Can You Bring Glass on a Plane?

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Does not everyone wish to carry their favorite Margarita glass with them on that escapade to some Tahitian island? But it’s not just drinking glasses. From the indispensable glass bottle to the long-coveted expensive bottle of glass perfume you bought for yourself, all of it raises one question when it comes to flying: Can you carry glass on a plane?

If the title isn’t obvious, this is precisely what we shall discuss in this article (alongside a lot more).

Can you carry glass on a plane?

First things first: Yes, you can carry glass on a plane. TSA’s glass rule will apply to the items of glass that you shall be carrying on a plane. Now, the question is, can you carry glass on a plane in checked-in luggage or in hand luggage?

In Checked-in Luggage

Yes, you can carry glass and glass items in your checked-in luggage. 

However, when you see the way checked-in baggage is handled sometimes, you might want to reconsider packing glass/glass items in the checked-in luggage.

Later in the article, we will discuss how to pack glass in the checked-in luggage.

Initially, you can bring any type of glass items in the checked-in luggage, from the usual drinking glasses to the wine bottles to vials. 

Here is what glass and glass items you can carry in your checked-in luggage:

  • Glass Vase: You can pack a glass vase in your checked-in luggage or in a separate box or container that shall go in with your checked-in luggage. However, if the glass vase exceeds the weight limit of the free weight allowance of the airline you are flying with, you will be charged extra per kilogram for the vase. 
  • Glass Vials: You can carry as many glass vials as you want in your checked-in baggage. Most often, glass vials contain medication, and it is ideal to label them so that when the security officials rummage around your checked-in luggage, they will know what the vial contains. 
  • Glass Jars: You can carry both filled and empty glass jars in your checked-in baggage. There is no restriction on the weight of the glass jar, and as long as it does not exceed the free weight limit (as a part of the complete checked-in luggage), you will not be charged for the additional weight.
  • Glass goblets, cups, and other drinking glasses/vessels: You can carry any type of drinking vessel in your checked-in baggage.
  • Glass picture frames: Glass picture frames, and surprisingly even large picture frames that are typically larger than usual are allowed in the checked-in baggage, either as additional checked-in baggage or as a part of the luggage that you are handing over for check-in (as long as they fit into the suitcase).
  • Glass mirror and Christmas Ornaments: Similar to glass picture frames, you can carry mirrors in your checked-in luggage. However, it shall solely be your responsibility to pack it with absolute safety so that it does not break.

You can also bring glass-made Christmas ornamentals in your checked-in luggage. 

Other glass items that you can carry in your checked-in luggage:

  • Glass Paperweights
  • Glass nail files
  • Solid wax candles in glass containers
  • Baby food, in glass jars
  • Empty or filled champagne bottle
  • Glass water pipes
  • Eyeglasses
  • Wine or spirits in glass bottles 

In-Hand Luggage/ Carry-On

When it comes to hand luggage, you can carry the glass in hand luggage or as a carry-on on a plane. The only difference between carrying glass in your hand luggage and your checked-in baggage is that there are a lot of restrictions imposed on carrying glass items as carry-on. 

As per TSA’s rules, glass and glass items that you carry in hand-luggage or as carry-ons should meet the following criteria:

  • They must not contain any more than 100 ml of liquid in them.
  • They must fit into the cabin hold, or under your airplane seat, without additional force to cram them in.
  • They must not pose a security/safety risk to anyone on the plane.

All in all, you can carry almost every item mentioned in the checked-in luggage list. However, in regards to a number of these aforementioned items, you will see some tweaking in the rules; some restrictions applied here and there. 

Here is a list of items you can carry in your hand baggage or as carry-on:

  • Glass Vases: Yes, you can generally carry glass vases in your carry-on, or even pack it as additional luggage and carry it with you, as long as it fits the airline’s size dimensions that are allowed ‘on the plane.’ However, carrying vases is subjective, and some airlines may not allow it, especially if it is too big and exceeds the size dimensions mentioned in the airline’s policy.
  • Glass vials: The TSA’s liquids rule applies to glass vials containing any sort of fluid, meaning you can not carry any more than 100 ml/3 oz of liquid in each glass vial. This, however, does not mean that all your vials should collectively contain 100 ml of liquid. Each separate vial of glass should have no more than 100 ml of liquid in it when being carried as hand luggage. Besides, these vials will be required to be placed in the liquids bags or required to be shown to the security officer, preferably along with a prescription.
  • Glass jars: You can carry glass jars, either empty or filled. However, when filled, the quantity of the fluid should not exceed 100 ml in the jar.
  • Glass goblets, cups, and other drinking vessels/glasses: If these glasses and vessels can comfortably fit in your cabin bag allowance, you are free to take them.
  • Glass picture frames: Ideally, any airline will allow you to carry a glass picture frame as long as they think it should fit into the cabin hold or under the seat of the plane. 

