Some live and breathe coffee, and they always have this addictive drink ready on hand even on flights. But there are so many rules about carry-on luggage that people lose track of what they can and can not bring.
So, the question that many coffee lovers have in mind is: Can I bring a coffee mug in my carry on?
Continue to read and find out what to avoid and consider when choosing a coffee mug to take with you on a plane!
Can I Bring A Coffee Mug In My Carry On?
We can guarantee you that it is possible. Some key rules that you should memorize are: no mugs that look like weapons are allowed, metal or mixed-material mugs are the best choices, and cold drinks pass easier than hot drinks.
Having your own mug allows you to enjoy the coffee more. For nervous flyers, this is a useful method to stay calm as well. However, if you don’t know the restrictions and tips we are about to provide, you may have to leave your favorite mug at the security gate.
How To Pass A Mug Through The Security Gate Legally
Most airlines allow coffee mugs in carry-on bags, but if the design of the mug violates certain rules, you may have to put it in the checked baggage. In the worst case, you may even have to leave the comforting coffee mug behind. Here are tips on how to avoid it.
Know The Rules Of The Airlines
According to the restrictions of the TSA (Transportation Security Administrations), all the liquids in the carry-on luggage must be contained in a box that is no more than 3.4 ounces (about 100 millimeters) in volume. Cross this regulation, and you will have to leave your delicious coffee behind.
It would be best if you also were cautious about the appearance of your mug. Some traits of the mug that can cause you trouble at the security gate are sharp edges, glass or ceramic material, resembling weapons like guns, grenades or knives, etc.
Even though it is inevitable that some mugs have sharp edges, airlines consider them as threats. However, it always depends on the rules of each airline.
Buy Coffee After Going Through The Security Gate
Airlines don’t have problems with empty coffee mugs, but it is more complicated if you want to bring coffee on a plane. As mentioned above, there are rules on the number of liquids allowed to carry on board.
To ensure that you won’t infringe any rules, the best option is to buy coffee after passing the security check instead of preparing it at home. This is the only way passengers can carry a decent amount of coffee on the plane without having trouble with security.
By making coffee at home, you are risking going through the scan with a large amount of liquid. They may require you to dump the drink or drink at the spot.
Ideal Mug’s Materials For Carry-On Luggage
Overall, the short answer to the question: Can I bring a coffee mug in my carry-on? is yes. Still, the material is what you should keep an eye on.
Coffee mugs usually are made of metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, or mixed materials. In general, most airlines allow metal, plastic, or mixed-material mugs since they are durable. Plus, when they actually break, the pieces won’t be as dangerous.
Glass or ceramic coffee mugs are more controversial. Some airlines don’t accept them to pass the security gate since they are more prone to damage, and the pieces can harm the owner and passengers. Below are more detailed break-downs on each material:
Metal mugs are the most travel-friendly options. They can keep the coffee warm for a longer time, and they don’t break due to impact.
The only downside of using a metal mug is that the flavor of the coffee is affected because of the metal taste wafting in the drink. For coffee lovers, this characteristic can discourage them from using metal mugs.
In conclusion, tastewise, metal mugs aren’t the best, but in terms of safety, there is no better option than this durable material.
Plastic mugs are durable, but there are more downsides to this material. Plastic mugs usually aren’t thermal-insulated, so you will have a hard time holding the cup if you buy hot drinks. Also, the taste of the drink is slightly altered as well.
If you can get a coffee mug made of ceramic but covered in silicon, we truly recommend it. Ceramic doesn’t change the taste of the drink, and it handles hot coffee better than glass. As to the silicon pad, it protects the ceramic from breakage.
This type of mug isn’t as durable as metal, but it is a great middle point between good taste and high safety, making it the ideal option for coffee lovers.
Glass And Ceramic
Glass and ceramic mugs won’t change the taste of coffee, which is a feature that coffee fans care about deeply. However, they are more fragile and heavier than other materials mentioned above, making them the most inconvenient to bring on a flight or to travel in general.
Thus, to avoid any hassle at the airport, we recommend you leave these types of mugs at home. Instead, pick metal, plastic, or mixed-material mugs for better safety.
Notes On Carry-On Luggage
Below are some notes on carry-on luggage that you should keep in mind.
Every Type Of Straw Is Allowed
Airlines have come to decide that every type of straw is allowed on planes. You can take with you a plastic or metal straw without being stopped at the security gate.
You may wonder why a metal straw can pass the check even though it can work as a weapon. The truth is that there are many objects that can be used for the wrong purposes. For example, a pen, a pencil, or a key.
Airlines do not force the restriction rules on them because they are daily objects. If they applied the same logic, airlines would have to forbid a lot more items, which would not be sustainable in the long run.
Cold Drinks Get Pass Easier Than Hot Ones
Unlike hot drinks, cold drinks don’t create wounds when they spill. Airlines always say yes to cold drinks on their planes because they are less likely to pose a threat to passengers, and they are easy to carry around.
Avoid Mugs Resemble Weapons
As for the mugs with special designs, even though they aren’t real weapons, the police and airport security won’t find the way they look amusing since many people have used fake weapons to threaten passengers.
Since an airplane is a closed space, it can cause great distress and chaos. Any airline would want to avoid this scenario.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Can I Bring A Coffee Mug In My Carry On
Here are some other common questions that we encountered on this matter:
1. Why Should You Bring Your Own Coffee Mug?
A personal coffee mug is safer since you have total control over the hygiene of the container. You know for sure that the mug is clean and untouched. Also, airlines don’t offer thermal-insulated cups, which means flyers can only enjoy warm drinks in a short time.
If they want to have more, they are obligated to pay for overpriced coffee or tea. By bringing your own coffee mug, you can sip on the warm drink for hours and avoid spending money unnecessarily.
2. Can You Bring Your Own Coffee On A Plane?
The answer is yes. Still, the international aviation law emphasizes that each passenger can’t bring more than 12 ounces (about 350 millimeters) of fluid in carry-on luggage. This amount is not enough for a long flight and is not worth the preparation.
So, we suggest that you buy coffee after going through the security gate instead of making coffee from home. However, it is important to keep the bill even after going on the plane. In case the air hostesses want to verify if the drink is safe, you can show them the origin of the drink.
3. Can You Put Your Mug Into Checked-In Luggage?
Airlines are more easygoing with checked-in luggage, so you can definitely put your mug in it. Still, you should wrap the mug carefully so that it will arrive in one piece.
Bubble wrap is the go-to choice of packing material. Suppose you do not have it around to use; then paper towels or a piece of clothing are great alternatives.
If your mug comes with a lid, it is best to pack these two separately. This way, the security can see that there are no fluids in the mug when they go through your luggage, making the process a lot easier and quicker.
Another tip is to pack the mug in the center of your luggage. The thick layer of clothes in your bag will ensure keeping your mug safe throughout the flight.
So, can I bring a coffee mug in my carry-on? – 100% yes, but be careful with the rules. Keep in mind the tips and the restrictions that we have mentioned above, and you can assure a quick and easy security scan.
Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).