Can You Bring Glass on a Plane? [Yes, Here’s the Rules]


Having recently emigrated to Australia, we’ve spent a lot of time studying what you can and can’t take on a plane. Whilst we had a packing company fill a small shipping container for us, the forecast arrival time was around three months, so we had to take a lot of items in our checked baggage and hand luggage.

One of these items was given to us a week before leaving, a beautiful koala hand-drawn by Mrs Sabbatical Guide’s brother (find him on Instagram @TheDevonPainter).

So needless to say, that got us asking the question – can you bring glass on a plane?

Yes, you can bring glass on a plane. Glass, glass picture frames and glass vases are allowed in checked and carry on luggage according to the TSA. Glass bottles less than 100ml are allowed in hand luggage, if not they go in the hold, with no quantity limit on alcohol less than 24%ABV and up to 5 litres for 24-70%ABV.

I have to admit this was a surprise to me, given that glass can be dangerous or used as a weapon when broken, but these rules are clearly set out on the TSA website, which has the most detail of any government site in the world.

In this post, I share the research I’ve done about bringing glass on a plane to serve as a comprehensive guide for someone looking to do so.

koala picture by the devon painter
The Koala picture that made the journey with us to Australia

Can You Take Glass on a Plane?

As we discussed in the introduction, yes you can take glass on a plane and there appear to be very few restrictions on doing so.

The only restrictions that apply are to glass bottles, which have to be below 100ml to go in hand luggage and have a limit of five litres in hold luggage for alcohol above 24%ABV and up to 70%ABV.

Can You Take Glass on a Plane in Hand Luggage?

Yes, you can take glass on a plane in hand luggage,, the only restriction that applies is to glass bottles which must be less than 100ml.

READ NEXT: Can You Take a Pocket Knife On a Plane?

Can You Take Glass on a Plane in Checked Luggage?

Yes, you can, though alcohol in glass bottles is restricted to five litres below 70% ABV.

As with all luggage, it will also be subject to weight restrictions and potential excess baggage charges if you take something too big or heavy.

How to Carry Glass Items in Flight

Here are a few tips to protect glass items for a trip in an aircraft hold:

  1. If there is air space in-between the glass (such as a glass vase or drinking glass) try to stuff it with some clothing or packing before you leave.
  2. Smaller glass items go perfectly in a shoe, which are designed to absorb impacts.
  3. Put your glass in the middle of your suitcase surrounded by as many soft items of clothing as possible.
  4. Do not pack glass items together, keep them away from each other in the suitcase so they do no collide and smash.
  5. Ask the airline to issue you with a ‘fragile’ luggage tag. It’s important its from the airline you are travelling with as baggage handlers may ignore old tags from different airlines.
  6. Get a hard shell suitcase.
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Does Glass Explode on a Plane Due to Pressure?

No, it doesn’t.

If you find your glass broken after a trip, it will be down to movement in the hold or poor baggage handling, not due to pressure.

If a glass bottle or vase is open, the reason it won’t explode is that the pressure is equal both inside and out.

Even if a glass bottle is sealed with air from sea level, it should still not explode under pressure.

Modern passenger planes are pressurised, meaning though pressure difference between the air in your bottle and that in the cabin should not reach more than 5PSI. For comparison, the air in a soda bottle in a hot car can reach over 100PSI without any concerns.

For a more detailed response, read this Quora thread.

Types of Glass You Might Take on a Plane

Can I Fly With a Glass Bottle of Wine or Spirits?

Yes you can, but the bottles must be in retail packing (IE not poured out into your own bottle or decanter), under 70% ABV and under five litres per person in the hold or no more than 100ml (barely worth it!) per person in a carry on bag.

The 100ml limit does not apply to duty-free items, as these are purchased after the security checkpoint, though there are still limits on how much alcohol you can take into a country upon landing. This page gives you guidance on duty-free limits for many countries around the world.

Any alcohol you bring on in hand luggage also cannot be drunk on the flight, it has to remain in the bottle!

Can You Bring Glass Bottles on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring an empty glass bottle on a plane in either your hand luggage or in checked luggage.

Will a Glass Bottle Explode in Checked Luggage?

No, a glass bottle won’t explode in checked luggage, or at least, the chances are incredibly low.

It is significantly more likely that your glass bottle will be damaged by baggage handlers than explode.

