The TSA’s Verdict on Plants
TSA agents have seen it all at this point, so they probably won’t even raise their eyebrows at the sight of a passenger coming through security carrying a plant. The TSA allows passengers to transport plants either as carry-on items or in checked bags. Like the rest of your belongings, plants will need to undergo security screening. Plan to send them down the X-ray conveyor belt with the rest of your carry-on luggage.
Plants and Your Airline
Every airline sets its own policies regarding what passengers are and aren’t allowed to bring on its planes, but these policies are generally in keeping with the TSA’s restrictions. Basically, if the TSA allows it, your airline probably allows it too. Your plane’s crew won’t object to plants as carry-ons, assuming they comply with the airline’s baggage rules. Plants must fit either in the overhead compartment or under the seat. Check the airline’s size guidelines for carry-on luggage. A plant that exceeds that size won’t fit in the overhead compartment.
Plants count toward your personal baggage allowance. Coach passengers are typically allowed one carry-on suitcase and one personal item. Depending on the size of the plant, flight attendants and gate agents may decide to let it take the place of a carry-on bag.
Take care to pack the plant in a way that will keep soil, water and plant matter contained. The easiest method is to place the entire plant inside a plastic garbage bag. Let some air into the bag and tie it closed.