Is nail polish or nail varnish allowed in hand luggage on board an airplane? The answer is yes, as long as the bottle is under 3.4 oz. or 100ml. Previous US limits were at 3 oz. but have since been updated to reflect a more accurate equivalent to the international standard of 100 ml.
After a 2006 bomb plot discovery, all liquid, gel or aerosol items must be in containers no larger than 3.4 oz or 100ml and fit into a one litre clear, closed and resealable plastic bag, about 20 cm x 20 cm. I’ve dubbed this the security baggie and it must pass though the screening machine separately from your other carry-on luggage.
Use a medium-sized zippered bag; the freezer style is more durable. It’s easy to fit all your sundries once you know that only liquid, gel or aerosol items are considered restricted and
need to be placed in the security baggie. This includes roll-on or aerosol deodorant,
toothpaste, shave cream and mascara.
For more information on what you can carry on board and how to pack it like a pro, download my eBook Travel Like A Flight Attendant. It’s filled with money-saving travel tips and advice I learned from my thirty years (and twenty million air miles) as a crew member.
Follow these packing tips for toiletry bags and cosmetic cases to comply with airport security rules for liquids, gels and aerosols in your hand luggage.
While most liquids of any amount can still be carried in checked luggage, enhanced restrictions for items packed in carry on bags have been in place since the summer of 2006. Until these stringent rules are relaxed or eliminated, follow these tips to safely pack beauty products for air travel.
Liquid Carry on Restrictions for Air Travel
Only items that are liquid, gel or aerosol are restricted for carry on in hand baggage. The list includes roll-on or aerosol deodorant, liquid makeup foundation, shampoo and conditioner, lip balms, liquid soaps, shave cream and mascara.
This means that any restricted item must be packed in a container no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz) or smaller, which then must fit into a 1 litre, (1 quart) 15.24 cm by 22.86 cm (6 in. by 9 in.) or 20 cm by 17.5 cm (8 in. by 7 in.) clear, closed and resealable baggie.
Make-Up for Travel
If you use liquid make up foundation, transfer it to a small, leak proof travel bottle. Or try a powdered mineral makeup, which is exempt from liquid carry on rules. You will also need a foundation brush to apply the powder. Consider packing a tinted moisturizer, which does double duty for travel beauty.
Tips for Lips
Pack a tube of solid lipstick in your travel make bag, instead of lip balms and gels, which are restricted in hand baggage.
Travel Beauty Tips for Eye Makeup
Tube mascara is considered liquid and restricted but solid cake mascara is fine. A better option is to have your eyelashes professionally dyed before your trip.
Liquid, cream or gel eye shadows are subject to carry on rules. The same applies to liquid eyeliner. Pack powder or cake eyeshadow in your cosmetic case. Or, travel light and comply with airport security by packing make up pencils instead.
Travel Beauty for Nails
Nail polish and polish removers are restricted liquids and awkward to pack. Instead, invest in a salon French manicure or chose pastel shades that don’t show chips like dark polishes do.
How to Pack Perfume in Cabin Baggage
Perfume is liquid and thus restricted in carry on baggage. Pick up a free sample of your favourite scent or one you’d like to try. Each tiny vial holds enough for a few days plus they usually are leak proof. You might fall in love with a new fragrance that you can buy at the Duty Free shop on the way home. But if that’s not the case, rinse out the vial and add your own fragrance. Perfume goes further than eau de cologne or toilet water.
How to Test a Travel Toiletry Bottle
Pressurisation on board a plane can cause bottles to spill their contents everywhere. The best lids on travel toiletries have an extra ring inside, like some water bottles do. One way to tell if a bottle is secure is to fill it, squeeze out some air and put the lid on. Shake or tap it against your hand. If any liquid comes out or the bottle reverts to its original shape, it is not safe for air travel.
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It’s hard when families are separated on planes, even on short-haul flights. Here are a few tips to help recify the situation:
Check in as early as you can
After seats are assigned and boarding cards are printed, passenger agents are unlikely to ask people to change. They’ll probably suggest that you ask the flight attendants for help. Online check in can help beat the airport crowds.
Swap your good seat for a bad seat
Passengers don’t usually want to give up aisle or bulkhead seats, especially if they’ve paid extra for them. Once onboard, if you can offer someone a better seat or location (front of plane), many will oblige. Remember, no one wants the middle seat.
Not everyone has to sit together in a row. If family members are across the aisle from each other or in the row ahead or behind, that should be close enough to reduce stress levels, especially on short-haul flights.
Ask your flight attendant for help
If people won’t budge, sometimes a crew member may be able to suggest alternatives. Remember that we can’t force anyone to move, but sometimes we can offer small incentives to passengers who help us out.
Sitting apart can be fun
For some kids, being separated from parents isn’t such a bad thing. Older children may enjoy feeling grown-up enough to sit by themselves or with another sibling, especially when Mom and Dad are only a few rows away.
I once moved a helpful passenger to first class, though there were still empty seats in economy. This was after 6 other passengers refused to move across the aisle. You can be sure I said “Follow me to First Class,” loudly enough for everyone to hear.
Another time, a cranky businessman was rewarded with a lapful of vomit from a 5 year old who was nervous because his mother was sitting two rows away. The flight was only an hour long but the mother asked politely and the man refused. What goes around, comes around, even at 36,000 feet.
Crew members get a pre-flight briefing and so should you. Before you check in online, check out your aircraft. SeatGuru.com posts informative seating charts for more than 60 carriers. You can locate the most coveted spots (extra legroom over-wing) and avoid the worst (near galleys and washrooms). Flight attendants know some seats that may seem wonderful – like bulkheads – come with their drawbacks, like no underseat storage and the chance of being seated next to cranky infants.
Even perennial favourites, like overwing exit seats, may have limited recline and are chilly in flight, as you are sitting next to an operational door or window. Depending on the aircraft configuration, these seats can also be next to lavs (washrooms.)
To change seats easily after boarding, know airline protocol. The final count of passengers and their location gives pilots critical knowledge on the weight and balance of the aircraft. You might disrupt their calculations by switching seats before take-off. If you want to move, do so before the count or in the air.
For both passengers and crew, the smartest attitude is “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” not “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”