Milk is often an essential carry-on for air travel, particularly with infants or toddlers. While the TSA Liquids rule applies to regular milk, it doesn’t apply to milk for infants or toddlers.
You probably packed some cereal for snacking on your flight journey and would also like to take some milk. Or, if you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, in which case, milk is a must-have.
But you’re haunted by the thought of taking the milk out of your bag at airport security as it may not be permitted. So the question remains, ‘Can you bring milk on a plane?’
The Quick Answer: You can bring any amount of milk in your checked luggage. Regular milk in your carry-on must be within 3.4 ounces, per the TSA liquids rule. Milk for infants or toddlers can be brought through airport security and is exempt from the liquids rule. This includes breast milk.
Let’s look into further information about bringing milk on a plane.
Can You Take Milk Through Airport Security?
Unless you have an infant or toddler traveling with you, TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule applies to milk in your carry-on.
You can bring milk within 3.4 ounces (100 ml) in your carry-on bag through airport security. Unless you have small milk boxes or pre-packed milk bottles within this limit, you’ll have to use a small container to hold the milk. All this must be packed in a quart-sized plastic bag in your carry-on.
It’s probably not a lot of milk, but it would suffice for your cereal snack. A better option is to get any flavored milk, cold coffee, smoothie, or milkshake to drink as is.
Can You Bring Milk on a Plane For a Baby or Toddler?
If you have an infant or a toddler traveling with you on your flight journey, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to follow the TSA liquids rule. The TSA defines a toddler as a child who needs to be assisted by an adult to walk.
Milk for infants or toddlers is exempt from the liquids rule, including breast milk. You can pack more than 3.4 ounces of milk and don’t have to keep it in a quart-sized bag, either. However, you might have to take it out of your carry-on bag for inspection by the TSA officers.
Can You Pack Milk in Checked Bags?
For any flights you board within the USA, you can bring any milk you need in your checked bags. The TSA has no restrictions on the number of liquids you can pack in checked luggage.
However, what you need to worry about is milk spilling into your luggage. Always keep milk in a tightly sealed bottle or container and wrap it with plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil. You could also use a heavy-duty freezer bag to pack the milk container or bottle.
Unless you’re taking long-life milk boxes, it’s best to pack any fresh milk with a frozen gel pack or ice to keep it cool till you reach your destination. This helps avoid milk going bad in your luggage.
Can You Buy Milk at the Airport After Passing Through Airport Security?
Once you’ve passed airport security, if available, you can buy milk from airport vendors or food outlets (restaurants) to take on your flight.
You can purchase any quantity or bottle size of milk to take with you in your carry-on.
Can You Take Milk on an International Flight?
Since the TSA rules apply to domestic and international flights from the US, you can take milk in your carry-on (within 3.4 ounces) or your checked luggage on an international flight.
After finishing the security check, you can also buy some milk at the airport. If you intend to consume the milk on your flight, there shouldn’t be any issues at your destination.
Depending on your destination, you may not be allowed to bring dairy products, including milk. Many countries are strict with these rules. So check the laws of the destination you’re traveling to before you pack your carry-on.
Can You Bring Milk on an International Flight to the USA?
Unless you’re traveling with an infant or toddler (in which case you can bring a small quantity of milk), the United States has strict rules – bringing in milk from foreign countries isn’t permitted.
However, if milk is permitted, you must declare any foods or liquids you bring into the USA to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Can You Drink Milk on a Plane?
If you’ve managed to get any milk in your carry-on through airport security, you can most definitely consume it on a plane.
The chances are you’ve carried milk mostly for your infant or toddler. And it’s perfectly alright to give them milk on a plane. Probably not too much at once; if there’s flight turbulence, it might get them nauseated.
How Long Will Milk Last in Your Luggage?
Since fresh milk is a perishable item, it is good to drink within the first two hours of opening at room temperature.
The unrefrigerated (long-life) milk varieties keep good for several months when unopened, even at room temperature. However, once opened, these need to be consumed within two hours when unrefrigerated.
Frozen gel packs or ice are a great way to keep your packed milk cooler for extended periods. However, if you’re taking these through airport security, they must be completely frozen and not even partially thawed.
While you can bring any sort of milk, in any amount, in your checked bags, milk in your carry-on mustn’t exceed 3.4 ounces (100 ml) as per the TSA liquids rule.
That means cow’s milk, vegan milk, milkshakes, cold coffee, smoothies, flavored milk, etc., must be within 3.4 ounces in a container with a tightly-closed lid.
The only exception to this rule is when you bring milk in your carry-on for your infant or toddler traveling with you. In this case, you can get as much as needed through airport security.
Other Airport Security Articles
Planning for in-flight snacks can be quite a task, especially with liquids. Here are some of my other airport security articles you might be interested to read into:
- What Liquids Do Not Go In A Liquids Bag?
- Can You Bring Shooters on a Plane?
- Can You Bring Alcohol on a Plane? Spirits, Beer, and Wine
- How Many Ounces on a Plane in Carry-On and Checked Bags?
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. About Me