Taking Plants On Domestic Flights – What to Know Before You Fly

Last Updated on June 16th, 2023

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There are so many things people always bring on domestic flights. Dirt, sea shells, sand, driftwood, and even shark teeth. So let’s talk about plants. For whatever reason, you want to bring your plant on your next domestic flight. 

Can you bring your plant on a flight? Does my plant have to pass through security screenings? Can I fit it in my carry-on? How should I prepare my plant for a flight? 

Let’s not only answer all of those questions but also talk about everything you need to know when bringing your beloved plant on your next flight with you. 

6 small plants in pots - Taking Plants On Domestic Flights

Can you take Plants on Domestic Flights?

According to the transportation security administration (TSA), you can indeed bring plants onto an airplane. 

Soil can also accompany your plants on the flight. However, considering TSA had some strict regulations regarding liquids, you might need to make sure the soil is damp, not soaked. 


Do Plants Pass-Through Security Screenings on Domestic Flights?

Like all of your items, including yourself, plants do pass through the security screening checkpoints for domestic flights. 

The importance of this is based on the fact that everyone needs to stay safe throughout their flight, and systems like TSA need to ensure no harmful materials are brought onto each flight.


Can you put a plant into a piece of carry-on luggage for a domestic flight?

The idea of placing the plant into a piece of carry-on luggage greatly depends on the size of the plant you want to bring. If the plant is small, then it should be okay to pack it into your carry-on without a problem. 

However, you might run into some issues if the plant is larger in size.

Some airlines will prohibit you from bringing a larger plant into a carry-on or personal item like a bag. 

However, it would be ideal for some airlines to bring the plant in a larger piece of luggage that you’ll have to pay for ahead of time when booking your flight and to choose how much extra baggage you will need.


How should you pack a plant for a domestic flight?

Now that you know it’s legal and allowed to bring plants on domestic flights, you have to figure out how to keep the plant alive and well for the duration until you reach home or somewhere where you can plant it back into some soil. 

Although we are also allowed to bring dirt on domestic flights, it’s best to leave it out of the equation for the plant’s flight. 

Remove the soil from the plant by rinsing the roots off with water, and instead of drying them off, keep them moist and secure the roots with a plastic bag to retain moisture. 

Instead of leaving the other half of the plant hanging out, wrap it up in newspapers or even a paper bag-like material, and secure it with string or tape. This method is likely to keep the plant intact for the duration of your domestic flight. 


What are the weight and size regulations for plants on domestic plane rides?

Indeed there are size restrictions for plants. However, there are no specific restrictions for plants in general. All the restrictions you’ll need to follow are the baggage restrictions for the airline that you are flying through. 

So, for example, if the carry-on size requirements are 22 x 14 x 9 and the plant is larger, you’ll find a larger piece of luggage to accommodate the plant. 

If you are packing soil with the plant, it’s important to be certain of the baggage weight restrictions for the airline. This way, you can make sure everything is up to par on your end before trying to make the flight, avoiding any violations and extra stress.


Final thoughts on taking plants on domestic flights

You can take your plants on domestic flights, and like everything else you bring onto the flight, they will have to pass through security screenings. Depending on the size of the plant, it can be placed within your carry-on bag. 

It’s best to pack the plant without any extra dirt (although dirt is allowed, it does not really add much viability to the plant) and wrap up the roots of the plant in a material that will hold its moisture, like a plastic bag. 

For the other half of the plant, wrap it in a paper bag material to protect its foliage. When packing the plant for the flight, avoid using too much water. 

If you use too much water, the entire plant might be confiscated because of TSA’s strict guidelines surrounding water and other liquids that are to enter a flight.


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