Can You Bring Tea Bags On A Plane? Top Things to Know 2023

The Image Showcases A Variety Of Tea Bags Arranged On A Passport Next To A World Map.

Can you bring tea bags on a plane? Whether it’s for personal use or to share a cup of your favorite beverage with friends and family, being able to take tea on board can be an important part of any journey.

While all liquids and gels must abide by specific TSA regulations, there are exceptions for dry items such as tea bags. We will discuss how travelers can bring their beloved tea onboard planes in the U.S. and internationally.

Key Takeaways

  • Tea bags are allowed in checked and carry-on luggage if they follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids.
  • Checking with the airline you’re flying before packing tea bags is important since policies may vary.
  • When traveling abroad, you must familiarize yourself with customs regulations at your destination country regarding teas.
  • By packing properly and researching beforehand, travelers can enjoy their favorite beverage.

TSA Regulations on Bringing Tea Bags on a Plane

An Assortment Of Tea Bags Is Displayed On A Rustic Wooden Table In A Well-Lit And Bustling Atmosphere.

Tea bags are generally considered a dry, powder-like substance and are thus allowed in limited quantities on U.S. flights if kept within the 3-1-1 rule restrictions.

Liquids and gels restrictions

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific regulations on what type of liquids and gels travelers can bring in carry-on and checked luggage. Fortunately for tea lovers, tea bags and other less well-known forms, such as loose-leaf tea, are not considered a liquid or gel by the TSA, meaning passengers can fly with their favorite beverage without worrying about restrictions.

Tea bags do not need to be kept in any particular container either, so long as it is easy for airport security to see them during an x-ray scan or through additional screening if necessary.

It’s also important that the original packaging remains intact – this will help ensure there won’t be potential issues at pre-boarding checkpoints and customs when entering the United States or other countries.

AskTSA Twitter Answers

Here’s TSA’s answer on the official TSA Twitter channel:

Can you bring tea bags on a plane? Exceptions for tea bags

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When transporting tea bags on a plane, there is no mention of any specific exceptions in the TSA regulations. However, travelers should be aware that some restrictions may apply depending on whether they carry the tea bags in carry-on luggage or checked baggage.

For carry-on luggage, the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and gels limits travelers to bringing containers with a capacity of up to 3.4 ounces (or 100 milliliters). Tea bags themselves do not fall under this restriction since they are considered “dry” substances – unless they contain liquid (for instance, pre-made liquid teas) – but their packaging may make them subject to perusal by agents at security checkpoints.

Hence, checking each airline’s website or contacting an agent for more information before packing and departing from your destination airport is always a good idea. When traveling internationally, remember that U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers have the right to search through all travel items, including food items such as tea leaves and other agricultural products, as part of their security screening process, so you must keep your original packaging intact when checking them into your hand baggage or checked baggage depending on which one applies for you destination country policy restrictions.

Tips for Bringing Tea Bags on a Plane

Pack tea bags in a sealed, clear plastic bag and research any specific airline policies before traveling with them.

Pack tea bags in a sealed, clear plastic bag.

A Variety Of Tea Bags Arranged Neatly In A Transparent Bag, Captured In Sharp Focus And Vibrant Colors.

When traveling on a plane, tea lovers must pack their tea bags properly since they are subject to the same TSA regulations as any other liquids or gels. Tea bags are considered a dry food item and can be brought in a carry-on bag or checked luggage without restriction.

For convenience during security screenings, it is best practice to place all tea bags in a sealed and clear plastic bag so that officers can easily identify them at airport checkpoints.

This also ensures the security of your tea – by having it contained within an airtight container, you will avoid spills or loss of product if your luggage gets jostled around during the flight.

Additionally, packing teabags this way allows for easy inspection by TSA agents since they have more time for personal items due to liquid restrictions applying only to beverages taken away from airports after purchase rather than when boarding the plane.

Research airline policies

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Travelers should research the policies and regulations regarding bringing tea bags on board. Policies can vary from airline to airline, so checking for the latest information before booking any flight is important.