The cargo hold is at the same pressure as the cabin, which reduces the pressure of altitude significantly. Have you ever known a bottle of wine in the galley of a plane to explode? Me neither. This will be the same pressure for your bottles in the hold.

The most important thing to do is wrap them well to prevent damage from movement.

Can You Bring a Glass Perfume Bottle in a Carry On?

Yes, you can bring glass perfume in a carry on. It is allowed in hand luggage as long as it is less than or equal to 3.4oz/100ml if not in can be safely packed in check baggage.

If you are taking it in your hand luggage, it needs to be in a single see-through bag as per TSA regulations.

How To Pack Perfume in Carry On

It’s going to be difficult to pack your favourite perfume in carry on, not because of the glass risk, but because of the liquid rules.

Here are a few ways to get around this:

  • Buy your favourite perfume in a travel-sized or sample pack
  • Decant your perfume into a smaller container
  • Try a solid perfume instead

Can I Bring a Glass Framed Picture Onto a Plane?

Yes, you can.

There are no restrictions in taking glass framed pictures onto a plane, other than making sure it’s the right size to fit in your luggage.

The biggest concern, as expressed below by the TSA, would be making sure it doesn’t get damaged in transit.

Is a Photo Frame Allowed in Cabin Baggage?

Yes, a photo frame is allowed in cabin baggage, there are no restrictions here.

Just wrap it well to avoid damage.

Can I Bring a Glass Pipe On a Plane?

Yes you can bring a glass pipe on a plane though, depending on its *ahem* uses, you may want to give it a good clean first.

Can You Bring a Wine Glass on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring a wine glass on a plane, these can go in carry on or hold luggage. The TSA tweet below confirms this.

Can You Take a Glass Snow globe on a Plane?

Yes, you can definitely take on in checked baggage, but taking it in handluggage is a little more tricky.

Because a snow globe contains liquid, they will need to be able to estimate the volume at the security checkpoint as being below 100ml, which is not always easy. The TSA describes anything below ‘tennis ball size’ should be ok, but personally, I wouldn’t take a risk here.

Will Snow Globes Explode On a Plane?

No, snow globes will not explode on a plane.

The cabins of modern aircraft are pressurised, both in the passenger area and where the baggage is kept, so your snow globe will not explode due to pressure.

The biggest risk to your snow globe is damage from luggage moving around, so make sure you wrap it well.

Can I Take a Mirror on a Plane?

Yes, you can take a mirror on a plane, both in hand luggage and checked luggage.

Can I Bring Glass On a Plane? (Specific Regions)

Can You Take Glass on a Plane USA (TSA Rules)?

glass on a plane tsa rules

Yes, the TSA advises you can take glass on a plane, both in carry on bags and in checked bags.

Can You Take Glass On a Plane UK?

Yes, you can take glass on a plane in the UK, both in the hold and in hand luggage.

Here are the full restrictions of what can and cannot be taken on a plane in the UK.

Can You Take Glass On a Plane Australia?

Yes, you can take glass on a plane in Australia.

Australian Border Force restrict the following items:

  • Items with sharp edges or points capable of injuring a person
  • Share items that are no weapons, but are capable
  • Blunt items that are able to be used to bludgeon or threten a person
  • Household flammable goods
  • Weapons
  • Dangerous goods

Glass is not mentioned anywhere in these lists – which is a surprise, given there are examples such as ice skates and letter openers mentioned! I would have thought broken glass could have done as much damage, but clearer not in the eyes of the Aussie government!

Finishing Up

So there we have it.

It’s very much possible to take glass on a plane both in your hand luggage and in checked baggage, I think the biggest concern is how you get it to your destination safely, not whether or not you can bring it aboard.

I hope you enjoyed the post, if you have any questions or experiences of taking glass on a plane, then add them to the comments.

Happy travels,

Ben

P.S.
In a coincidental turn of events, 2022 is also International Year of Glass as voted in by the United Nations! Who would have thought it?

P.P.S
If you’re looking for more travel tips, check out 19 Alternative Travel Tips and Tricks I Use On Every Trip.

the reeves family picture

AUTHOR – BEN REEVE

Reeves Roam, is a first-hand travel blog. The Reeves have lived in the UK, South Africa and Australia and have travelled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia.

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Thanks – Ben, Becca and Gracie

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