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Can You Bring Tea On A Plane?

Can you bring tea on an airplane? Are the rules different for domestic and international flights? And just how long will tea remain safe to eat when packed in your luggage? Read on for the answers.

 

Bringing Tea Bags or Loose Tea On A Plane

Can You Bring Tea Bags or Loose Tea on Domestic Flights Within the U.S.A.?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – amounts greater than 12 ounces should be placed in checked luggage

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

 

Can You Bring Tea Bags or Loose Tea on International Flights Originating in the U.S.A?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – amounts greater than 12 ounces should be placed in checked luggage*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

*You can bring tea on board a flight departing from the U.S. But you might not be able to bring tea into your foreign destination (see details below).

 

Can You Bring Tea Bags or Loose Tea Into The U.S.A. on an International Flight?

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

 Yes in most cases

 

 

How Long Will Tea Last In Your Luggage?

-Tea Bags or Loose Tea

18 to 24 months at room temperature for

 

Sources: Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, StillTasty.com

 

TAKING TEA ON A PLANE: FLIGHTS ORIGINATING IN THE U.S.A.

Can you bring tea through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring tea bags or loose tea leaves through airport security in your carry-on baggage. It’s best to limit the amount of tea bags or loose tea you pack in your carry-on to containers of 12 ounces (350 ml) or less. That’s because tea is considered a powder-like substance for TSA screening purposes, and powders in quantities above 12 ounces (about the size of a standard soda can) may be disallowed through the security checkpoint if TSA agents cannot be assured of their safety. If the tea bags or loose tea aren’t already pre-packaged, they should be placed in a resealable bag or container with a secure lid.

 

Read more: Here are the foods you can bring through airport security

 

Can you bring tea on an airplane in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring tea bags or loose tea leaves in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. You can bring as much tea as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage.

 

Can you bring tea on an international flight leaving the U.S.A.?

Yes, you can bring tea bags or loose tea leaves on an international flight departing from the U.S., either in your carry-on baggage or your checked luggage. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing tea through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally.

You can also bring tea bags or loose tea leaves into many foreign countries. But depending on the country, the tea might have to be in its original packaging and unopened. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING TEA INTO THE UNITED STATES

Can you bring tea on an international flight back into the U.S.A.?

Yes, the United States generally allows travelers to bring commercially packaged tea bags and loose tea leaves (ready to be boiled, steeped, or microwaved in liquid) into the U.S. when arriving on a flight from a foreign country. Teas that contain coca, barberry, and loose citrus leaves are prohibited.

Note that even though tea is typically allowed, you must declare all foods that you bring into the United States — whether they are allowable or not — to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The penalties for failing to declare your food items can be steep; bear in mind also that the CBP routinely conducts random screenings for arriving passengers.

 

FOOD SAFETY: HOW LONG WILL TEA LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Tea bags and loose tea leaves will usually keep well for about 18 to 24 months when stored at room temperature.

 

 

Note: While the above information is based on applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines at the time of publication, the final decision for whether to allow a food item through airport security or into the United States rests with the TSA and CBP officers on duty at the airport. Regulations also change frequently: For the latest information, check the US Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration websites.

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