Suppose I am traveling with medications in prescription bottles, within the USA.

Should I put the bottles in a ziploc bag (inside of carry on luggage) to minimize the risk of TSA agents checking it?

  • 2
    I removed your second question, because you should ask that as a second question that can be answered independently. I don't know what you think the risk is of the TSA checking medications; explaining that might get you better answers Jul 1, 2021 at 12:22
  • The answer to the question about masks should really come straight from the airline, anyway. What the requirements are (about masks) are very likely to be quickly changing, soon, anyway. It takes almost no space/effort to carry a mask with you in any case, so unless having to wear one would keep you from travelling, it only makes sense to carry one with you, regardless of the official requirements.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 1, 2021 at 12:56
  • Why do you think they are going to confiscate your medication?
    – mdewey
    Jul 1, 2021 at 13:21
  • Last few flights I was on in June, TSA didn't even ask for the bag of liquids to be sent through x-ray separately. They just won't care.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 1, 2021 at 13:45
  • @JonCuster I never even bother to remove my "liquids" bag from my carry on. The TSA has had ample opportunity to admonish me, but never has.
    – Peter M
    Jul 1, 2021 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


It is a good idea but it will make not make much of a difference to the probability of being checked which is essentially zero. Medication in plastic bottles are probably see-through in the x-ray and even if they are able to detect their presence, it is such a common case to travel with medication that there is no reason for them to be checked unless you were travelling with sufficiently large quantity. Personally I require daily medication and have been on a few hundred flights and my medication was never checked. I do place them in a ziplock bag to keep them together towards the bottom of the bag to minimize chances of them falling out during manual inspection (which did happen for earphones once).

The true way to minimize the chance of your medication being inspected is to minimize chances of your entire bag being inspected! There are items that agents frequently ask to inspect manually such as liquids, electronics, cameras, film, etc. Avoid packing these together. Most airlines allow both a carry-on and an extra personal item which you can use to split frequently checked items from medication.

  • Should you put the medication on carry on or check it in?
    – Huntress
    Jul 1, 2021 at 16:08
  • 3
    Always carry-on. This is very important as it is the one piece you are most likely to have right when you arrive. Checked luggage may be delayed or lost, although not so frequent as it used to happen.
    – Itai
    Jul 1, 2021 at 16:23
  • Yes. Medication in checked luggage is an easy way to turn a potentially small problem (wear clothes from your carry-on or buy some to tide you over) into a rather large one (get emergency replacement medication, potentially in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language). Not worth it if it’s medication you at all need. Jul 1, 2021 at 22:48
  • @Itai: should the medication be in a zip lock bag inside the carry on luggage?
    – Huntress
    Jul 2, 2021 at 0:22
  • @Huntress: I think Itai already answered that: it is irrelevant to the "risk" of being checked, but might be a good idea anyway to help avoid it falling out. Jul 2, 2021 at 0:35

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