Can You Take Reusable Water Bottles On A Plane? Everything You Need To Know

Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether your reusable water bottle will make it past airport security. If you’re someone who likes to stay hydrated on the go or prefers the taste of your own filtered water over plane or airport tap water, you may be wondering: can you bring a reusable water bottle on a plane?

The quick answer is yes, you can bring an empty reusable water bottle through airport security and onto your flight. However, there are some caveats to be aware of when it comes to the rules around empty vs. full bottles, allowable bottle sizes, and types of bottles permitted on board.

TSA Rules for Empty vs. Full Reusable Bottles

When it comes to traveling with reusable water bottles, it is important to be aware of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules and regulations. Understanding these guidelines will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience at airport security checkpoints.

Empty bottles allowed

The good news is that you can bring empty reusable water bottles through the TSA security screening. Whether it’s a stainless steel bottle or a collapsible one, as long as it is empty, you can easily pack it in your carry-on or personal item.

This allows you to stay hydrated during your journey without the need to purchase single-use plastic bottles at the airport.

Filled bottles allowed through security if emptied

If you have a reusable water bottle that is filled with water or any other liquid, you are still allowed to bring it through security. However, before you go through the screening process, you will need to empty the contents of the bottle.

Once the bottle is empty, you can pass through security and refill it at a water fountain or a designated refill station on the other side.

Pro tip: To save time and avoid spills, consider emptying your filled reusable water bottle into a separate container before reaching the security checkpoint. This way, you can simply show the empty bottle to the TSA agents without the need to pour out the liquid on the spot.

Exceptions for medical liquids

It is important to note that there are exceptions to the rules when it comes to carrying medical liquids. If you require specific liquids for medical purposes, such as prescription medications or special dietary fluids, you are allowed to bring them through security in quantities exceeding the standard carry-on liquid restrictions.

However, you may be required to declare these items and present appropriate documentation to the TSA agents.

For more detailed information about the TSA rules and regulations regarding reusable water bottles, you can visit the official TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

Allowed Sizes and Types of Reusable Bottles on Planes

3.4 ounce (100 ml) size limit

When it comes to carrying reusable water bottles on a plane, there are certain regulations that travelers need to be aware of. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enforces a 3.4 ounce (100 ml) size limit for liquids carried in carry-on bags.

This means that any reusable water bottle you bring on board must not exceed this limit.

This restriction is in place to ensure the safety and security of all passengers. By limiting the size of liquid containers, it becomes easier for security personnel to screen and detect any potential threats.

Exceptions for duty-free liquids

While the 3.4 ounce (100 ml) size limit applies to most liquids, there are some exceptions for duty-free liquids purchased after the security checkpoint. The TSA allows passengers to carry duty-free liquids, including alcohol and perfume, in containers larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) as long as they were purchased in the duty-free area and are properly sealed in a tamper-evident bag.

It’s important to note that these duty-free liquids are only permitted in carry-on bags if you have a connecting flight. If your final destination is within the United States, you must place these liquids in your checked baggage before boarding your last flight.

Glass, metal, plastic bottles usually allowed

The TSA generally allows passengers to carry reusable water bottles made of glass, metal, or plastic on planes. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the bottle is empty before going through the security screening process.

Once you have passed through security, you can refill your reusable bottle at a water fountain or ask a flight attendant to fill it for you during the flight.

It’s worth noting that some airports may have additional rules or restrictions regarding reusable water bottles. It’s always a good idea to check with the specific airport or airline before your trip to avoid any surprises or confusion at the security checkpoint.

Filling Up Your Bottle Past Security

Water fountains by gates

Many airports now have water fountains conveniently located near the gates. These fountains are specifically designed for passengers to fill up their reusable water bottles before boarding the plane. Not only does this save you money on expensive airport bottled water, but it also helps reduce plastic waste.

So, keep an eye out for these water fountains during your next trip and make sure to bring your empty bottle with you.

Bring empty collapsible bottle

If you forget to bring an empty reusable water bottle, don’t worry! You can still bring an empty collapsible bottle through security and fill it up once you’re past the checkpoint. Collapsible bottles are great because they take up minimal space in your carry-on bag when empty, and you can easily expand them to hold a decent amount of water.

Just make sure the bottle is completely empty before going through security to avoid any issues.

Onboard water

While you may not be able to bring a full water bottle through security, you can still stay hydrated during your flight. Most airlines now offer complimentary water to passengers onboard. Just ask a flight attendant for a cup of water and they will be more than happy to assist you.

It’s a great way to quench your thirst and reduce the need for single-use plastic cups.

Remember, it’s always important to stay hydrated, especially during long flights. By utilizing these options, you can enjoy the convenience of your reusable water bottle and reduce your environmental impact at the same time. So, don’t forget to pack your reusable water bottle on your next trip!

Other Tips for Bringing a Reusable Bottle on a Plane

Make sure bottle is completely empty before screening

Before going through the security screening at the airport, it is important to ensure that your reusable water bottle is completely empty. Airport security regulations require all liquids to be removed from carry-on bags and placed in a separate container for screening.

This includes any remaining water or liquid in your bottle. Make sure to drink or pour out any liquids before going through security to avoid any potential issues or delays.

Be prepared for additional screening

While reusable water bottles are generally allowed on planes, it is possible that the bottle might be subject to additional screening. This is especially true if the bottle is made of a material that may raise suspicion, such as metal or glass.

In such cases, airport security personnel may need to inspect the bottle more thoroughly to ensure it does not pose a security threat. It is always a good idea to be prepared for this possibility and allow extra time for the screening process.

Consider bottle material and leakproof lids

When choosing a reusable water bottle to bring on a plane, it is important to consider the material and lid design. Some airports have restrictions on certain materials, such as glass or metal, due to their potential to break or be used as a weapon.

Opting for a bottle made of plastic or another approved material can help avoid any issues at the security checkpoint. Additionally, choosing a bottle with a leakproof lid can prevent any spills or leaks during the flight, keeping your belongings dry and minimizing any potential inconvenience.

For more information on airport security regulations and what items are allowed on planes, it is recommended to visit the official website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at www.tsa.gov.


In summary, you can absolutely bring an empty or filled reusable water bottle through airport screening and onto your flight. Just be aware of TSA liquid rules, only bring empty bottles through security, and choose a bottle within the size limits that won’t leak.

With some preparation and by following security protocols, you can stay hydrated with your own water while flying in an eco-friendly way.

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