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Once I read a suggestion saying that frozen "liquids" are not subject to the 100 ml restriction of security checks in airports. I've found other references of this googling, but they all refer to TSA (I assume only hold in the US).

Is it true then that it's possible to carry frozen fluids in your hand luggage, in larger quantities than 100 ml?

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Just about anything is a “frozen” liquid, in a sense. – Relaxed May 19 '14 at 14:57
And just about anything may be rejected at the security check depending on the officer's subjective mood. In Munich, I've been rejected to bring butter as cabin luggage with the explanation that it may melt and hence be forbidden because it is liquid. It didn't really help to solve the situation that I tried to explain that most of the other items I had in my rucksack (including the rucksack itself) would also melt and become liquid if the temperature is high enough. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo May 19 '14 at 15:18
Please don't do this and get caught, last thing we want that US turn off all ACs in their airports "for security reasons". – Nean Der Thal May 19 '14 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

TSA Allows Frozen Liquids Only if they Are Frozen Solid

TSA allows frozen liquids if and only if they are presented frozen solid to security checks. This is in my opinion a fairly sneaky way to say good luck with that seeing as freezing water at room temperature requires a fair amount of pressure to be applied on it. You can always try to find a liquid that presents itself in solid state at room temperature, and try to bring that through security.

Searching for ice on the TSA prohibited item search tool yields the following result:

Search Results For: ice

! Special Instructions

Frozen liquid items are allowed through the checkpoint as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen liquid items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 liquids requirements.

If the frozen item is packed with ice or ice packs in a cooler or other container, the ice or ice packs must be completely frozen when brought through screening. If the ice or ice packs are partially melted and have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they will not be permitted.

Medically necessary liquids may be accompanied by ice packs, but we ask that you declare these items to a security officer for inspection.

You can pack frozen perishables in your carry-on or checked baggage in dry ice. The FAA limits you to five pounds of dry ice that is properly packaged (the package is vented).

The 3-1-1 rule for liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-ons is as follows: containers must be 3.4 ounces or less; stored in a 1 quart/liter zip-top bag; 1 zip-top bag per person. Larger amounts of non-medicinal liquids, gels, and aerosols must be placed in checked baggage.

If the liquid is considered a hazardous material that is permitted onboard an aircraft, it is still subject to the 3-1-1 limitations. Many questions arise on whether an item is hazardous material and what requirements must be met to take it on an aircraft. The Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) at 1-800-467-4922 or the aircraft operator on which you are flying can assist you with your questions concerning hazardous material.

Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

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Will it keep it frozen enough so that none of it melts/slushes? Will you be able to constantly apply the dry ice whilst going through security checks? :) – JoErNanO Mar 4 at 14:55
I guess you might need a lb or 2, and good insulation, but would not be "topping up", just surround one in the other. As a general rule, Dry Ice will sublimate at a rate of five to ten pounds every 24 hours in a typical ice chest.. – pnuts Mar 4 at 16:21

Please note this answer is from May 2014. The situation might have changed since. Please consider alternative answers to this question.

As you saw on the official TSA Blog, it says explicitly

"Frozen gels/liquids are permitted if required to cool medical and infant/child exemptions. Frozen gels/liquids for any other purpose are not permitted."

So it's off limits in the USA.

The UK for example states the definition of liquid by matter of subject (such as all drinks etc) instead of their shape or status (frozen etc). So it is safe to assume that drinks, frozen or not, are not permitted.

Same goes for the EU.

So in other words, no. You cannot take a drink into the airplane, just because it's frozen. It's still a "drink". You will have to live with the fact that the regulations are not using terminology that matches what we learn in physical science.

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You will have to live with the fact that the regulations are not using terminology that matches what we learn in physical science – clabacchio May 19 '14 at 16:03
My partner was told by TSA that he could have kept his Philly cream cheese in his carry-on IF it had been frozen. He was flying LAX-ATL-JHB. – mkennedy May 21 '14 at 0:26
@mkennedy We have to assume that not all TSA agents are 100% familiar with their own rules. – uncovery May 21 '14 at 0:38
If frozen is correct. TSA have admitted the quote given above is incorrect. – pnuts Mar 4 at 14:12

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