Have Gel, Will Travel

There’s nothing like deciding to go with a carry-on bag to make you question every item you’ve packed.

Being a luggage-checking kind of gal, mostly because of my penchant for traveling with full-sized bottles of hair product, I decided to not do that tomorrow when I board a plane for my best friend’s wedding. With my luck, I’d arrive at my destination sans-bridesmaid dress, and therefore sans-shoes, makeup and unmentionables.

Instead, I made sure to go so far as to double-check that I can bring things like cuticle-trimmers on the plane with me, as well as tweezers. They didn’t specify anything about random, maid-of-honor-y emergency items like super glue or double-sided tape, but assuming they realize my glue isn’t Costco-sized and that they appreciate the need for wardrobe malfunctions to not happen, I’ll pack ’em anyway.

I was also able to confirm that my meat cleaver, ice axe, cattle prod, nunchucks, lacrosse stick, snow globe and JELL-O pudding snacks need to be left at home. Super glad I checked on those.

As I perused the unofficial “look up your carry-on items here” site, I started noticing a pesky little word presenting itself repeatedly ; it seemed to be everywhere.


No gel allowed here. No gel allowed there.

I mentally reviewed my packing list:

Hair gel? Nope, left that in the 90s.

Gel toothpaste? Negative, but even if I did, it would be less than 3 oz, natch.

Gel shoe inserts? Ixnay.



My miracle-working, strapless, clasp-in-the-front-while-sticking-to-The-Girls-with-powerful-adhesive contraption was suddenly in limbo.

The dress and its appearance were so closely linked to my undergarments that it would be like trying to fathom a burrito without a tortilla.

My fingers flew across the keyboard and I Googled “gel bra TSA carry on,” and the results met my eyes a nanosecond later.

I clicked on the URL with TSA.gov in it – seemed the most legit to me. I was transported to an official-looking yet likely-continually-updated page. My eyes began scanning.

And there I saw it:

“Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids” are allowed.


I printed out the page to bring with me, since you never know when a TSA-er won’t know the rules they’re supposed to play by.

Today I am thankful that, like Delta’s ad says, the rules haven’t overruled common sense, that the TSA appreciates cosmetic augmentation and that my gel bra will, in fact, be allowed to go on a journey with me.

Let’s fly.



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