Travelers Claim You Don't Have to Take Liquids Out for TSA: "It's a Scam"

A new video has passengers debating whether it's necessary to remove liquids in security.

If you're a frequent flier, you likely know the rules of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) like the back of your hand—everything in your pockets must be removed, outerwear like bulky jackets and hats must come off, and electronics bigger than your phone must be placed in a separate bin alongside any travel-sized liquids.

While a laptop or tablet can be easy to spot in your carry-on, the same can't always be said for small body wash containers. Digging around for any liquids you may be traveling with isn't only time-consuming, but it can hold up the airport security line.

Rather than deal with a potential nuisance, TikToker Emily Broxton told her followers in a new video that she keeps liquids inside her carry-on while going through the TSA checkpoint. So far, she hasn't had any problems, leading her to believe that TSA's 3-1-1 rule is a "scam."

RELATED: 7 Surprising Items TSA May Flag You for at Airport Security.

For reference, TSA's 3-1-1- rule states that travelers with a carry-on are allowed to pack one quart-sized "clear, plastic, zip top bag" containing bottles with "3.4 ounces or less" of liquid, per its website. This applies to liquids, gels, and aerosols—including more unique items you might have overlooked like glow sticks, snow globes, and "spreadable" food products like peanut butter. Additionally, you can only have one bag per passenger.

In a viral video, Broxton navigates through a busy airport with a caption that reads, "One thing about me is that I will never be taking my liquids out of my carry-on."

She then goes on to explain why: "I have never been bothered about this by TSA and am convinced the whole liquid thing is a scam to inconvenience travelers."

In speaking with Daily Dot, Broxton did specify that any liquids she's brought through security have been "in containers of 4 ounces or less."

Broxton's viral video has amassed 1.3 million views and more than 1,500 people have shared their TSA liquid stories in the comments. Many corroborate Broxton's claim and say they've never had issues either, while others argue that international airports like Heathrow are much stricter than U.S. airports when it comes to the size and quantity of carry-on liquids.

"I don't take them out but I do put them in a bag incase I have to," one user said. Another person said they'd rather "hope for the best" than organize their small liquids in a plastic bag and take them out during the TSA check.

Some TikTokers admitted that they had been stopped at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and NYC's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) for not following the 3-1-1 rule, but many agreed that Heathrow International Airport in London is by far the strictest.

"It's all fun and games until you do this at Heathrow accidentally," someone wrote, to which another said, "Heathrow in London made me cry." An additional TikToker shared, "Heathrow airport liquids are a nightmare. I had to throw things out."

While your liquids may have flown under the radar before, following the TSA's 3-1-1 guidelines is the safest way to ensure that you and your small liquids get through security checkpoints without incident.

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Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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