Taste The Earth Blog

Can You Bring A Travel Mug On A Plane?

by Mark Morphew on Dec 15, 2021

Can You Bring A Travel Mug On A Plane?

So you've got yourself a brand spanking new insulated travel mug (hopefully one of ours), your bags are packed, and you're heading out the door to the airport for that trip to Hawaii you've always dreamed of.

But wait. A thought crosses your mind. Can you bring a travel mug on a plane? Maybe you should leave it at home and not take the chance that the TSA might confiscate it.

Relax. This is actually a common question that many travelers ask, so you're not alone. Luckily, the rules and regulations regarding travel tumblers and mugs on planes are pretty straightforward.

Good news. We've done the hard work for you and found all the answers, so you don't have to. Keep on reading, and we will tell you everything you need to know regarding travel mugs and tumblers on a plane.

Don't worry. We'll keep this short, so you don't miss the last boarding call for your plane to Hawaii. You'll be soaking up the sun, sipping on an oversized cocktail proudly wearing your best Hawaiian shirt in no time.

Airline Rules About Stainless Steel Tumblers Or Mugs

The truth is, airport security around the world is more concerned about liquids than containers, or in this case, travel mugs.

Take the TSA, for example. They say that you can bring a mug in your carry-on if the travel mug or tumbler is empty, doesn't resemble a weapon, and has no sharp edges or features.

So yes, you can bring a travel mug on a plane.

Airline security personnel understand that almost any item could cause damage or be used as a weapon; even pens have a sharp point.

They're looking for items you take on board a plane that can cause severe harm or damage. So while you could probably bludgeon someone to death with your oversized travel tumbler, the chances of you doing that are slim.

They've got their sights on flammable liquids, knives, and other hazardous materials.

How About The Beverage Inside The Mug?

Okay, so you're clear about bringing your travel mug on a plane, but what about the liquid you have inside it?

When it comes to liquids, it isn't as clear cut and advice can vary depending on which country you're flying from and the airline you're flying with.

So always double-check before boarding your flight.

However, with that said, the standard rules are pretty much the same internationally and define that you cannot carry on liquid volumes greater than 100ml (or 3.4 ounces).

But if you read the fine print, you can carry on more liquid if you split it into 100ml containers.

So, let's come back around to the travel mug. Are you going to be drinking 100ml of coffee? Probably not.

Do you really want to go through the hassle of siphoning your coffee into different 100ml containers to get through security? I'm sure your answer is no.

So the safest option is not to fill your travel mug when you board the plane. Sure, you might not get asked, but if you do, the last thing you want is your brand spanking new mug to be taken off you at the boarding gate.

If you really cannot survive the walk from the departure lounge to your plane seat without a hot cup of coffee and want to take your chances with the airline security, here's some advice.

Some airlines might see your piping hot double shot latte as a risk. No, it's not the whipped cream, sprinkles, and the oozing caramel sauce they're looking at, but the hot coffee inside. You might have an easier time passing through the checkpoint with a cold beverage rather than a hot one.

A little tip. If you've bought your hot drink inside of the airport and then poured it into your travel mug, keep hold of the receipt. Just in case the airport security has any questions when you're boarding - you never know they might let you pass through.

What Kind Of Mug Is Best For Carry On?

If you haven't already purchased a mug to take with you on your trip, we can recommend a few good options.

Insulation should be your top priority over aesthetics - you could have the best looking mug on the plane, but if it doesn't keep your drink hot or your drinks cold, it's pretty much useless.

Many of the best travel tumblers and mugs are made from durable BPA free plastic, stainless steel, and ceramic coated stainless steel.

If you're primarily looking to keep hot drinks inside your mug, such as coffee or tea, you can forget about buying a plastic tumbler or mug.

The heat retention is pretty much non-existent.

Double walled stainless steel will be the better choice for storing hot or cold beverages. But a ceramic coated stainless steel travel tumbler is the superior option. Here's why.

You get all of the advantages an insulated double walled stainless steel tumbler provides but without any of that nasty metallic taste impairing your beverage.

Stainless steel is renowned for tainting hot and cold drinks, some people can hardly notice it, but it makes drinks almost unpalatable for others.

This is where a ceramic coating saves the day. It forms a shield between the steel tumbler body and your drink, stopping any nasty tastes or aromas from ever reaching your beverage.

Our range of travel tumblers is all ceramic coated, making them the perfect option for taking on a plane. You can enjoy your beverage the way it is meant to be enjoyed, pure, and natural without the metallic taste or plastic aromas.

Packing Your Travel Mug To Bring On A Plane

You don't want to take your chances with the airport security and your new top of the line travel mug? I hear you.

You want to pack it inside your checked-in luggage - smart move.

But don't just go throwing it inside of your bag and hope for the best. Those guys behind the scenes, once your bag disappears down the conveyor belt, can be rather aggressive with the bags and suitcases.

To make sure your travel mug makes it to your destination in one piece, you'll want to wrap it with a couple of socks or a t-shirt or sweater. You can even stuff some socks inside the mug or tumbler; if nothing else, it saves you some space.

Does your travel mug have a lid?

We recommend packing that separately so that it is apparent to anyone that there is nothing inside. The security might want to double check that there are no liquids inside if the lid is still in place, which could slow you down and open the door to more questions regarding your mug or tumbler.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of the do's and don'ts when it comes to bringing a travel mug on a plane.

We've tried to clear up any confusion as much as possible, but we understand that everyone can have a different experience when going through an airport.

The security dealing with you at the airport might be having a bad day, or they just don't like your eye-catching Hawaiian shirt and decide to give you a hard time.

Whatever comes up, remember to be friendly and cooperative, and you should get through with your travel mug without any issues.

And remember, it's always a good idea to double check with the airline you're flying with regarding their rules and travel tumblers on the plane. Especially if you're flying internationally as the regulations can change quickly, so if in doubt, you can always ask before you check-in.


Mark MorphewMark Morphew is a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing and the hospitality sector. He helps coffee, catering, and food tech businesses create better content that drives more traffic and increases customer engagement.