Tips For Flying With Breast Milk


How to Travel With Breast Milk Tips.

Transporting breast milk can be made easier with a bit of knowledge and understanding of airport policies. Air travel with breast milk usually requires dry ice (a dangerous good) to keep it frozen.  However, flying with frozen breast milk is still considered a liquid, so often the same airport rules regarding liquids apply. This usually applies if your baby is NOT flying with you. Below are airport security regulations to help you plan air travel with breast milk. I approached the airports directly for this information. Be aware that countries policies vary greatly, so don’t be caught out!

Also consider:

  • Is there a limit to the amount of breast milk you can travel with?
  • What watertight containers will you use to transport your breast milk?
  • Will your airline/airport allow dry ice or ice packs? If neither use a ziplock bag and fill with ice cubes which are easy to replenish at the airport and on the plane.
  • Where can I pick up/purchase dry ice?
  • What documents do I need? if you are flying in the USA, print out this information sheet  from the TSA showing transportation of breast milk is allowed.

If you are flying with your baby and breastfeeding, you may find this post on airline breastfeeding policies and  breastfeeding tips whilst travelling post useful.

How To Sterilise Bottles Whilst Travelling I've had several people ask me how I've managed to sterilise bottles on a 24-hour flight. Here are some useful tips and products that have helped me.

Airport regulations for flying with breastmilk

ALL American airports 

 “The rules for flying with breast milk remain the same whether your infant is accompanying you or not. Formula, breastmilk and juice in qualities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100ml are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart sized bag. Please pack these medically necessary liquids in a way you can present them for inspections at the check point. Please inform officers of your medically necessary liquids and place them in a separate bin from your other items.”

 ALL Australian airports

 “Passengers travelling without their infant or toddler may only take expressed milk on board an aircraft in containers of 100ml or less and contained in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag that has a total volume of no more than one litre. Expressed breast milk in larger volumes may be carried in a suitable insulated container in checked-in luggage.

 ALL Canadian airports

 Passengers flying with or without their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100ml provided it is presented to the Screening Officer for inspection prior to screening. Gel or ice packs are also permitted. Dry ice may be permitted if certain conditions are met. Dry ice may be transported with the approval of the air carrier, in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage. Quantities must not exceed 2.5 kg per person and the package must permit the release of carbon dioxide gas. When carried in checked baggage, each package must be marked – DRY ICE or Carbon Dioxide Solid and must indicate that the net weight is 2.5kg or less.

ALL South African Airports.

“In the event the mother is not travelling with an infant, then the normal process and policy applies with regards to Liquids, Aerosols and gels ( LAGs). This means the passenger will not be allowed to carry dry ice or ice cubes. Please note the airlines do not have jurisdiction to determine or verify if indeed the passenger is carrying expressed breastmilk. This is the prerogative of airport security. Therefore it would not be advisable to request the airline staff to place the milk in the hold of the aircraft.

We recommend that the passenger travelling without the infant rather opt to transport the expressed milk in a marked container accompanied by a pack of dry ice as a cargo item. It would be advisable to specify that the product requires ambient conditions for transportation so that it is kept cool.”


Amsterdam Schipol – Netherlands

 When flying without an infant, the 100ml rule applies for hand luggage.

Changi Airport -Singapore

 “It must be stored in 100 ml bottles or breast milk storage capacity bags, as long as the max capacity is not more than 100ml. No more than 1 litre can be brought inside the cabin. Dry ice will not be allowed on board.”

Dubai UAE

“This is governed by international regulation ( ICAO). While technology and processes used may vary from airport to airport, all liquids and gels must be screened and their state, quantities, temperature, packaging etc. controlled. Some of these international regulations are paraphrased/outlined below ( although please check with ICAO and/or IATA to confirm).
The passenger must declare the nature of any carried liquid to the airport security and airline.
The airline is responsible and must agree to carry any liquids.
The temperature of carried liquid is also regulated, so a small variation can affect the screening process. (E.g if it is a frozen solid.)
The hygiene of the liquid must remain  undisturbed.” 

Frankfurt – Germany

 `If the baby is not travelling with you, then the 100ml limit must be complied with for hand luggage.

Hong Kong

 “Expressed breast milk of breast feeding mothers travelling without their child is exempted from the 100ml requirement. To facilitate the screening process, you should present these exempted items separately to the security screening officer for x-ray inspection at the check point.”

London Gatwick LGW – UK

If a passenger is not travelling with an infant, they need to comply with the 100ml ruling. Any remaining expressed milk would need to go in the hold. 

London Heathrow LHR -UK

 Expressed breast milk over 100ml must go in the hold if the child is not travelling.  You can bring dry ice, but in a small amount and you will be asked to explain the reasoning behind this. However at LHR, there is no need to bring dry ice with you as they have an agreement with the retailers, that once you are airside you can get the ice for free. Make sure you contact the airport before hand so you can make sure your milk is correctly packaged for the hold.

Paris – France

First option, if the milk is packed in dry ice and put in the hold, the passengers must get the information from their airlines.

Second option, if the passengers bring it on as hand luggage with ice cubes, they must present to the security agent a relevant certificate written by a doctor or lactarium or other authority which confirms a special dietary requirement.
 In this case, the passengers must show it to the security check staff member.
 Without any certificate, the passengers will not be able to travel with it.
If you are not breastfeeding, powdered milk and liquid formula can be brought on board over 100ml. At some UK airports you can pre order milk and supplies from Boots a week in advance and pick up after security, hopefully making your time in line a little shorter.

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