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quart size bags

Has anyone had any trouble traveling with the "TSA approved" zippered bags? I am going through Heathrow and I have heard they may not accept them.

Posted by
2712 posts

No they are fine. Used them last month flying through Gatwick. But, if you have even a small liquid outside of the bag, such as hand sanitizer, they will find it and take it unless you can squeeze it into the bag. Take an extra bag or two, they break. ADDENDUM: I meant the standard one quart ziplock bags.

Posted by
3521 posts

The TSA is not at Heathrow nor any airports not within the US. There is no reason to believe anything "TSA approved" means it is acceptable anywhere else in the world.

That said, my standard name brand quart sized zipper top bag like you buy in the food storage section of your local grocery in boxes of 40 or so for a couple dollars has never been questioned at any airport in the world.

Posted by
5837 posts

http://www.heathrow.com/departures/security-and-baggage/hand-baggage-and-liquids
Liquids – 100ml rule

Only limited quantities of liquids may be carried through airport
security into the departure lounge. This includes bottled drinks,
suntan lotion, fragrances, cosmetics, toiletries and all frozen
liquids.

The following restrictions apply to all liquids, creams, gels, pastes
and aerosols taken through security control:

Liquids may only be carried in containers holding 100ml or less.

They must be carried separately in a single bag which is:

  • Transparent and resealable

  • No larger than 20cm x 20cm (8in x 8in)

  • Able to close properly with all the items inside.

Posted by
7059 posts

When you say 'zippered' bags, do you mean like zip-loc bags or are you talking an actual zipper? If it's a metal zipper I suppose there could be issues, but otherwise not a problem.

Posted by
308 posts

I used a clear plastic bag with a plastic zipper, which was sold as having TSA approved dimensions, one time about five years ago. The TSA agent made me transfer everything into a flimsy ziplock. I have not used it again.

Posted by
81 posts

I use a clear Osprey zippered bag for liquids and gels, mainly because it stands up nicely on the bathroom shelf in hotels. I've had no problem taking it through several British airports (and Canadian, French and Swiss airports). However, in the past year I was made to transfer the items to one of the airport's plastic bags, once in Gatwick and once in Stansted. I think it depends on the whim of the security person. I transferred everything back to my own bag immediately after.

Posted by
85 posts

I use a clear, quart-size zippered bag I bought in Target's travel section for $8 (hardly "marked up") and have had zero issues at any airport I've flown through in the last 2ish years, including Heathrow this past December.

I find these types of bags preferable to zip lock bags that tend to rip, stop zipping, and be less accommodating shape/size-wise to my toiletries. I've used the same bag for almost 2 years and it's still in excellent shape, and I've taken approximately 2 dozen trips for work and pleasure during that time.

I say go for it! If you're concerned you might run into trouble, bring an extra zip lock bag. it will hardly take up any room and you could use it for something else if you don't need it.

Posted by
6352 posts

I've used the same store brand "zip-lok" style bag for years. Get the freezer bag, not the regular one.

Posted by
5837 posts

My slide-lock style Zip-Loc brand quart bag must be 9 plus years old. It's my first and only 3-1-1 rule bag. I'm not sure if it will hold water but it gets my liquids past security every time.

Posted by
7059 posts

I agree about the grocery store zip lock bags. Get the freezer bags, they are stronger and last longer. And by the way, those who disparage them because they don't hold up well - so what, they cost less than 10 cents each, bring a couple of extras if one tears - what's the big deal if you have to use a new one each trip, it's still better than spending $8 at Target for a permanent one. And yes, that is marked up because it's marketed as a 'travel' specific product. Not worth the money in my book - to each their own.

Posted by
733 posts

This is the exact bag I use for my 3-1-1 bag. I have used it since the rule came into effect and have never been questioned. It fits a ton of small bottles. It measures 8"x7"x1.5". I have on occasion used the brand name quart sized freezer baggie and I prefer mine.

