That’s right, you might be able to take your bottled water, hand sanitizer, salad dressing, and extra-large tube of Ben-Gay onto the plane with you:
The (not particularly) scary truth: The only time I’ve ever been stopped by the TSA and asked to hand over my liquid was about 2 years ago, when I’d honestly forgotten about an 18 ounce bottle of water in my tote bag. I’ve had all sorts of 1-3 oz containers of liquid in my purse, laptop bag, and pockets, and never once had to part with any of it just because I failed to pull it out. I’ve gratuitously ignored the ziplock bag “rule” unless it was convenient to me. (I use ziplock bags to keep shampoo and conditioner from leaking onto my stuff when I travel.)
And that’s not because I’m the poor sick little thing in the wheelchair. I’ve been wand-searched, patted down, and held in little weird stalls because I got picked out as the random screen-ee of the moment. My luggage has been hand-searched. My laptop got the funny little circular swatch test because I forgot to pull it out of its case.
But liquids? Fuggedaboutit!