From a reuse perspective, glass drinking bottles are ideal for the home and office. I recently needed to visit family abroad and whilst packing, without really thinking about it I reached for my trusted bottle only to think… oh dear, can you take glass water bottles on a plane?
You can take glass water bottles on a plane in either your carry-on or checked luggage. If you want to take your glass drinking bottle in the aircraft cabin with you it must be empty of liquid otherwise you won’t be able to pass through airport security.
So after I found the quick answer I did some more research and here is what I discovered from the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) website along with some tips.
Can You Bring Glass Bottles on a Plane Carry-On?
Whilst it’s not against TSA rules to bring a glass drinking bottle in your carry-on luggage there are a couple of points to remember when travelling.
First, the bottle cannot be full of water or any liquid.
The rules for carry-on bags are that liquids can be taken with you in the aircraft cabin but only in individual 100ml or 3.4 once or smaller sized containers.
All the containers that you take with you must then fit in a quart-sized resealable bag.
So with these rules in mind it’s clearly not possible to take a glass drinking bottle full of liquid in your carry-on luggage.
Even if there was less than 100ml of water inside, the security teams would not allow it through as the container is considered too large.
This brings me to an important point, if you get to security with a full bottle of water the security team may decide not to let it through and to confiscate it.
You’ll most likely never see your favorite glass bottle again!
But as long as the bottle is empty then it can travel with you.
When I travelled I took my trusted Black and Blum Glass Water Bottle but emptied it before I went through security.
Once I was safely through security I simply went to a water fountain to fill up my bottle.
Question, have you ever been in one of the airport shops past security?
Well, I did and I was amazed at the amount of space taken up but large fridges keeping hundreds of bottles of water cool.
So much wasted energy use, so much plastic waste – nightmare!
There is another reason why people might think they can’t take glass water bottles onto a plane. It seems that the fear of the glass breaking is also a concern.
Most likely people are thinking about the pressure differences that we all experience on aircraft but it doesn’t matter whether your bottle travels in hand luggage or in the aircraft hold the bottle is extremely unlikely to break unless it’s already damaged in some way.
The most likely way for your bottle to break is due to poor packing in checked luggage which I’ll cover shortly.
Can you take Glass Bottles in Checked Luggage?
In short, yes you can and in the case of hold luggage, no matter whether your glass water bottle is empty or full of liquid it’s allowed on the plane.
The TSA rules are different for checked luggage, essentially all liquids over 100ml / 3.4 ounces must be placed into your checked bags and this would include a full glass drinking bottle.
Now the question is, I’m not sure why you’d want to pack a water bottle of any material that was full of water.
Most airlines impose a weight restriction on travelers’ checked luggage and water, like any liquid, is heavy.
Clearly, you’ll want to avoid packing full water bottles in your luggage but if this is what you would like to do then go ahead, it’s not against the rules.
How to Pack Glass Bottles in Luggage
How you pack your glass water bottle in your luggage will depend on whether it is going to travel in your checked or carry-on bag.
If you’re keeping your glass bottle with you and taking it in hand luggage then there’s nothing special to do.
Just make sure that it’s nice and secure in your rucksack or bag whilst in the aircraft cabin especially if it’s stowed in the overhead lockers.
If you prefer to pack your bottle away in checked luggage then I find the best thing to do is to pack it in the middle of your clothes.
This will protect it from hard knocks that your bag may experience on its journey without you.
Are the Rules Different for the UK
The UK government imposes the same rules as the US, as do most countries across the world.
The 100ml / 3.4 ounce limit on liquids in your carry-on luggage effectivity stops you from taking glass waters bottles that contain liquid onto a plane.
Here is an excerpt from the gov.uk website which outlines the liquid rules.
If you do take liquids in your hand luggage:gov.uk website
– containers must hold no more than 100ml
– containers must 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
– you’re limited to 1 plastic bag per person
– you must show the bag at the airport security point
As with the US, there are certain exceptions to the rules such as carrying baby milk and liquids for medical or dietary purposes.
Can You Bring an Empty Glass Bottle on a Plane?
Yes, you can bring an empty glass water bottle on a plane. Liquid restrictions in most countries mean that the glass bottle will almost certainly be too big and the volume of liquid inside will exceed the safe limit if it contains fluids.
Will a Glass Bottle Break on a Plane?
A Glass bottle will not normally break on a plane unless it’s exposed to similar forces that would cause it to break on the ground such as dropping or throwing it against a hard surface. Within the aircraft cabin, there is no additional pressure that would cause the drinking bottle to break unexpectedly.