I recently bought a "travel sized" version of a facial spray that I use so I could bring it on my holiday. But I just looked at the label and saw that it was 118ml, 18ml over the 100ml limit. I just wanted to know if that would still be alright to bring on board.

  • 2
    To avoid problems, just bring the spray in a 100 ml container. It's easier for you to have an accepted threshold than for them. Oct 22, 2017 at 15:12
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    Note that if you buy something with "100 ml" written on it, it means it contains 100ml of liquid, but the container is slightly larger than that (because it's not 100% full). So technically all items with "100 ml" written on them cannot be taken on a plane. Oct 22, 2017 at 16:15
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    @FedericoPoloni For practical purposes, I think they normally define the 'size' of a container according to what's on the label, unless perhaps the container is obviously significantly larger than what the label says (or if the label looks faked.)
    – reirab
    Oct 22, 2017 at 18:53

4 Answers 4


I mean, you've answered the question. The limit is 100ml, and your container is 118ml. It is therefore, according to the rules, not allowed.

As a practical matter, I can't remember the last time anyone has paid that kind of close attention to my liquids, and there's a good chance nobody will notice or care, though this depends on the policies of whatever authority is checking your bags and the particular person you get on the day. If your item is larger than 100ml, you risk having it confiscated, which means you'll be out whatever it costs and won't have it at your destination. Whether or not that's a risk you want to take is up to you.

  • 8
    And it might depend on the actual packaging. My 75ml toothpaste looks larger than my 90ml contant lens cleaning solution (at least to me), so if your spray comes in a compact container, chances are better that no one will notice.
    – Sabine
    Oct 22, 2017 at 8:37
  • If the container doesn't say how large it is, don't make a point to ask the TSA about it in person. And don't give them a reason to be a dick to you. If the container does say how large it is, see if you can remove that label, or remove the print with a sugar cube. Oct 22, 2017 at 11:37
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    You’ve now given the TSA a reason to search your bags before you even arrive at the airport. Congrats.
    – DonielF
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:32
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    @DonielF It's unlikely that TSA would distinguish a 118 mL container from a 100 mL container unless they were already searching your bag.
    – reirab
    Oct 22, 2017 at 18:48
  • 2
    The Brits confiscated a tube of suntan lotion that was 118. They checked every last container. Oct 23, 2017 at 7:25

Technically, no. 118ml is larger then 100ml.

Practically, probably. A 118ml container is barely distinguishable from a 100ml container, especially if it is not full as the contents are often more visible then the container.

Many people will tell you how they accidentally left even larger containers in the bag without issue.

  • A friend went through with a full 1.5L bottle of water, after the guy in front of him was pulled for having a 0.5L bottle with a little liquid in it. I guess the officer was distracted by the first case... Oct 23, 2017 at 11:08
  • As the guy with the 0.5L bottle, I probably would have opened it and drunk empty.
    – glglgl
    Oct 23, 2017 at 14:24
  • @glglgl Sure -- that's probably what the passenger in question did. The point being made, though, was that the officer required them to do something. Oct 23, 2017 at 16:08
  • @glglgl Onomatopoeic username win!
    – Sneftel
    Oct 23, 2017 at 16:08
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    @glglgl Works well enough if it's a reasonable quantity of water, not so much when it's a $180 bottle of congac. That turns out to be an excellent way to wind up on the floor and denied boarding. Oct 23, 2017 at 18:33

The screening process is a bit of a hit and miss, you might get lucky. I suggest you have your "liquids" in the official one litre bag, if they all look the right size they will probably not look very carefully at them.

That said, I have personally seen officials carefully looking at the label and rejecting a container that was very slightly above 100ml.


I have gone through security mindlessly with a 2L water bottle in my backpack and nobody said anything. I've also had 125ml containers confiscated, because they're over the limit.

If it's worth a lot of money, don't take it, if not, just put it in the plastic bag with a few other ones that are <100ml on top, and hope they only check 1 or 2 if they check the label at all.

  • 1
    Sorry, but these personal anecdotes are of little help to the OP.
    – user40521
    Oct 23, 2017 at 7:36
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    @JanDoggen There probably is no formal study on cheating through the TSA with slightly above 100ml bottles. What do you propose to help the OP?
    – CodeMonkey
    Oct 23, 2017 at 8:07
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    Nothing more than what's already written in the other answers. They at least make an attempt to generalize.
    – user40521
    Oct 23, 2017 at 8:28
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    I'm confirming that both cases happen and that OP should be careful if it's worth much.
    – CodeMonkey
    Oct 23, 2017 at 11:07
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    The advice "if it is worth much don't risk it" is appropriate and helpful. Reality is that this is a terribly hit-and-miss process.
    – Floris
    Oct 23, 2017 at 12:35

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