in Ziploc. Will toss them if I have to. No time left to get to a pharmacy to buy smaller bottles. Have you ever been hassled about having pills in a clear bag in your carry-on luggage?

Thanks to all of you who have done this a lot more frequently than I for sharing your wisdom!

Posted by
22984 posts

You are over thinking it. No difference than flying domestic. TSA has no idea where you are going. We have vits in plastic bags and never a second thought. The only medication I would worry about original bottles would be a schedule 3 (I think). Anything else just does into the bag. We tend to throw all in the same bag since the pills are easily id for our purposes.

Posted by
5828 posts



Infant and child nourishments

Medications Medications in pill or other solid form must undergo
security screening. It is recommended that medication be clearly
labeled to facilitate the screening process. Check with state laws
regarding prescription medication labels.

You are responsible for displaying, handling, and repacking the
medication when screening is required. Medication can undergo a visual
or X-ray screening and may be tested for traces of explosives.

Inform the TSA Officer

Inform the TSA officer that you have medically necessary liquids
and/or medications and separate them from other belongings before
screening begins. Also declare accessories associated with your liquid
medication such as freezer packs, IV bags, pumps and syringes.
Labeling these items can help facilitate the screening process.

3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption

You may bring medically necessary liquids, medications and creams in
excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in your carry-on bag. Remove
them from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of
your belongings. You are not required to place your liquid medication
in a plastic zip-top bag.

Posted by
41 posts

Great -- thanks! Actually, the TSA site has become for user-friendly since last time I was there. There is a new "can I bring it" search that is hugely helpful and tells you exactly where in your luggage (checked, carry-on, 3-1-1, or not at all) each item can be carried. It only took them over a decade to put that on their site, but I am glad it is there!

Posted by
9363 posts

The sign at my local airport says things must be in your 3-1-1 bag if you can pour it out (liquid), squeeze it out (gel), or spray it out (aerosol). None of my vitamins, OTC medicines, or prescription meds have ever been questioned.

Posted by
5 posts

We have traveled to Europe each of the past three years and have carried pills in those daily pill minders and have never been questioned. They have gone right through the screening in our carry on bags. I do bring along descriptions of all the prescription drugs we take - these come from the pharmacy every time the prescription is filled and would be useful if anyone wanted to identify a particular medication.

Posted by
3428 posts

I take all our meds in small plastic zip top baggies (at my pharmacy they were labeled 'pill packs'). I put my morning meds in one, my evening meds in another then all into a small Ziploc. Hubby's get treated the same, and I have a Ziploc with all our OTC 'just in case' meds (we use a good bit of Aleve and Benadryl and Tylenol PM and I don't want to spend time shopping there unless really necessary). Sometimes I have to take my nebulizer and liquid meds for it. They all go together in their own bag, which does NOT count as part of my carry-on limits. I do have to tell the TSA about them as I enter the screening area, as the nebulizer usually gets swabbed. I take an info sheet (one for hubby, one for me) that lists all of each of our meds, generic and brand name, dose, time taken, reason/condition prescribed for. It also has our doctors' names and phone #s and that of our pharmacy. It has a brief medical history, too (surgeries, conditions, etc.) and emergency names and contacts. If you would like a blank copy you can complete on a computer, private message me with your email and I'll be glad to share. If you are worried, you could take the printout the pharmacy gives you or ask them to print an extra label and paste all of them on one sheet. Bottles take up too much room for me.