Although they may occasionally seem like a pain, the Transport Security Administration’s rules are enforced to keep travelers safe in the airport and in the sky. No, your bottle of half-finished water probably isn’t posing a national security threat, but as far as air travel goes, it’s way better to be safe than any form of sorry.
However, there are many items that you probably haven’t been packing because you didn’t know that you can actually take them through security. From mini bottles of alcohol to bowling balls, there's a whole list of items that you may be surprised to find get TSA approval. Feel free to save room in your checked bag for souvenirs and throw your animal antlers and bread machine in your carry-on, simply because you can.
Keep in mind, though, that although these items are listed as approved on the TSA official website, what actually gets the okay at any given airport at any given time is up to the TSA officers on duty. That’s only one of the 15 things your TSA agent won’t tell you (but that you need to know)
The TSA has a strict 3.4-fluid-ounce rule for liquids passing through security. Luckily, mini liquor bottles are mostly around 1.7 fluid ounces. Don't plan on opening these on the plane — U.S. airlines ban passengers from pouring their own booze — but they're nice to have when you get to your destination hotel. Even hotels with free mini-bars usually charge (a lot) for miniatures of spirits.
TSA has approved animal antlers to be brought through security in or as a carry-on, so long as they fit in overhead storage or under the seat. That means no big game antlers or antlers mounted on large plaques.
You can bring a whole host of balls through security without having to deflate them. Soft balls such as basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls are OK, as are solid balls like bocce balls and large solids like bowling balls. Check out these bacon jalapeño balls, which you can definitely carry around the airport.
If you so desire, you can bring a bread machine through security. Also you can bring the dry ingredients you'd need to make bread, as well as any of the wet ones, so long as their volume is less than 3.4 fluid ounces. You will probably not be allowed to bake bread on the plane, however, or even in the airport if your flight is delayed. Want to bake bread when you get to your destination? Check out the best crusty bread recipes.
Cremated remains are allowed through security as long as they are in a wood or plastic container. Out of respect for the passenger and the deceased, the TSA will not open the container if you tell them what is inside.
You are also able to take eggs of any kind — with the possible exception of fish eggs (caviar), which a TSA agent might consider to be a (prohibited) paste — through security. Even fresh ones! Be careful not to break them!
As long as you are traveling on a domestic flight, you are able to take fruits through security — even the fruits you didn’t know were fruits. (Be aware, though, that California theoretically prohibits you from bringing many kinds of fruit into the state; whether or not you'll encounter an agricultural inspector at the airport is hard to say.)
Believe it or not, handcuffs are allowed through airport security and on the plane. We do not recommend cuffing your own arm to the armrest, though, even if you did call "dibs."
These sharp objects are allowed on planes as long as they are sheathed for your protection and the protection of others in-flight.
Although it’s a sharp object, you actually can bring a pair of scissors shorter than four inches long in a carry-on. That means nail scissors and even some sewing scissors don’t have to leave your bag. This rule also extends to nail clippers, tweezers, and similar small metal grooming items. Just don’t clip your nails on the plane! That’s kind of gross.
This is a major travel hack! Bringing an empty water bottle through security means that once you’ve been screened you can fill the empty bottle at any of the water fountains in the airport and skip shelling out $5 for a bottle of Dasani. Not drinking enough water? Check out this water bottle that lights up to remind you to drink.