Today while going through a TSA
airport checkpoint, I saw the man ahead of me pull a gallon size (not quart) zip top bag chock full of containers of liquids out of his bag and put it in the screening tray. No one from the TSA
batted an eye. Not one TSA
officer commented on the excess quantity of liquids/gels even though the bag was in full view to everyone.
After I passed through, I asked two TSA
officers if the rules had changed. They said the size of the bag and the size of the containers inside the bag do not matter. They said the only thing that matters is how much liquid/gel is inside each containter. They told me that the x-ray allowed them to see if the containers were half full, 1/4 full, or whatever. Based on what they saw on the x-ray, they could determine the quantity of liquid inside each container.
They also told me that the liquid restriction depends on the airport. They actually said that some airports don't care about liquids/gels at all.
When the TSA
first implemented the liquid/gel restriction, a TSA
officer once told me that no container over 100 ml was allowed through a checkpoint even if it was completely empty and bone dry at the time. He told me specifically that if, at any time in the past, a container held more than 100 ml of a liquid, the empty container could not be brought through a checkpoint. Contrast that with what I was told by the TSA
today. It's no wonder people are confused. Can anyone explain this inconsistency?