Can You Take Aerosols On A Plane In Your Carry On?

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We have two posts about flying with aerosols on TravelingLight.com

This post that you are reading now relates to packing aerosols in your hand luggage or your carry on luggage.

If you want to take larger sized on bottles you’ll need to pack in them in your checked baggage. We cover that topic in a different post. Don’t worry aerosols don’t explode on planes when in the plane checked luggage hold area!

There are rules about the types and quantities of aerosols that you can pack in checked luggage. So please read that post if it’s checked luggage you are packing.

Okay, let’s move on to bringing aerosols on a plane in your carry on luggage.

TSA Aerosol Airplane Rules

While the TSA website isn’t very clear the @AskTSA service on Twitter provides more information:

The rules around aerosols and planes actually originate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) although they are enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the security agents.

Flammable aerosols are not permitted on flights in checked bags or carry on bags. The exception to the rule is medicinal or toiletry aerosols.

This means that if the aerosol product you are thinking of packing isn’t applied to your body or skin then it’s unlikely that you will be able to pack it in your luggage… anywhere!

Aerosols are treated like liquids on planes and the liquids in hand luggage rules that you might be familiar with apply to aerosols too.

Here is a recap. You are only able to take small bottles less than 3.4 oz or 100 ml in your carry on luggage. All your bottles (including aerosol containers) must go inside a quart size bag, and you are only allowed one clear quart toiletries bag per person.

Space in the toiletries bag is limited. Travel size bottles or sprays are small but you can only fit around 7 or 8 travel size bottles in a quart toiletry bag. Okay, maybe a few more if you cheat a little!

So here is a brief list of the types of aerosols you can pack inside your clear quart toiletries bag

  • Hair spray
  • Hair mousse
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorant Spray
  • Perfume spray
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun cream

And here are some aerosols that you can’t pack in your luggage anywhere:

  • Cooking spray
  • Spray paint
  • Aerosol insecticides
  • Pepper Spray (mace)
  • Disinfectant spray (lysol)
  • Silly String

To Sum Up

You can pack small 3.4 oz aerosols in your hand luggage if you put them in your toiletries bag with your other hand luggage liquids. But you can only pack toiletries or medicinal sprays.

Remember, it’s gas that comes out the can but its pressurized liquid that’s inside the can!

You are only allowed one bag for toiletries and it can fill up fast. Try to minimize the number of aerosol canisters that you will pack. Often you can take solid alternatives to the aerosols.

For example, you can take solid stick deodorant instead of a spray. Or you can use solid stick insect repellant. These don’t need to go in your liquids bag and it frees up space.

Also, filling your own travel size bottles is a better way to pack a toiletries bag. Often you don’t need 3.4 oz of a product for a short trip. You can decant 1 oz of a product (let’s say shaving gel for example) into an empty container but you can’t do that with aerosol sprays.

Lastly, you can take larger toiletries and medicinal aerosols in your checked luggage, but there are limits too. Check this post for more information about that.

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