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I bought one of these from Sainsbury's (UK):

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/travel-toiletries/sainsburys-travel-organiser

It's a clear plastic bag, kind of like a pencil case, with a zip along the top. It came with several clear plastic bottles (all <= 100ml) for putting liquids in. Will I be allowed to use this to bring liquids into my carry-on luggage, or do I have to use one of the "sandwich-bag"-style bags they sell at the airport?

Everything I've looked at regarding the rules just says "sealable plastic bag" - would a zip qualify as "sealable"?

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TL;DR Your bag should be fine to carry based on the picture and the link you posted. The zipper should not be an issue as long as it's easy to open and the material fits inside comfortably.

The rules are fairly well defined but vary slightly from place to place. On a general basis, I would recommend carrying a transparent, resealable, plastic bag with a size no greater that 1 quart or 1 liter and dimensions when flattened to be lesser than 20cm x 20cm.

This is fairly clearly mentioned on the airport websites or the embassy websites.

For instance, the Gov.UK website mentions,

  • containers should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm
  • contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed
  • the bag must not be knotted or tied at the top

Whereas the TSA website for US regulations mentions,

3-1-1 for carry-ons. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.

The Narita Airport, Japan website adds that if you don't have a plastic bag, you cannot carry liquids.

Store liquid in containers with capacities not greater than 100 ml (g), and place the containers so that they fit comfortably in a transparent resealable plastic bag with a capacity of not more than 1 liter. Even if a container measures less than 100 ml, it cannot be brought on board if it is not placed in the plastic bag.

  • Just a note that the US limits bag size to 1 U.S. quart, which is significantly smaller than the Imperial quart used in the UK and formerly used elsewhere in the British Commonwealth. – Jim MacKenzie Sep 13 '18 at 15:02
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I was not allowed to take my plastic bag with a zip, although I had bought it as a flight bag especially for 100ml toiletries. This was at Stansed Airport, where a grumpy man made me take everything out and put it into one of his self-seal bags. I had no problem on my return journey but I'm now hesitant to use a zip bag.

  • 1
    Is your bag the right size? Can you post a picture or a link to the product? – jcaron Sep 13 '18 at 14:55

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