New TSA Rules for Powders in Carry-on Bags to Kick Off Summer

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Give your clients a heads up: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing new rules regarding powders in carry-on bags on international flights to the United States, which will take effect just as a busy summer travel season kicks off. The new rules officially take effect June 30.

The new rules apply to powder-like substances over 12 oz. or 350 mL, which is about the size of a standard U.S. can of soda. When they are in travelers’ carry-on bags, these powders may require secondary screening and, if the powder cannot be cleared by security officials, it will be prohibited from the cabin of the aircraft. Powders are further defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing or disintegration of a solid substance, such as flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk and cosmetics, although security officials will have the final say on what counts as a powder.

American Airlines is recommending that customers place powders over the listed size in their checked bags.

There are a few exceptions to the new rules. Certain powders, including baby formula, medically necessary powders and human remains, are exempt from the secondary screening. Additionally, the policy does not apply to flights departing the U.S. or U.S. territories, since the TSA has already implemented enhanced security procedures at those checkpoints.

The new rules are taking effect just as a busy summer travel season is kicking off. According to AAA, travel over the Fourth of July period is shaping up to be another record-setter, buoyed by high consumer confidence and lower airfares. Additionally, Europe will be a popular destination for Fourth of July travel this year, and the new rules will apply to flights returning to the United States from that region.

For summer travel overall, MMGY Global is forecasting an extremely busy season. According to the organization’s latest Portrait of American Travelers survey, 67 percent of U.S. travelers intend to take a summer vacation this year, up from 60 percent a year ago.

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