The 311 Rule

The luggage business isn’t getting any easier for travelers. We have to pay to check our bags and what we can carry on can also be a changing phenomenon.  A quick tip to help you remember what is permitted and what isn’t, is the transportation security administration’s 311 rule of carry on and liquids. To the seasoned traveler this may be old news, but to the seasonal traveler it might be a surprise.

  • 3 ounces of liquid (actually 3.4ounce) container is the largest size container you can have. Even if there is only 3.4 ounces of liquid left in the container – it won’t fly.

  • 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag is all you get.  So, however many 3.4 ounce containers you can fit in 1 quart zip lock bag, is how much you can bring on.

  • 1 bag should be pulled out and placed in your security bin ready to be sent through x-ray. Isolating your 1 quart sized bag full of 3.4 oz liquid containers in the bin helps speed up your security process.

Practicing 3-1-1 will make things easier when you arrive at those x-ray security areas. Each time security has to rumble through a bag it slows down the line. If you have any doubt about what is acceptable, it’s probably safer to check your baggage.

The international traveling community is supporting the travel security agency's 3-1-1 rule for liquids, and most countries feel it is the security method we need. Countries currently following the transportation security administration 311 rules for carrying liquids include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

If you are worried about things like medications, baby formula and other necessary liquids that are more than 3.4 ounces, don’t worry, you can declare those. You must declare the items before inspection at the security checkpoint. For more information on global liquid rules and acceptance of 311 go to