Seasoned travelers know the woes of trying to fly without checking liquids because of the strict capacity restrictions enlisted by the Transportation Security Administration.
Though not everyone knows that 3.4 fluid ounces is the standard maximum amount of a liquid allowed on a flight (with all liquid needing to fit inside one quart-size bag), most people are able to determine whether or not something is a liquid just by looking at it.
However, travelers were up in arms this week after the TSA shared a Tweet of a jar of peanut butter and explained that though it may not feel or appear to be a liquid, nut butters are considered to be liquids, solely based on the containers that they come in.
You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to be 3.4oz or less. Make sure all your travel-sized liquids fit in one quart-sized bag. #PeanutButter pic.twitter.com/4RzDv3Up7B
— TSA (@TSA) March 21, 2023
“A liquid has no definite shape and takes a shape dictated by its container,” TSA wrote on top of a photo of a peanut butter jar.
The Tweet was likely in response to a now-viral Tweet from podcaster Patrick Never, who said he ran into the peanut butter issue on a recent trip.
I tried to take peanut butter through airport security.
TSA: Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols.
Me: I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is.
— Patrick Neve (@catholicpat) March 15, 2023
Neve’s tweet has since garnered over 10.5 million views and a slew of responses from followers who shared their experiences trying to get the salty snack through security.
“This has happened to me too before,” one woman said. “Meanwhile, in Italy, my husband has taken an entire lasagna as handluggage.”
“I was getting on a flight to go back to college. I had some bread and peanut butter,” another traveler explained. “TSA Made me throw out my PB. She offered to let me make a sandwich with it first. Which begs the question, if I had used up the entire jar to make sandwiches, why would that have been ok?”
According to the TSA’s website, peanut butter of any size is allowed in a checked bag but for a carry-on, it must be “less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml.”
Salsa, sauces, hummus, creamy dips and spreads, and ice cream are considered to be in the same category as peanut butter and therefore can only be brought in a carry-on in a limited capacity.