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?

  • 14
    Just about anything is a “frozen” liquid, in a sense.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 14:57
  • 7
    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. Commented May 19, 2014 at 15:18
  • 12
    Please don't do this and get caught, last thing we want that US turn off all ACs in their airports "for security reasons". Commented May 19, 2014 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


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.

Australia Does Not Allow Frozen Liquids

According to Australian regulations, for a liquid, aerosol or gel (LAG) to be considered a solid, it must present itself in this state at room temperature. Therefore, frozen liquids, i.e. liquids that are indeed liquid at room temperature, are still subject to the 100ml rule.

Quoting from the linked site (empasis mine):

  • All liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) are covered by the quantity restrictions. LAGs is defined as:

    • a substance that is a liquid when at room temperature;
    • an aerosol;
    • a gel;
    • a cream; or
    • a paste.
  • If you are unsure whether an item falls within the restrictions, pack it in your checked baggage.

New Zealand Does Not Allow Frozen Liquids

Similarly as to Australian regulations, New Zealand regulations say that if the substance presents itself in liquid, gel or aerosol for at room temperature, then it is subject to the 100ml rule.

Quoting from the linked website (emphasis mine):

What type of liquids, aerosols and gels do these measures cover?

These measures apply to any items that can be poured, sprayed or smeared or melt at room temperature. This includes, but is not limited, to:

  • water and other drinks, soups, syrups, jams, stews, sauces and pastes
  • foods in sauces or containing a high liquid content
  • creams or ointments - including face creams, foundation, sunblock, insect repellent
  • perfumes
  • roll-on deodorants
  • sprays - including antiperspirant and hair sprays
  • gels - including hair, shaving and shower gels
  • contents of pressurised containers - including shaving foam
  • pastes - including toothpastes
  • waxy substances - including hair wax
  • liquid solid mixtures - including lipsticks, face compacts and blushers
  • mascara and liquid eyeliner and
  • lip gloss and lip balm
  • liquid soaps
  • fluid-filled cigarette lighters.

These or similar items can only be taken in carry-on baggage on board aircraft in containers of 100ml or less, with all containers fitting into the resealable transparent 1 litre plastic bag. This bag must then be presented separately at the security screening point.

Canadian CATSA/ACSTA Does Not Allow Frozen Liquid Food Items

The Canadian CATSA/ACSTA website mentions solely frozen food items, stating that solid food is food that is normally solid at room temperature. Anything else is subject to the 100ml rule, even if frozen.

Quoting from the linked website (emphasis partially mine):


  • Beverages: Drink or discard any beverages in containers of more than 100 ml before you get to security screening checkpoint. This includes water in your personal water bottle. You can refill your container once you pass through security.
  • Duty-Free Alcohol: Be sure you know the rules for bringing duty-free alcohol as part of your carry-on baggage.
  • Food is not exempted from restrictions on liquids, foods and personal items:

    • Non-solid food (e.g. yogurt, pudding, peanut butter, jam) in your carry-on must be in containers of 100 ml or less. All containers must fit in the same clear, closed, resealable 1 L plastic bag, along with all other containers of liquids, food or personal items you are carrying.
    • Food over 100 ml that is normally a liquid or gel but has been frozen solid will not be allowed to pass through security in your carry-on. In order for a food to be considered a solid, it must be solid at room temperature.
    • Solid food with less than 100 ml of liquid: Canned or jarred goods containing both solids and liquid that clearly contain less than 100 ml of liquid (e.g., can of tuna) are allowed. These items must fit in the same clear, closed, resealable 1 L plastic bag with all other containers of liquids, food or personal items you are carrying.
  • 1
    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
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 14:55
  • Note that many other countries, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, do not currently (2015/2016) permit "frozen liquids" to be carried on. They also don't allow things like jam and peanut butter which the US TSA does seem to allow. Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 5:47
  • @JohnZwinck would you care to look up some references so that I (our you) can update the answer?
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    @JoErNanO: Sure--here's the one for Australia saying explicitly that jam and peanut butter are outlawed if over 100 mL: travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/international/lags/… and here's the one for Canada: catsa.gc.ca/liquids-food-personal-items and for NZ (jam and honey, naturally!): aucklandairport.co.nz/AirportInformation/Passenger-information/… Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 11:48
  • @JohnZwinck Thanks. See my edit. Feel free to update/modify this post.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 10:28

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.

  • 17
    You will have to live with the fact that the regulations are not using terminology that matches what we learn in physical science
    – clabacchio
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 16:03
  • 1
    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
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 0:26
  • 4
    @mkennedy We have to assume that not all TSA agents are 100% familiar with their own rules.
    – uncovery
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 0:38
  • The linked blog post says that frozen liquids are allowed. The part quoted here is itself a quote which the blog said was no longer accurate as of November 2009 when the post was written.
    – reirab
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 16:24

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