Traveling can be dehydrating, especially on long flights. Staying hydrated is important for your health and comfort. Many people consider bringing a tumbler or reusable water bottle on a plane to avoid having to purchase overpriced bottled water after passing through security.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: you can bring an empty tumbler or water bottle through airport security and onto the plane. But there are some rules around tumbler size and what liquids you can fill it with once past security.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bringing your own tumbler or water bottle when flying.

TSA Rules for Empty Tumblers and Water Bottles

When it comes to traveling with tumblers and water bottles, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). These rules are in place to ensure the safety and security of all passengers.

Here is a detailed guide on what you need to know about bringing a tumbler on a plane.

Tumblers Must Be Empty Through Security

According to TSA regulations, all containers, including tumblers and water bottles, must be empty when going through security. This means that you cannot bring any liquids, even if they are in a sealed container, exceeding the 3.4-ounce limit.

It’s important to empty your tumbler before going through the security checkpoint to avoid any issues or delays.

Only Certain Tumbler Sizes Are Allowed

While you can bring an empty tumbler through security, it’s important to note that there are restrictions on the size of the tumbler. The TSA allows containers with a capacity of up to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. If your tumbler is larger than this, it will not be allowed through security.

It’s always a good idea to check the capacity of your tumbler before traveling to ensure it meets the TSA requirements.

Consider a Foldable or Collapsible Bottle

If you’re concerned about the size restrictions for your tumbler, an alternative option is to consider using a foldable or collapsible water bottle. These types of bottles are designed to be compact and can easily fit in your carry-on bag.

They can be filled up once you pass through security and are a convenient option for staying hydrated during your flight.

For more information on TSA regulations and guidelines, you can visit the official TSA website

Filling Your Tumbler up with Water After Security

Once you’ve passed through security at the airport, you may be wondering if it’s possible to fill your tumbler with water. The good news is that there are several options available to quench your thirst without having to purchase expensive bottled water.

Water Fountains are Available in Most Airports

Many airports have water fountains conveniently located throughout the terminals. These fountains are designed specifically for passengers to fill up their water bottles or tumblers. Look out for signs directing you to the nearest water fountain and take advantage of this free amenity.

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be helping to reduce plastic waste.

You Can Bring an Empty Tumbler Through Security and Fill at Restaurants/Cafes

If you don’t have a tumbler filled with water before going through security, don’t worry! You can bring an empty tumbler with you and fill it up at restaurants or cafes located within the airport. This option allows you to choose from a variety of beverages, including water, without having to spend extra money.

Just make sure to inform the staff that you’d like your tumbler filled with water, and they’ll be happy to assist you.

Avoid Purchased Bottled Water Due to Limits on Liquids

While it may be tempting to purchase a bottle of water from a convenience store or kiosk after passing through security, it’s important to keep in mind the restrictions on liquids. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restricts the amount of liquid you can bring on board, and purchasing bottled water may exceed these limits.

Instead, opt for the options mentioned above to stay hydrated during your journey.

Rules for Bringing a Filled Tumbler or Water Bottle on the Plane

TSA 3-1-1 Liquid Rule Applies

When it comes to bringing a filled tumbler or water bottle on a plane, it’s important to understand the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule. This rule states that all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.

These containers must be placed in a clear, quart-sized bag and presented separately for screening at the security checkpoint.

So, if your tumbler or water bottle exceeds the 3.4-ounce limit, you won’t be able to bring it through security unless it’s empty. However, there are some exceptions to this rule for medically necessary liquids and baby formula, so be sure to check the TSA website for specific guidelines.

Stick to Water or Empty Tumbler Until Onboard

If you’re looking to stay hydrated during your flight, it’s best to stick to water or bring an empty tumbler with you. Once you’re past security and in the boarding area, you can fill up your tumbler at a water fountain or purchase a beverage from one of the airport vendors.

Bringing an empty tumbler allows you to have a container that you can easily fill up once you’re on the plane. This way, you can avoid purchasing single-use plastic bottles and reduce waste. Plus, having a tumbler with you can be convenient for keeping your drink cold or hot throughout the flight.

Reusable Bottle vs Disposable Bottle Differences

When deciding between a reusable bottle and a disposable bottle for your travels, there are a few key differences to consider.

Reusable Bottle Disposable Bottle
Environmentally friendly Contributes to plastic waste
Durable and long-lasting Often made of lower-quality materials
Can be refilled multiple times Single-use only
May have insulation properties No insulation

By opting for a reusable bottle, you can reduce your impact on the environment and save money in the long run. These bottles are often made of high-quality materials that can withstand regular use, and they can keep your beverages at the desired temperature for longer periods.

On the other hand, disposable bottles are convenient for one-time use, but they contribute to plastic waste. They are typically made of lower-quality materials and lack insulation properties.

Remember to always check with your airline’s specific guidelines before bringing any type of bottle on the plane to ensure compliance with their regulations.

Additional Tips for Bringing a Tumbler Through Security and On Flights

Choose a Leakproof Tumbler to Avoid Spills

When traveling with a tumbler, it’s important to choose a leakproof option to avoid any messy spills. Look for tumblers that have a secure lid with a tight seal, such as those with a screw-on or snap-on cap. This will help prevent any liquids from leaking out during your flight.

Additionally, consider purchasing a tumbler that has a locking mechanism on the lid for added security.

One popular leakproof tumbler brand is Yeti, known for its durable and high-quality products. Their tumblers are designed with a double-wall vacuum insulation to keep your beverages hot or cold for extended periods.

They also feature a leakproof lid to ensure your drinks stay inside the tumbler, no matter how bumpy the flight may be.

Opt for a Plastic, Stainless Steel, or Aluminum Tumbler

When it comes to choosing the material for your tumbler, it’s best to opt for plastic, stainless steel, or aluminum. These materials are lightweight, durable, and are less likely to cause any issues during the security screening process.

Avoid glass or ceramic tumblers, as they can break easily and may not be allowed on the plane.

Plastic tumblers, such as those made from BPA-free materials, are a great option for travelers. They are lightweight, affordable, and come in a variety of colors and designs. Stainless steel and aluminum tumblers, on the other hand, offer excellent insulation properties and can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours.

For more information on the best materials for travel tumblers, you can visit the website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at

Make Sure Any Liquids Are Easily Accessible for Screening

When going through the security screening at the airport, it’s important to make sure that any liquids in your tumbler are easily accessible. This means placing them in a separate, clear plastic bag and removing them from your carry-on luggage before reaching the security checkpoint.

By doing this, you’ll help expedite the screening process and avoid any unnecessary delays.

The TSA has specific guidelines regarding the transport of liquids in carry-on baggage. According to their regulations, you are allowed to bring containers with a maximum capacity of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) in your carry-on bag.

These containers should be placed in a quart-sized, clear plastic bag and presented separately for screening.

Remember to empty your tumbler of any liquids before going through security and refill it once you reach the designated areas outside the screening checkpoint. This will ensure you stay hydrated throughout your journey without any hassle.

By following these additional tips, you can bring your tumbler on a plane with ease and enjoy your favorite beverages while traveling. Remember to always check the specific guidelines of the airline and the TSA to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.


Bringing your own reusable tumbler or water bottle can make traveling more comfortable and eco-friendly. With some planning ahead for TSA requirements, you can easily bring an empty or filled tumbler through airport security and onto your flight.

Following the guidelines around container sizes and liquid volumes will ensure a smooth airport screening process. Staying properly hydrated with your own tumbler makes for a healthier, happier flight experience.

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