Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know you can't bring bottled water and such with you on the plane. However, is it safe to bring an empty bottle with you to fill up later? Or do you risk losing your possibly expensive/fancy/awesome water bottle when going through security?

share|improve this question
Agreeing to @user7806 you can bring plastic bottles wherever you want....empty bottles is just a security-green product and not liable for any trouble :) –  hagubear Aug 4 '13 at 9:00

4 Answers 4

up vote 28 down vote accepted

I always have one or two plastic bottles with me. I empty them before I go through security and then re-fill them from a tap in the restroom in the waiting area.

I've done this many times, and security never asked about the empty bottles, and even if they do you can explain what they are for.

share|improve this answer
Exactly my experience. Note that some airports only have warm water in the bathrooms airside and no fountain, possibly in order to increase sales. –  Jonas Sep 25 '12 at 15:50
And note that some airlines will fill your bottle for you if you ask, even before they come around with the cart, and some planes have drinking water taps outside the bathroom (labelled drinking water) so you can fill up yourself on long flights. –  Kate Gregory Sep 25 '12 at 15:57
Many (but not all) airports have water fountains after security, so you can fill up your empty bottle before boarding. Make sure you check if there's an additional security check at the gate before doing this though! –  Gagravarr Sep 25 '12 at 19:36
I have seen signs in airports telling people to do just that (I don't remember where). –  Gilles Sep 25 '12 at 21:11
This will be possible until someone tries to blow up a plane with some kind of gaseous material. At which point, breathing on planes will be banned. –  LordScree Sep 25 '12 at 21:20

Yes, do this all the time.

Probably not necessary, but I take the lid off and put it in another pocket to ensure it's seen as an empty bottle.

UK airports generally have a bar airside and I've never had a problem asking them to refill the bottle.

share|improve this answer

Though security might let you get away with this, regulations clearly state (UK, but the same applies elsewhere) that vessels that are able to contain more than 100ml, even when they contain less (or nothing at all) are not allowed through security.

Case in point: have you ever tried to take a half empty tube of toothpaste through security?

share|improve this answer
There is a difference between less and nothing. Completely empty containers are allowed. Half empty, or 1/7 full or whatnot, are not. –  Kate Gregory Sep 27 '12 at 13:29
That is common sense speaking :) The relevant line in the text I link is "Containers larger than 100ml (excluding essential medicines) will not be allowed through the security point even if they are only part full." so, you might get away with a empty bottle, you might not. –  MastaBaba Sep 29 '12 at 21:23
Again, what actually gets through security is loosely dependent on what regulations say. However, for the UK, containers larger than 100ml will not be allowed, even if they are only part full. The rules state that containers larger than 100ml will not be allowed. The rules say nothing about empty containers larger than 100ml, which means that the only thing that applies is the rule related to containers larger than 100ml (whether they are full, half full or not). But, again, your milage may, and clearly does, differ. I typically never put my liquids in a bag, which never is a problem either. –  MastaBaba Oct 2 '12 at 11:16
I think that @KateGregory is right because they don't want you to bring 100ml or more in liquids. Since an empty bottle contains no liquid at all while a container larger than 100ml and only part full may contains 100ml (or more) in liquids, which is difficult to estimate during the customs. –  Geeo Aug 4 '13 at 7:59
@Geeo Yet what it say is that containers larger than 100ml will not be allowed. Nowhere is there anything about 100ml of liquids. –  Relaxed Oct 2 '13 at 14:45

It depends on where you are in the world. In Britain there are rarely places to fill bottles up, yet they are allowed through. In a way, I think its a moneymaking scam, if you have liquids in the bottles at UK security the bottle goes, in Sweden the liquid goes. In Britain they probably sell the bottles

share|improve this answer
semantics. As there's no way to empty the bottle short of drinking its entire content there and then, which for a bottle with more than a few mouth fulls of liquid isn't feasible, effectively in Sweden too the bottle'd get confiscated. –  jwenting Oct 15 '13 at 10:37
Isn't feasible? I've lost track of the number of times I have drunk an entire bottle of water while standing on the security line. It is not a difficult thing to do. –  Kate Gregory Jan 10 at 12:57

protected by Mark Mayo Jan 10 at 8:52

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.