Over a year ago I stopped putting my toiletries in a clear plastic bag instead opting to keep them in my small dopp kit - I found it annoying to have to constantly transfer them between bags.

I've travelled through numerous airports in various countries and haven't had any complaints or been told I was doing anything wrong.

TSA makes no mention of "clear" in their description of a "1 quart-sized resealable bag" as far as I can see.

CATSA does say the bag needs to be "clear" but I've travelled dozens of times through Canadian airports without anyone batting an eye.

The EU does say the bag needs to be "transparent" but again I haven't had any pushback on my opaque, black bag.

Are the rules listed up to date? Does the carry-on liquids bag have to be clear?

  • I think it just depends on the airport for if they let you do it. The last 2 years or so many UK airports would force you to move everything into the type of clear ziplock bag if it was in /anything/ else, where as some of the EU airports have been more relaxed. In Prague, Munich, Barcelona, and Budapest I have seen people in front of me in the lines being forced to swap into the airport provided bags from ones that were slightly too big, didn't zip up, or weren't clear.
    – Uciebila
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


It depends a lot on the airport and the individual screener. The TSA itself is fairly inconsistent in applying their own rules and very ineffective at detecting actual weapons etc.

I've certainly had engagements with security employees that obviously didn't know their own rules or just made them up on the fly. Just two weeks ago I get yelled at because I didn't put my stick deodorant into the zip lock bag. That's explicitly allowed by the TSA, but you can't really argue the point with the screener: they can easily make you miss your flight if they feel like it. There is no way you can win this argument even if you are right.

In your case, you can just keep doing what you are doing. At some point a screener will probably complain about it, so make sure you have a zip lock handy that you can transfer the items to. The actual rules don't matter here, since you have no way of "enforcing" them. If you want to make your flight, you just do what the screener tells you, regardless of what the law says.

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