77 percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, including vitamins, so it comes as no surprise that many people want to know if they can bring vitamins on a plane.
According to TSA regulations, you can bring vitamins on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
Liquid vitamins must comply with the TSA’s policy on liquids, which prohibits passengers from flying with vitamins in containers that are greater than 3.4oz/100ml in their carry on.
But what counts as liquid vitamins – do softgel vitamins get the go ahead or not?
Do the rules change when you’re flying internationally?
Do vitamins have to be in their original packaging?
These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions that we answer in this article.
Table of Contents
- 1 Vitamins By Form of Delivery
- 2 The Same Rules Apply for International Flights
- 3 Airlines Vitamins Policies
- 4 Vitamins Don’t Need to Be in Their Original Containers
- 5 Some Vitamins Need to Be Placed in a Single Quart-Sized Bag
- 6 How to Pack Vitamins for a Flight
- 7 How to Pack Gummy Vitamins for Air Travel
- 8 You Can Take Vitamins During the Flight
- 9 Be Careful With Powder Supplements
- 10 You Can Bring Fish Oil Pills
Vitamins By Form of Delivery
You can pack solid vitamins in both your carry on and checked bags.
There are no quantity limits for how many vitamins you can bring.
You can bring softgel vitamins on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags with no quantity limits.
This is because softgel vitamins do not count as liquids, so are not subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule, which limits containers to be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
Liquids vitamins are subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule.
This means that you can pack liquid vitamins in your checked bag with no quantity limits, but if packed in your carry on bag, liquid vitamins should be in containers that don’t exceed 3.4oz/100ml.
The exception is if the liquid vitamins have been prescribed, as the TSA allows “medically necessary liquids” in reasonable quantities for your trip.
If this is the case, you must declare the prescribed vitamins to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection.
Powder vitamins can be packed in both your carry on and checked bags.
However, the TSA state that if the powder vitamins are greater than 350mL or 12 oz, they must be placed in a separate bin for additional screening when you go through airport security.
The TSA recommend packing powder vitamins greater than 12 oz. in your checked bags for your convenience.
The Same Rules Apply for International Flights
You can bring all forms of vitamins on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags when flying internationally.
Only liquid vitamins will need to be in containers that are no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
All other vitamins, including solid, liquid, softgel, powder, and gummy bear vitamins won’t have quantity limits.
Even though it likely won’t be required, we still recommend that you pack the vitamins in their original containers to be on the safe side when flying from international airports.
Airlines Vitamins Policies
All airlines follow TSA regulations.
So this means that regardless if you’re flying with United, Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, or any other regional or major air carrier, you can bring vitamins on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
Liquid vitamins should not be in containers that are larger than 3.4oz/100ml, though.
Vitamins Don’t Need to Be in Their Original Containers
The TSA do not require vitamins in any form, whether that be solid, liquid, softgel, powder, or gummy vitamins to be in their original containers.
You also do not have to pack your vitamins in a pill box or organizer.
If you want to pack your vitamins in a ziplock bag or any other container, that is fine.
Some Vitamins Need to Be Placed in a Single Quart-Sized Bag
Only liquid vitamins have to be placed in a single quart-sized bag because they are subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule that restricts liquids (as well as gels and aerosols) in containers larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
Softgel vitamins do not have to be placed in a single quart-sized bag.
How to Pack Vitamins for a Flight
As you now know, there are very few restrictions if you want to bring vitamins on a plane.
The only exception is liquid vitamins that must meet the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule.
When packing vitamins for air travel, we recommend the following:
- Use a travel pill case – A travel pill case can be a great idea due to easily being able to separate your vitamins and supplements into different compartments for easy dosing.
- Leave the liquid vitamins at home – Due to restrictions on the quantity of liquids vitamins you can bring, it’s better to use other forms of vitamins that aren’t subject to these limits.
- Place your vitamins in your carry-on – In case your checked bag gets lost, at least you will still have your vitamins with you when you arrive at your destination.
- Pack only high quality softgel vitamins – If you don’t, when you fly to a tropical or warm destination, your soft gel capsules may start to melt or congeal into a one huge softgel.
How to Pack Gummy Vitamins for Air Travel
You can pack gummy vitamins in both your carry on and checked bags.
There are no quantity limits for how many gummy vitamins you can bring.
You Can Take Vitamins During the Flight
You are allowed to take vitamins and other supplements during any stage of a flight.
You can even ask a flight attendant for a cup of water, so you can swallow your vitamins more easily.
Be Careful With Powder Supplements
Powder supplements are allowed to be packed in both your carry on and checked bags.
The only thing to keep in mind is that if the powder supplement is greater than 350mL or 12 oz, it must be placed in a separate bin for additional screening when you go through airport security.
You Can Bring Fish Oil Pills
Fish oil pills come in softgel form.
As softgel capsules don’t count as a liquid, you can pack fish oil pills in both your carry on and checked bag with no quantity limits.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).