The Ripple Effect of 3-1-1


I don’t travel enough for the rules about what you can and can’t take on the plane to really impact me all that much, but when I do travel the 3-1-1 liquids rule gets me every time. If you’re not familiar with it, basically, for carry-ons you can take liquids if they are in 3.4 ounce bottles or less, in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag, and only 1 such bag per passenger. This can be quite a challenge for a woman. There’s deodorant, make-up remover, toner, face lotion, make-up, lip stick, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, toothpaste — all that and I’m not even high maintenance. So, for me to take all of these things, they have to be in bottles less than 3.4 ounces and they all have to fit in one, 1-qt. bag. Mmmhm. Now some products make travel sizes but not all of them. For example, my Garnier Fructis Frizz-Ease Anti-Humidity Sleek and Shine leave-in conditioner only comes in a 4.7 oz. bottle and no travel size. Now, for a few days I can get by with the hotel shampoo and conditioner, but on a 70+ degree day, outside, on the East Coast, I need my anti-humidity leave-in. I’ll end up taking it anyway in one of those little refillable travel containers, but I suspect that some things will be left behind because they won’t all fit in one bag. (Note: I could check my bag and take whatever I want, but like a lot of travelers, I’m taking a carry-on to avoid the $15 check bag fee and the extra time at the airport waiting for my luggage.)

I wonder, if as a result of these rules, product manufacturers are making products in packages to fit these requirements? Again, I haven’t really paid attention to it because I don’t travel all that often. But if I made a product that was affected by these rules, I would certainly think about it when determining packaging and marketing. For example, this package of quart-size bags.

They’re the same quart-size bags Hefty has always made, but this new rule gave them a new angle through which to market their product. Very clever on their part. I bought this package at an airport last year when I was required to put the lipgloss, hand lotion and Visine that I carry in my purse in a clear bag before I could go through security. I bet that never before had quart size bags been sold in an airport.

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