Hand sanitizing has become a big thing in many people’s lives since the outbreak of Coronavirus in 2020. So it is not surprising that people want to take hand sanitizer on a plane with them since they will inevitably be touching surfaces that many others have before.
Hand sanitizer can be taken on a plane in your carry on to use during the flight and the permitted TSA hand sanitizer size has been increased to 12 ounces (350ml) per person until further notice. This will ensure that during a long flight you will not run out.
Until this rule was increased then a bottle of hand sanitizer could be no larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) which might easily run out on a long haul flight. Security agencies in other countries will probably follow this too but if traveling internationally you should check with the relevant authority.
Can you take hand sanitizer through airport security
Each passenger can take up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through airport security, and this includes homemade hand sanitizer too. But you cannot take Lysol hand sanitizer as this is considered a hazardous liquid. See my article Can you take Lysol on a plane?
They should be taken out of your carry on bag and be placed into a security tray to go through the x-ray machine. They do not have to go in your liquids bag with any other liquids you may be carrying.
The TSA offer an excellent service on Twitter where you can ask a specific question about whether you can take something through the security checkpoint and they will respond quickly.
This is an example response to a passenger’s question regarding carrying hand sanitizer:
Note: You should be aware that the rules regarding liquids for everything else have not changed. To find out what these rules are read How much liquid can you take on a plane?
Can you take hand sanitizer in your checked bags?
You can pack hand sanitizer in your suitcase to travel in the hold if you wish to use it at your destination. Obviously it will not be available for use during the flight so you should take some in your hand luggage to use.
Make sure that you pack them in separate plastic bags so that if they leak during their journey through baggage handling, which is always a possibility with liquids in checked bags, that they do not ruin your clothes and other items.
Can you take sanitizer wipes?
You can take individually wrapped wipes with you in either your carry on or checked bags. You are also permitted to take jumbo sized containers of anti-bacterial wipes.
These baby wipes are particularly useful if traveling with children. They can also be used to wipe down the trays, seat arms, safety cards, tv screens and anything else around your seat that is likely to have been touched by previous passengers when you sit down to ensure that they are sanitized.
You may also want to take some with you if you visit the aircraft restroom during the flight.
What if you forget hand sanitizer
If you have a short-term memory like mine then forgetting to take hand sanitizer with you is a definite possibility. But all is not lost as you will find that at most large airports you will be able to buy hand sanitizer in the stores after you go through airport security.
I flew to the UK and back recently and as I entered each plane there was a member of the cabin crew handing each passenger an individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipe to use when you sat down.
Masks were required to be worn at all times on the flights, and at the airports, except when eating or drinking.
Boarding and disembarking also took much longer than normal to try to maintain social distancing rules. Passengers were loaded in small batches by row and when leaving it was required that passengers remained in their seats until the row in front got up and started to leave.
Whilst I can understand why this was done, in some ways it all seemed a little pointless. Once we were onboard and seated we were all very close to one another of course.
What else to take during the pandemic
Don’t forget to take a mask with you as they are mandatory on all flights and in most airports too. If it is a long flight then you may want to take a number of masks so that you can swap them at times during the flight as they can get damp from your breath and unpleasant to wear.
Food and drink
Many flights are not providing food or drinks during a flight so take some in your carry on with you. I recently took three flights each way to London and no food was on offer during any of the flights. Only on two flights did they offer a drink of water to passengers.
You will be able to carry sufficient hand sanitizer to keep you and your family safe during a flight. So have a good, stress-free flight and don’t worry too much.
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot.