The Transportation Security Administration earlier this month released updated guidelines for the millions of travelers expected to fly this holiday season. Included among the guidelines: Snow globes "that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces" of liquid are now permitted in carry-on luggage.
But according to Reid Grossnickle, a Denver snow globe maker and self-proclaimed "worldwide snow globe expert," nearly all snow globes and domes made in the United States contain more liquid than current TSA guidelines allow and, in theory, would not make it through airport security.
The new guidelines governing the globes, Grossnickle says, are misleading.
A 4-inch-diameter glass globe—the most common snow globe sold in the United States—contains about 16 ounces of liquid, which is more than four times the amount allowed by the TSA.
"A 1.75-inch-diameter globe holds just under 2 ounces," Grossnickle wrote in an email to Yahoo News. "That size, which is typically used ONLY by snow globes typically made in China and Hong Kong as holiday tree decorations, is the only size that would fall under current TSA-allowed guidelines."
According to Grossnickle's Snow Globe Central, a 2.5-inch glass globe holds about 4.75 ounces of liquid, a 3-inch globe holds about 8 ounces, a 4-inch globe holds about 16 ounces and the 5-inch glass globe—the mother of all snow domes—holds as much as 28 ounces of liquid.
"People are passionate about their snow globes, and we don't want to see anyone misdirected by thinking that the ban has been lifted," Grossnickle added. "There is still a ban unless you are carrying a very tiny globe or dome."
To be safe, Grossnickle recommends shipping your snow globe ahead of your trip or packing it carefully in checked luggage.