Can You Bring a Water Bottle on a Plane?

Learn if you can bring a water bottle on a plane, full or empty, and navigate TSA rules with ease. Stay hydrated & save money while flying.

Tobi Miles
July 15, 2024
Learn if you can bring a water bottle on a plane, full or empty, and navigate TSA rules with ease. Stay hydrated & save money while flying.

TSA carries strict policies regarding what is and is not allowed on planes. With long lists of what is not allowed, it can be tricky to demystify. This is especially true when it comes to liquids. For instance, items like liquid cosmetics and toiletries are limited to 3.4 oz in a quart-sized bag.

Liquid rules for luggage are a common reason why people are not sure what to do with their water bottles. As a result, it may be confusing to determine whether something like a water bottle is OK to bring on board.

According to TSA regulations, water bottles are allowed on planes. They can be packed in either a carry-on or checked bag. However, there are special instructions for a seamless security check experience. No matter how you pack them, the most important aspect is that the bottle is empty. This is so TSA can verify that you are not carrying anything that is not water (e.g. flammable liquids; alcohol).

In other words, water bottles are generally okay, but the tricky part can be getting it through security checkpoints. All too often, passengers are directed to pour out their liquids. This is because water bottles must be empty as they go through the security checkpoints.

This matters because staying hydrated is vital to maintaining good health, especially during flights. For those who are avid hydrators, being able to have a water bottle on hand is a big deal.

Packing Your Water Bottle

Credit: Shutterstock

Now you know that water bottles in checked bags and carry-ons are allowed. The question now may be where and how you should pack it. Rest assured, there are many others who have the same questions. Below are a few things to consider when packing your water bottle.

Do You Want Water With You On The Plane?

If you would like to drink water onboard, empty it and pack it in your carry-on. It will be more readily available when you want it. Then, you can also refill your bottle once you are through TSA. Many airports have bottle filling stations located near their restrooms where you can get more water. This way, you can stay hydrated while you are on the move!

If you would rather not drink water on the plane, pack your water bottle in your checked luggage. Ensure it is empty before doing so, and then tuck it away where you can later access it. So long as the bottle is empty when you pack it, you should have no trouble traveling with it. Upon getting to your destination, your water bottle will be safe and secure.

Related Read: How Strict Is JetBlue with Personal Item Size?

What If My Water Bottle Is Full?

Credit: Shutterstock

Whether you are checking or carrying your water bottle on, it must be emptied out. TSA requires bottles to be empty for safety purposes. Without testing every jug of water that comes through, TSA cannot know whether the substance is safe. This safety measure helps prevent passengers from smuggling dangerous liquids.

If you bring a full water bottle to the security checkpoint, no problem. A security person will simply have you dump it out before you can go through. Aside from being a mild inconvenience, it is not usually a big deal. That said, if you are in a hurry to get through the security line, just dump it out beforehand.

Pro tip: In many airports, there are dumping stations where you can empty liquid before going through. Empty your water bottle there for a stress-free security checkpoint experience.

Prior to going through the TSA security checkpoint, double-check that your bottle is emptied. If it is not, the TSA agent may escort you out of line to go empty it. Save yourself the trouble by dumping or drinking it before going through.

Related Read: How to Choose an 18x 14x8 Bag

What Type Of Water Bottle Is Allowed?

Credit: Shutterstock

Nowhere on the TSA website is it specified that certain water bottle materials cannot be on the plane. That means reusable stainless steel and plastic bottles are just fine. Even glass water bottles should be allowed.

So long as the bottle is empty, you should be able to pack your hydroflask or Nalgene with little trouble. The same goes for single-use plastic water bottles, though you could also plan to purchase one after getting through security.

When getting a water bottle for your travel, consider getting a smaller sized bottle. Packing a smaller bottle ensures it will fit easily in your bag without being too heavy. It will also take up less space, leaving more room for clothing or keepsakes!

What About The TSA Liquid Rule?

TSA has a rule of 3-1-1 which states that liquids, aerosols, creams, or gels cannot be more than 3.4 oz. This mostly applies to cosmetics and toiletry items. As for bottled water, it must comply to this rule when packed in a carry-on.

In other words, you probably will not get away with filling a container of bottled water to only 3.4 oz. You are better suited to have your reusable bottle completely empty prior to using the security checkpoint. This will allow for a smoother screening process.

Related Read: What Does 100 ml Look Like?

What Are The Benefits Of Packing A Water Bottle For A Flight?

  • Bringing a reusable water bottle supports a low-waste lifestyle. Reducing the amount of plastic in landfills is better for the environment. Taking any and all steps to prevent waste are valuable to the planet.
  • Boost your wellness by staying hydrated. With a water bottle, you can hydrate while you are on the go. Packing a reusable bottle gives you the option to fill up before boarding your flight. After going through TSA, you can use a water station to get it filled. Then, you can hydrate as you fly!
  • You can save money on spendy single-use bottles. Cutting down is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet. We all know that airport convenience items can be especially costly. You can save a few dollars each time you fly by packing your own.


In short, you are allowed to bring water bottles through the TSA security checkpoint. They can be packed in carry-on baggage or checked luggage. There are many pros to packing a water bottle while traveling. For one, you can reduce waste and save money by refilling your bottle. It can also help keep you hydrated while you are on the go.

The most important thing to remember is to empty it beforehand. Upon getting through the security checkpoint, you are free to fill it up with water once again. It will be very handy for the rest of your trip since you won’t have to purchase extra water!

Related Read: Can You Fly If You Have a Warrant?

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
July 15, 2024 5:13 PM

Tobi Miles is a University of Florida graduate turned globe-trotting culinary explorer and digital nomad expert. As the founder of "Bytes & Bites," he combines his passion for international cuisine with practical advice on remote work, inspiring others to experience the world through food and cultural immersion. With 32 countries under his belt and a knack for uncovering hidden culinary gems, Tobi is redefining the intersection of work, travel, and gastronomy for a new generation of adventurers.

Book Tickets to Top Attractions

Recommended Read

No items found.