How to Get a Full Water Bottle Safely Through an Airport Security Check

By Haley Maultsby /
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Listen up, you end-of-summer travelers! You no longer have to choose between paying 4 bucks for a bottle of water or suffering through a bout of dehydration at the airport. As it turns out, anyone can bring an entire bottle of liquid through security, with one, small caveat…

According to the TSA’s official website, all passengers can take liquids past the security checkpoint as long as they are FROZEN. This goes for practically any drink, including juice, coffee, and even soda!

How to successfully bring your drinks through security

As with all things airport security, there are, perhaps not surprisingly, VERY specific rules attached to this unexpected loophole.


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For one, the liquid must be frozen solid, meaning that, upon inspection, your bottle must be a) visible (i.e. the agent must be able to clearly see through it) and b) entirely frozen—no slushy or melted areas allowed. In other words, if your beverage resembles a Slurpee, then it ain’t getting through!

Additionally, travelers must tell and/or show the TSA agent the frozen bottle once the process starts. At the end of the day, screenings can vary from person to person and even day to day, depending on the threat levels, so it behooves you to give yourself extra time when traveling with your frozen liquid.


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Now, we know that you are probably rolling your eyes right now—after all, how many people are actually able to get from their freezer to a TSA agent before a frozen water bottle starts melting, anyway?

While we certainly understand your grievances, this hack can absolutely be done! If you are driving to the airport, just bring along a mini cooler filled with frozen ice packs. That way, your beverage can stay cold on your journey over, thus delaying that dreaded “melting time”.

If you want to pack many drinks with you, consider bringing a small collapsible cooler through security. Just like water bottles, frozen ice packs aren’t subject to the 100 ml rule. The best part about this one is that you’ll have a place to keep your food cool while you are on vacation. Smart, huh?!

How NOT to successfully bring your drinks through security

As we mentioned before, not every TSA agent will allow you to get past the metal detectors with a frozen water bottle, despite what the official rules say. With that being said, a plastic bottle is not a costly item—if it has to be thrown away, then so be it.

If you are flying internationally, be sure that you check your destination’s specific rules before you attempt this travel tip, as guidelines do vary by country. For instance, security agents in Canada won’t let you get away this hack. Good to know!

Now that you’ve been enlightened to this little-known travel game changer, we’d love to hear from you! Have you ever tried to bring frozen liquids through security? If so, did you have any trouble getting them through? Do you know of any other TSA loopholes?

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