What constitutes a “liquid” on a flight?

When traveling back from Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday, we had only carry-on bags, but my backpack, which was holding my beloved Newfoundland Salt Company sea salt, was flagged. The security agents took the salt jar out of my bag to check the weight of it. At 150 grams, it was under the 350-gram limit for salt to carry on during a Canadian flight. I had no idea that “salt” even had its own category!

According to the CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) website: “Salt: Certain powders and granular materials in your carry-on are limited to a total quantity of 350 ml or less (roughly the size of a soda can).” So, it’s not being categorized as a liquid, but actually has its own category under “powders and granular materials”? I didn’t realize this was an issue when flying in Canada, but now I know. I checked the TSA website, and salt does not appear to get flagged.

Then, while researching travel to Brussels this November, I found out that the airports there actually consider chocolate a liquid if they are pralines or truffles that may have fillings that are soft or become liquid after reaching a certain temperature. As such, a number of disgruntled travelers were forced to check their bags full of their Belgian chocolates when leaving Belgium. I definitely would have been confused and not understood right away if I were told this. This is almost as befuddling as the salt incident from this past weekend.

I guess I will need to pack a bag that will be good to get checked because I’m definitely planning on bringing back chocolate from this trip!

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