Tip: Freeze Your Drink Before Going to the Airport to Get It Through Security

Jan 25, 2017

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Anyone who’s been through security at a US airport within the past decade has come across the TSA’s dreaded 3-1-1 rule. As you’ll know by now, you can’t get past those TSA agents with liquid in a container that’s larger than 3.4 oz., and the containers must fit in one quart-sized resealable bag. Yes, the rule is ultimately there for our safety, but it’s more of a nuisance for the average traveler — especially when it comes to bringing some H2O into the terminal.

We’ve shared a tip with you before on how to save money at the airport by bringing an empty water bottle through security and filling it up once you get in the terminal. But, there’s a more creative way to save some cash — ever think about freezing your drink before getting to the airport?

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That’s right, it’s not breaking the TSA’s pesky 3-1-1 rule if the drink is frozen — just make sure it’s completely frozen. According to the TSA, if the liquid is even partially melted or slushy, it needs to meet 3-1-1 liquid requirements. Here’s the agency’s wording:

Frozen liquid items are allowed through the checkpoint as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen liquid items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 liquids requirements.

That locally brewed iced coffee you love so much? Freeze it before you get to the airport so you can enjoy it from the terminal. But what use will you have with a frozen drink when you get through security? Probably none unless you thaw it. Consider taking the frozen beverage to a lounge — which you can access with credit cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve — and sinking it in a cup or bowl of hot water that could be used for making tea. Voila! You now have a thawed beverage brought into the terminal from the outside world.

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