Posted by
530 posts

My slide-lock style Zip-Loc brand quart bag must be 9 plus years old. It's my first and only 3-1-1 rule bag. I'm not sure if it will hold water but it gets my liquids past security every time.

I got you beat, I'm up to 10-years on my freezer zip-loc bag.

Brands making and selling clear 1-qt bags for the express purpose of holding the 3-1-1 liquids through security are printing money from all the suckers buying them. A high school friend who's a security manager for a TSA contractor at SFO gets a small chuckle seeing all the those who've purchased special items just to get through security. An artificial category created by marketing and misunderstanding.

Posted by
85 posts

Wow, really? Suckers? Because I want something higher quality than a plastic bag, which maybe doesn't tear if you use it a handful of times a year but it certainly does tear when I'm using it a dozen times a year and cramming a bunch of awkard-sized bottles in there? I know, because it's happened. I also like that I can reach any item at any time without having to dump the whole thing out to reach the bottom item. And it stands up nicely on the counter.

I seem to have a different understanding of "to each his own."

Posted by
5632 posts

Heathrow once made me put my U.S. ziploc bag inside one of their ziploc bags. I did not take the stuff out of the bag. I simply put the entire bag inside one of their bags.

The worst that will happen is that you will have to take the stuff out of your bag and put it into one of the bags that they have.

Posted by
7059 posts

"I seem to have a different understanding of "to each his own.""

From Dictionary.com: One has a right to one's personal preferences, as in I'd never pick that color, but to each his own. Versions of this maxim appeared in the late 1500s but the modern wording was first recorded in 1713.

This is what I meant when I posted it, what other understanding of the phrase is there?

Posted by
15510 posts

Many UK airports have a stack of 3-1-1 bags available to use. I like theirs because they come with a handle. I usually grab a few for future use.

At UK airports I think it really has to do with who is doing security. Some will be sticklers to the rules and others will let things pass.

Posted by
3580 posts

I am not familiar with all the requirements for all the European countries. I just follow TSA rules and go through security the same at whatever airport I'm in. I haven't had a problem. I am old enough TSA doesn't require me to remove my shoes. I leave them on at other airports as well. Since I have metal in my body, often security personnel pat me down.

Posted by
2349 posts

I put my stuff in a freezer zip bag, but then I put that in a Rume liquids bag. It's fabric and not transparent, but I've never had to open it up and show the interior regulation bag. It's easier to handle and takes the abuse that the cheaper plastic bag does not.

(I just did a search on Rume's site and didn't find the item. Probably because it's not really TSA compliant as they originally claimed. It still works for me, though.)

Posted by
726 posts

JUST went thru Heathrow and STRONGLY suggest you do the following:
1)when packing, put your zip-lock bag on the top of your carry on so you can easily get to it.
2) as you approach security at Heathrow, they will be MANY MANY signs and places where you can take one of their bags. You will be told by overhead announcement that they are stricter than other airports. they mean it.
3) take the time to transfer your items into one of THEIR BAGS. they are very serious about the 100 ml, fitting into one bag rule.
4) Take the time to check your carry on to be certain you have not forgotten any liquids, gels, toothpaste, you may have purchased in duty-free or taken out of your zip-lock. Put those in the bag you got at Heathrow.

Heathrow is much stricter than many other airports. We ( and many other people) had successfully gone thru screenings at our home airports (mine is kennedy) without problems, but were stopped transferring to a connecting flight at Heathrow. We saw a lot of people with full Zip-lock gallon bags, other TSA approved bags having to repack in front of the Customs officer . They had to discard many items that did not fit.
In our case, my dad had forgotten he had taken out a small bottle of liquid from his ziplock and it was in an outside pocket of his carry on. We had to wait about 20 minutes while 2 people in front of us repacked and agonized over several bags of cosmetics. They make you do this in front of the customs officer.
It was very stressful esp as we had a tight time frame until our next flight. Lesson learned.

