TSA clarified a rule allowing ice packs for breastmilk for infants. (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...n/formula.shtm). We are planning to bring regular milk for our child (under 2) and will need to bring an ice pack. It is a long flight so we definitely need to bring extra too. Are ice packs still allowed for items such as milk or juice or is just allowed for breastmilk?
Programs: DL, UA, AA, Hilton, Marriott, Priority Club
Ironically, the link you cite doesn't specifically mention being able to bring regular milk- just breast milk, juice, and formula. However, I don't think you should have an issue.
What I would do in this situation is pack the milk & ice pack together in a cooler and proactively present it to the screener as being for your child. If they are a reasonable human being, they'll see that ice is necessary for milk. If they are not a reasonable human being, you'll probably have issues anyway.
Alternatively, have you considered bringing along shelf-stable milk boxes? I don't know much about them, except that they look like juice boxes, are full of milk, but don't require refrigeration. That would keep a delay from causing havoc with your milk, even with the ice pack.
We flew three times last week with an ice pack for my son's (cow) milk without event. I usually tell the x-ray operator that there's milk for the baby in the bag before I put it through, and two of the three times they asked to swab the bottle, but they didn't say a word about the ice pack.
I agree with the others that you should not have an issue with the ice packs as long as they are with the milk. Alternatively, if you do not need a huge amount of milk, you can usually find a store that sells small cartons of milk on the other side of security, and if there is a Starbucks, there is milk. You pay a premium, but it is pretty hassle free. As far as juice is concerned, we would just bring an empty sippy cup and ask the flight attendant if she would fill it for us on the plane. We did this long after our kids were too old for sippy cups because in such a confined space it was easy for them to knock over a plastic cup on a tray table. Good luck with your trip !
I will add that generally, we didn't have a problem with this. However, we did get our ice packs taken from us at LAX by an overzealous screener. Supervisor sided with him. I was peeved, to say the least.
So you will probably be ok, but there is a possibility that you run into that one person who plays by a different set of rules.
My vote is to go with the shelf-stable milks just to be careful. Horizon brand is the most common, but I've also seen a Trader Joe's brand and others. I've never had any problems with them in larger airports that are used to seeing families traveling with kids a lot (SFO, OAK, JFK, RDU).
That said, I had one nightmare of an experience in my childhood home of Montgomery, AL (MGM). The screener kept insisting that I needed to open the container so she could hold that little test strip over it. I held firm and explained that opening the container would cause the milk to spoil and the container wasn't resealable. I eventually had to submit to the dreaded full body patdown to break the impasse. Because my getting patted down was directly related to whether the liquids in the milk container contained explosives, of course. Sheesh... small town TSA.
Always look for family lanes because the screeners there see it all. Much more likely to get through without question when you have a small child - no matter what your situation. The only time I had any hassle at a larger airport was when I went through United's Premier lane at SFO. I guess United isn't used to seeing travelers with status who also travel with kids. Screeners were less familiar with the liquid exceptions.
Also, take a couple of ziploc baggies with you. That way, if you end up on the other side of security without your ice packs, you can fill the baggies with ice from a restaurant, and still keep the milk cold.
The screener kept insisting that I needed to open the container so she could hold that little test strip over it. I held firm and explained that opening the container would cause the milk to spoil and the container wasn't resealable.
They can make you open a container you filled yourself, like a baby bottle but if it's factory sealed, they're not supposed to. Wish I could give you a link but email them for confirmation so you can print it up.
Another solution I read I think here, ages ago, is to freeze a bag of grapes (or similar, freezable, snack food) and put it in a bag. This is your "ice" pack but then it thaws and you can eat your snack!
Not sure how practical that is in the OP's case but if it helps someone out, especially on a shortish flight...
I had to open baby milk once and taste it to satisfy airport security, not the most pleasant experience, wasn't resealable either
with regular milk i've always purchased in the airport, at heathrow in london, uk starbucks charged approx $5 for 4 pints and asked me to wait an hour before they agreed to give the milk, but at gatwick also london, uk i went to a milkshake place asking if i could buy milk to fill baby bottles and they filled them without charging, but i agree with full fat milk its not always easy to purchase it at the airport
That wasn't in N. America was it?? That isn't allowed. They can swab it but not make you open it. What if you had been on route to Australia??
No in the UK, Stansted to be exact, so thankfully only shorthaul
i had water taken off me at EWR once though that had already been sterilised and was in the bottles waiting for milk powder to be added, fortunately the airline were very accomodating
That wasn't supposed to happen. Any liquids meant for a baby are supposed to be let through (although again, they might swab it). There was a period where the rules weren't clear though and the procedures weren't all in place. Perhaps it was during that time...
its a few years, i wouldn't wish it on anyone, but apart from not letting me take it through they were helpful with arranging with the airline to provide water, but not experienced that anywhere else before or since