However, admissibility of large glass picture frames as carry-on in the plane (even though they may not fit into the cabin hold) is at the discretion of the airline you are traveling with.

  • Glass mirror and Christmas Ornaments: It is the same for mirrors as it is for glass picture frames when it comes to carrying them as hand luggage. You can also carry glass-made Christmas Ornaments in your hand baggage.
  • Glass paperweights: Glass paperweights are allowed as carry-on, as long as the security does not determine it to be a security concern in terms of size or weight.
  • Baby food in glass jars: Baby food in glass jars is allowed in carry-ons, and the liquid rule does not apply here. Baby food is exempted from the TSA’s liquids rule, and you can carry more than 100 ml of baby food in a glass jar as a  carry-on.
  • Live fish in a tank: As bizarre as it sounds, some people would not like to let go of their favorite pets (fishes, in this case), and justifiably so. Fishes are allowed in glass tanks or any other container, and the container may have more than 100 ml of water (liquid). The conditions TSA states are that the fishes must be swimming, and the glass container must be clear and spill proof.
  • Empty Champagne bottles: We are not sure if there are any champagne bottles that contain less than 100 ml of champagne; thus, unlike checked-in baggage, you are free to carry empty champagne bottles in your hand luggage. Even if you could find a 100 ml champagne bottle or carry a bottle that contains only 100 ml of the champagne, you would still be unable to take it as a carry-on since you are not allowed to carry spirits from outside of what you bought in the duty-free shop, after going through security.
  • Wine or spirits in glass bottles: You can carry wine or spirits in glass bottles as carry-on, bought from the duty-free shop inside the airport after you have passed through security. You would be unable to carry wine or any kind of spirit (in any sort of bottle), even if you bought it from within an airport, as long as you have not passed through security.

Other glass items that you can carry in your hand baggage:

  • Magnifying Glass
  • Eyeglasses
  • Glass water pipes
  • Glass nail files
  • Solid wax candles in glass containers. By solid, we mean wax candles, and not ‘gel’ candles, since these are not allowed if they weigh over 100 ml (TSA’s liquids rule)

What glass items can you not carry in hand baggage/carry-on?

Since we already have an extensive list of items that you can carry with you as hand luggage, there is very little that you can’t. Most of these items are barred from being carried owing to the fact that they carry more than 100 ml of liquid.

Here is a list of items you can not carry in hand baggage/carry-on:

  • Glass snow globe: If it carries over 100 ml of liquid. Small-sized globes are mostly allowed as carry-ons.
  • Large glass bottles: Any glass bottle containing over 100 ml of liquid.
  • Glass pistol jar: Surprisingly, we came across a question on TSA’s handle that asked if an individual can carry a glass pistol jar as a carry-on. As per the images online, a glass pistol jar is a glass bottle that resembles a gun and has details of the gun printed on it. According to the TSA, any replica items of weapons are not allowed in the hand luggage and should be packed into the checked-in luggage.

How to pack glass and other fragile items for flying?

If you are packing glass in the checked-in luggage, first off, you are ‘very’ bold, and secondly, we advise you to do it the right way so that baggage handlers do not take the blame for damage to the glass items or any other fragile items.

Does the ‘FRAGILE’ tag work?

Depends on how lucky you are. Most baggage handlers are ‘considerate’ when it comes to handling checked-in luggage that is tagged as ‘FRAGILE,’ while there is a whole league of people who do not care. 

Not that you can do anything about it, once your delicate glass item is already meddled with, it is best to take extra measures to ensure that your glass items and other fragile items reach your destination in one piece.

Here are a few tips that shall come in handy when packing glass/glass items and other fragile items:

  • Bubble-wrap the fragile items. Of course, bubble wraps are the knight in transparent armors when it comes to packing delicate items, and what’s more delicate than glass! For glass mirrors, frames, and other glass items, you can wrap them in a roll of bubble wrap that is easily available in FedEx and other packaging stores.
  • Use the original wooden boxes. If you are carrying champagne, wine, or other liquor, it is advisable to use the original wooden boxes that these items came in and tape them properly. If you do not have the wooden box, you can buy a separate container and fill it with hay or cotton before placing the tightly closed liquor glass bottles in the container. Make sure to tape the box with commercial tape and mark it as fragile.
  • If the glass item has an empty pocket or is hollow inside, such as a glass vessel, jar, etc., make sure to fill the pockets or the hollow with soft pieces of clothing such as socks, t-shirts, paper, bubble wrap, underwear (we know…). 
  • Keep any two fragile items at least two inches apart from each other, as well as other fragile items, and make sure they are secured in their place and do not move about in the luggage.
  • If you can not buy bubble wraps, you can use other alternatives that are elastic, as well as soft, and are at least 2 inches thick to pack glass and glass items. 

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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