Posted by
1625 posts

I purchased mine on Amazon and it was the best thing I could have done! Because the bag is much firmer my items stay upright and I can fit soooo much more in there than the grocery store quart freezer bags (did this my first big trip..never again!). Like others have said it should be the last thing you pack so you can easily access it and pull it out, no need to be worried about the bag opening, or being floppy with the travel bag, I can yank on it and it stays closed and rigid. The freezer bag may be fine for people who don't take a lot of liquids, I do (hair products and make up!) and I can when I use this bag. I think Dublin was the one airport where we experienced more scrutiny than any other airport. I was pulled aside, my personal bag looked through and my liquids bag was looked through, no problem with the actual bag. With that being said, I always have a mental list of what I am prepared to throw away if need be (my $40.00 makeup-NO..the $1.50 toothpaste-Yes). I saw lots of travelers with these TSA approved bags in their bins.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8T0YXE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Posted by
3521 posts

The thing is, if you have a bag that you can "fit so much more into it than the standard quart ziplock bag", maybe it isn't a quart sized bag.

The 8x7x1.5 bag is nearly 48 ounces which is considerably more than 32 ounces. Looking at some of the others, they are large as well. I'm not a TSA employee so what I think and say on the matter really doesn't matter, but be aware that somewhere sometime probably when you least expect it you will have a TSA person at the airport who will make you put your stuff in a standard flat ziplock bag. And you will end up throwing away lots of stuff. I would rather just use the plastic bag that cost me 10 cents and just not have to worry about the possible hassle (mine have lasted 8 years with at least one round trip flight a week).

Posted by
1625 posts

Mark- that was my concern this last trip, that it was too big, so I had my "plan B aka what to throw out". Reading the reviews in Amazon eased my mind (people traveling all over the world and A-OK). My husband and I both had them and it was no problem at LAX and like I said, I saw lots of these types of bags in the grey bins you put the personal items in. In Dublin my friends Ziplock quart bag was actually dumped out, inspected and he was asked to put everything into a new baggie supplied by the Dublin security (like American Ziplock quart bags are different somehow??). It all fit just fine but they did make him throw out his liquid Band-Aid. I will admit I really liked being able to fit a lot more (like 25%), maybe because it is flat on the bottom or because it is more wide than tall?

Diane- to your point. I just read one of the reviews for the bag I purchased and it said "If it will work at Heathrow, it will work anywhere".

Posted by
15510 posts

If you want to take one of the "fancy" TSA approved bags in other countries that are strict, just put all your stuff in a quart ziploc and then put that in the "fancy" bag. I tried that once, was told I had to put everything in one of their bags.....I said it is and pointed it out. They let it pass.

Posted by
3 posts

I purchased the expandable bottom ziplock quart sized bag. Figure this will fit more in the bag

Posted by
365 posts

I have the plastic bag that Amazon sells, been using for several years and it is durable and roomy. Never had any problem, except Heathrow did not accept it. Had to use one of their bags which forced me to discard some things that did not fit in their plastic bag, but fit with no problem in the plastic bag accepted by TSA.
But at least the Heathrow security was polite and tried to help unlike the TSA in US airports.

Posted by
2455 posts

In May of this year, when connecting through Heathrow, I had my liquids in a quart-size Freezer Ziploc, but the bag was a little bit over full and would not quite zip closed, at least the way I had things placed in it. Security stopped me and made me re-pack my liquids into one of their bags. I did get everything in when packing it more carefully, but this process sure did slow me down while I was rushing to make a short 60-minute connection.

Posted by
9763 posts

Diane and Larry, thanks for the on-the-ground reports from Heathrow. Useful information.

Posted by
15510 posts

I fly out of Heathrow a few times a year. The last time was a couple of months ago. I had a regular ziploc bag that was not overfilled. No one said a word to me.

I have, in the past, had other bype of 3-1-1 bags given a second look. And that led to my entire bag being checked. Now I stick to plain ziplocs and if worse came to worse, I'd grab one of the free ones at the airport. They at least have handles.