Poll: Do you take your liquids bag out?

April 4, 2011

Last week’s toiletries post sparked some debate over the weekend at my parents’. My mom said that she sees people clearly staying somewhere overnight, traveling with suitcases, who don’t take out their liquids bag for security. I always have, and I think most people I know always do. But do most frequent fliers? I remember one time forgetting to take it out and no one saying anything to me. But I also remember one time accidentally leaving a large bottle of sunscreen in my backpack from a camping trip that was found immediately by TSA. So I decided to do a poll, because I am very curious!

Do you take your liquids bag out to go through security? If no, have you ever been busted by TSA? Do you think it makes going through security faster if you don’t take it out?

Do you take out your liquids bag at TSA checkpoints?

View Results

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  1. Ella LaReau said,

    I take out my baggie for TSA to clearly see so that my everyday lotions, etc. can remain in my handbag without their saying anything. Has always worked so far.

  2. Darren said,

    I used to always take them out, but started to just leave ‘em in earlier this year and have yet to be caught (~40 flights so far). I think it’s silently going away.

  3. Nancy said,

    As a rookie FF I used to take the bag out but now as a seasoned FF I never take the bag out as it just slows the whole process down. Also, I never exceed the allowed size so my bag has not been searched.

  4. josh said,

    It really depends on th airport and who is screening. I always make sure they are small enoughbut sometimes when I have forgotten to take them out, I have been allowed through anyways.

  5. Emily said,

    I always take the bag out (and I’m a very seasoned traveler). I think if someone hasn’t been “caught,” it is just luck. It’s pretty clear that’s the requirement.

    Two or three times I have actually been lectured by the TSA agent for putting the bag in the same bin as my shoes. It’s not a requirement to have the bag separate (unlike computers which do have to be separate) but some TSA agents seem to think this.

  6. MariBy said,

    I carry-on a small backpack with only the Ziploc of toiletries in the front compartment

    I lay the backpack in the plastic bin – unzip the front compartment and half pull out the ziploc.

    This way, it’s readily visible if they want to have a look, yet easy to stuff back in the compartment, zip it up and be on my way.

  7. Alex said,

    This seems to be a real airport-by-airport thing.

    I fly regularly out of both RIC and CHO. I don’t take the bags out a RIC and have never been stopped, but at the much smaller CHO they ALWAYS insist that the bags be taken out, and they stop everyone who doesn’t, even when their bags are within the 3/1/1 limits.

  8. ViaHerLette said,

    I used to take them out, until I forgot once and no one noticed. The next time, I just put my ziploc bag in the front pocket of my carry-on without removing it, and once again, no one said anything.

    Now I just leave my ziploc bag in the front pocket of my Tumi carry-on (ready to be removed if a TSA agent ask), but it hasn’t happened so far.

  9. MsNomadica said,

    I answered “No, and I’ve never been caught” even though I actually was caught once. The reason I did that is because the one time I was caught was very soon after the rule was implemented. Since then I have flown numerous times a year, never took the bag out and never got questioned about it…even though, obviously, the bag has shown up in the x-ray.

    What happened was, I still kept forgetting after that first time, and then I realized that it didn’t matter. I *always* take my toiletries in a carry on bag even on those rare trips where I check luggage. But except for that first flight, I’ve never had a problem.

    I’ve heard that this procedure soon will no longer be required, which will be very nice.

  10. deltaGOLDflyer said,

    Wife and I always fly together. She takes hers out and I leave mine in. It seems as long as you have ONE they are happy and never ever check mine. ;-)

  11. Lindsay said,

    I always take mine out (since it’s on the top of my tote it’s not an inconvenience) – BUT I often bring more than one baggie. I usually don’t carry tons of stuff, but enough that it’s easier to spread it out between two baggies than try to cram it all in one. I place one bag in the bin with my shoes and one in the bin with my laptop, and I’ve never gotten in “trouble.”

  12. Amy said,

    The only things they’ve “caught” have been items that have been too large that I forgot about, like a bottle of water or a cup of yogurt when I was still new to travel. I take the bag out if I see or hear any reminders to do so–otherwise I leave it in with the assumption that they’ll say something if they really want it out.

  13. Bradley Baker said,

    I leave it in.

    I think once in the past three years it was flagged and I had to pull the bag out. The items all fit the 3-1-1 rule, but I’d rather save the time of going in and getting out the bag, replacing it after screening, etc.

  14. Will said,

    If you read the rules on the tsa.gov site and fly through the smaller airports, it’s pretty clear that you have to take the bag out and run it without it being in or on your bag, whether the liquids are small enough or not. I’ve gone through Atlanta so many times and they don’t care whether I do or not (I’ve actually pulled the bag out before and told that it “wasn’t necessary” by TSA). It seems like the bigger the airport is, they just don’t care to follow the rules.

  15. lil said,

    Two years ago I took my bag out at LGA and the couple behind me said “you don’t have to do that here” and they were right! I hate those ziplock bags. Am considering going back to my nice cosmetic bags but carrying a ziplock to dump the stuff into if there’s an issue.

  16. Russell said,

    No and not caught in the US. However in both Japan and especially Korea they strictly follow the rules imposed by TSA for flights to the USA (but not elsewhere) with an air bridge hand search. Anything liquid like not in the baggie has to get tossed, even if you bought it post security check.

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