Can You Bring An Empty Water Bottle On A Plane?

Last Updated on January 16, 2021

Staying hydrated is recommended for good health. So many people carry a water bottle wherever they go.

It’s natural that you want to bring your water bottle on a plane in your hand luggage when you travel.

This post is about getting that water bottle past the transportation security administration check point.

It’s quite simple really.

TSA Rules About Empty Water Bottles

The transportation security administration rules about empty water bottles are clear:

You can bring an empty water bottle with you on a plane in either carry on luggage or checked luggage.

Your water bottle needs to be empty when you pass through the security checkpoint. The TSA officer might ask to check inside your water bottle to make sure it is empty.

However, you are free to refill your water bottle after you have made it through the security checkpoint.

Your water bottle does not need to be empty when you board the plane. It only needs to be empty during the airport security check.

So after security, find somewhere to refill your empty bottles such as from water fountains or a friendly barman, many airlines still provide free water so the air steward might be able to help you out too.

You can also purchase a bottle of water from a shop and take it on to the plane or fill your own from it.

What types of water bottle can you bring on a plane?

All water bottles are not equal. Let’s check the Twitter chatter about the TSA and water bottles.

Clarity wanted to know if she could take an empty glass water bottle in her purse as hand luggage:

Even though glass water bottles can be heavy and could be used as a bludgeon they are permitted in hand luggage. The @AskTSA service on Twitter gave her the green light.

Next Arnie asked the TSA about his large stainless steel water bottle:

And empty stainless steel water bottles are allowed too.

Empty plastic bottles are fine too.

And you can bring a hydro flask:

How big of an empty water bottle can you bring on a plane?

There is no size limit for your empty water bottle. So long as it fits in your carry-on suitcase or your personal item bag.

You might even be able to take frozen water through airport security, you’d need to live very close to the airport to get through security before it melts.

The Verdict

The liquids rule relates to liquids and not their containers. So long as your water bottle is empty you will be able to bring it in your hand luggage without any problems.

The final decision is always taken by the TSA officer at security screening but there is nothing in the guidelines against empty water bottles.

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