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Carry an Empty Water Bottle Through Airport Security

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Since we are not allowed to bring liquids on the plane, when I travel I carry an empty water bottle. After passing through security I fill the bottle with water from the fountain, therefore, I have water to drink on the plane.

By Walter from Chapel Hill, NC



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larpam575, you can carry water on to the plane, you just can't carry it through the security check point before entering the terminals. You have to get your water after entering the terminals by way of buying it or filling an empty bottle from a drinking fountain.

By Pam07/19/2009

But that is still carrying liquids on the plane. Won't you be stopped/get in trouble for that?

By Amy Crowley [1]07/19/2009

That worked for me in Columbus, but on LuGardia said "NO" I think we still need some more practical flight security!

By karen [5]07/19/2009

This is exactly what I do, but I bring a half filled water bottle and drink the water before I go through security, then after security fill the bottle with cold water from an airport water fountain. It seems flying is dehydrating so the water bottle always comes in handy on the plane and on the ground.

By Polly Levesque [28]07/19/2009

Drinking the water out of water fountains, whether here or abroad, isn't as safe as you'd think, and *definitely* don't drink the water on planes, because of poor water quality test results. I carry sealed, commercial water. If they're still sealed, I've had no problem passing through. Once, I had several bottles of unopened water and one that I had just opened. They told me to discard it, but I asked if I could please drink it there and recycle the bottle. Once I started to drink it, they got the point. I wouldn't be drinking hazardous materials, so they let me stop drinking and I went through just fine. This was on a domestic flight, though, so I can't answer for overseas.

By Hazel Edmunds07/19/2009

No problem at London Luton or Schipol. Is it just on the other side of the Atlantic that there's a problem? What the heck do the security guys think you're going to do with an empty water bottle?


Funny idea boogieman but you can be detained and/or arrested for doing something like that :-o They don't mess around and it's a Federal offense ...

By mark mathias [2]03/24/2009

You could always keep it filled with water. Simply label it "saline solution", you can have saline solution for contacts (no they won't check your eyes, haha). Make it more believable by the type of container.

By Julia in UK [6]03/24/2009

I am worried about not being able to get drinks now. Last year I travelled back to the UK from Marrekesh. Water bottles had to be thrown away at the airport. We were not allowed to take local currency out of the country (had to change it before checking in). We could not pay with credit cards at the only cafe selling drinks at the other side of the check-in desk, because they would only deal in the local currency. The plane was delayed for several hours and there was no drinking fountain. I was ill a few days later with urinary and kidney infection.

By Paulette Gulakowski [7]03/24/2009

Do not use a bottled water bottle. Instead, use a reusable plastic bottle sold specifically for beverages (they sometimes have advertising on them). Some have straw tops, others have a pull out cap. Put it in your carry on without the lid screwed on. It should be okay. My daughter brings baby bottles, reusable bottles and sippy cups on the plane like this several times a year.


I am appalled to think a TSA agent thinks it's okay to throw away someones personal empty water bottle! What if it were a child's empty sippy cup or an empty thermos? Personally, wouldn't be rude about it but also wouldn't be meek, I would ask the agent 'why' because it 'is not' on the TSA list of banned items at all! The skeptical side of me says it's simply a ploy for the airport itself to make money on outrageously priced items inside the terminals :-(

By Louise B. [5]03/23/2009

Well, I thought I would do the empty bottle thing, and it is interesting to know that they are totally nutso about that. I still think I might give it a whirl. It is, after all, only an empty bottle. If they don't let it through, no great loss.

By lisa [3]03/23/2009

Tried that. The security guy (LAX) said that the empty bottles weren't allowed either and tossed mine and every one else who tried to carry one through. Thought I'd put an empty in my carry-on and let it go through the x-ray. The security lady (ATL) stopped the bag and removed the empty bottle and said that they weren't allowed. Each incident occured in the last few weeks. I've even tried this at smaller airports with no luck.

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