Airline websites usually detail what items are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage allowances. Some even have dedicated pages for travelers bringing edible items like tea bags.

If any queries remain unanswered after consulting such sites or talking to a customer representative, contacting an airport official directly at TSA (Transportation Security Administration) might be the best way forward before flying.

Considerations for Bringing Tea Bags on a Plane

A Still Life Photograph Featuring Assorted Tea Bags Surrounded By Travel-Themed Items.

When bringing tea bags on a plane, travelers must also know the customs regulations in different countries and any applicable transportation restrictions.

Customs regulations in certain countries

A Customs Control Center With Boxes Of Tea Bags Stacked In Front, Creating A Bustling Atmosphere.

Travelers should know that carrying tea bags on a plane may not always be as straightforward in certain countries due to customs regulations. For example, while travelers can bring small amounts of dried or liquid teas into the United States for personal consumption without charge, China’s General Administration of Customs permits travelers to bring up to one kilogram (2.2lbs) of imported goods without paying customs duty and value-added tax – but requires any imported tea products must pass inspection at a designated control center.

A few other countries have additional restrictions and requirements when importing tea over the required limits, such as those imposed by Australia, Canada, Japan, and Singapore’s Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA).

In addition, many countries have different domestic and international airline flight rules. So, all travelers must research their destination country’s guidelines when traveling with tea bags.

Transportation restrictions

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Travelers should be aware of transportation regulations and policies when bringing tea bags on a plane. TSA guidelines only allow solid food items in carry-on baggage and liquids under 3.4 ounces or 100 ml placed in a 3-1-1 sealing bag, making most liquid teas off-limits unless they meet those criteria.

Loose-leaf teas are also permitted; however, all other tea types, including herbal and white/green/black, must be sealed in their original packaging to ensure adherence to everyday security screenings at airport checkpoints throughout the United States and international boundaries.

U.S. Customs can impose additional restrictions when traveling to certain countries regarding agricultural products like fruits and processed foodstuffs—this includes dry tea bags, too—so research customs-specific laws before packing them into any suitcases or hand luggage before heading off on your travels! Furthermore, many airlines have particular rules regarding onboard beverages, so always check with your airline for the latest information if you’re hoping to bring along a hot cup of your favorite beverage during long flights!


Traveling with tea bags presents a few challenges. Tea bags are allowed in checked and carry-on baggage on most flights if they abide by the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. It is important to note some airline policies may vary, so always check with the carrier you’re flying before packing your favorite beverage.

Additionally, when traveling abroad, you must familiarize yourself with customs regulations at your destination country; otherwise, there could be potential issues if bringing large quantities or certain types of teas into a foreign land.

The Image Showcases A Variety Of Tea Bags Arranged On A Passport Next To A World Map.

With careful planning and research, a tea lover can enjoy their favorite brew regardless of where their travels take them!


1. Can I bring tea bags on a plane?

You can bring tea bags in your carry-on bag through airport security checkpoints. However, TSA officers may ask you to empty the loose tea leaves into a clear plastic bag if they are not visible on X-ray machines.

2. What kind of tea can I bring?

TSA regulations allow for black and green teas but exclude white and yellow teas, as many contain agricultural items that cannot be brought onto domestic flights within the U.S. Is there any way to get around the rules regarding liquid forms of pre-made or homemade tea? Unfortunately, due to a set of rules governed by U.S. Customs and TSA, any custard-based beverages, even in dry food items form, must meet their requirements for a quart-sized resealable plastic bag and other liquids, such as takeaway beverages, before boarding a plane.

3. What is the best way to have hot, warm tea during my flight?

The only way for an avid Tea enthusiast to enjoy their beverage in the plane would be to bring loose-leafed varieties that don’t make much liquid. Alternatively, one might politely ask their Cabin crew if they could fill it with hot water at no cost, depending upon availability onboard.

4. Can I bring large quantities of tea onto planes?

Security personnel at most U.S. airports won’t accept more than 3 ounces (85 g) of combined coffee beans or loose fruits per person, even if they are all packed in tiny, portable, sturdy container leak-proof packages.