Whether you are looking to take some snacks onboard the plane with you, make yourself a healthy salad for the flight or take some sweets for your long haul flight, figuring what food you can bring in your carry-on can be confusing.
Luckily, most food products as long as they are solid are allowed in baggage through security with no issues, food in liquid form or gel-like food however is only allowed if they adhere to the 100ml liquids rule, so this goes for honey and even soft cheese.
So as you can get clear on the type of solid food items on board you can pack and the foods you cannot, we have made an informative guide below with everything you need to know.
Most types of solid food onboard a plane is allowed, so this goes for bread, nuts, crisps and dried fruit, however, the line gets blurred for items on board if your food is 'creamy' or in a liquid syrup texture kind of form.
Some typical foods which are not allowed in your cabin baggage over a liquid content of 100ml are -
Even if you pack peanut butter in between sandwiches, this can still flag up security checks, so be careful about what you choose to bring aboard if you want to avoid security delays.
This is not to say that you can't take these foods in your carry on at all, but they have to be under 3.4 ounces or 100ml to follow security advice.
Another restriction for having fresh products in your carry-on is the country you are entering, for example, when you get to border security in Australia you are not allowed to bring any food fresh products into the country, so make sure to eat all your snacks on the plane!
There are some exceptions if you want to take food through security which is gel-like or liquid, for example, baby food can be brought in your carry-on as required with no issues and so can breast milk over 100ml.
It is best to inform security beforehand however if you are taking these items in over 100ml through beforehand so as they don't get flagged up when they are taken through the scanner in the airport.
Many people dislike plane food because they think it is tasteless, but in reality, it is true that when you are sky-high in the plane, your taste buds alter due to the altitude and pressure.
At around 30,000 feet in the air, the air inside of the plane becomes very dry and pressure drops, this is said to reduce how well you can taste your food by up to 30%.
Even though you can take a large variety of solid food on your flight and liquid food under 100ml, some snacks we would avoid bringing on-flight.
For example, yoghurt under 100ml and other dairy products can spoil quickly, even if you are planning to bring fresh meat (which is rare), ice packs can melt quickly, leaving your food to get spoiled.
So if you want to bring your food to eat in your carry-on, we have listed our best snack ideas below which are approved airline to airline security-wise and what to avoid bring on-flight.
Unlike your carry-on bag, you can take a larger variety of food in your hold luggage if need be, (yes, even your Nutella), however, we would not recommend packing fresh food due to cabin hold temperatures and if your luggage was to get delayed.
Items such as chocolate might also melt during a flight in your bag, so don't expect everything to arrive in the same shape or form as you packed it in.
If you are packing food in your checked baggage you also need to be careful about the country you are travelling to and what their restrictions are, for example, Switzerland has a restriction on how many dairy products and the type you can bring in your luggage.
We would always suggest being on the safe side you should ask the airline in advance about the country restrictions of where you are travelling to and follow security advice.
Apart from some restrictions when it comes to the food you can bring in your carry-on there are also restrictions for when you bring other items in your hand luggage which are worth noting before you pack your everyday items.
We have listed some restrictions which are worth knowing beforehand below.
Beware, packing your hand luggage full of food and snacks can seriously weigh it down and before you know it, on top of your electrical items the weight can exceed baggage sizes.
The weight and size your hand luggage can be will differ according to different airlines across the world but average measurements tend to be around 55x40x25 cm give or take a couple of centimetres, weight once again is variable but is around 10kg.
In addition to your hand luggage, you are allowed to bring on a personal item too such as a coat or umbrella.
Can I take water for a baby on a flight and baby milk?
Yes, water for babies and baby milk is allowed to be brought in your carry-on luggage providing it is brought on in reasonable amounts, make sure to tell security beforehand when passing through to avoid any delays.
What are custom regulations for bringing food abroad?
Depending on the country you are flying to, there might be some food restrictions you should be aware of, for example, in the US if you bring fresh agricultural products or fresh fruit you will have to declare them at customs.
Are powered sauces okay to take in hand luggage?
Yes, powered sauces can be brought on in hand luggage but should not be in a container that is a bigger size than 350ml total, if so then it might be confiscated.
What are the typical weight restrictions for hand luggage?
On average, hand luggage has a weight restriction of around 10kg but this is variable according to your airline's requirements, weight allowance will often be more generous for long-haul flights than short-haul flights.
Can I bring fresh fruits on a plane?
Yes, but most have to be eaten on the plane and will not be allowed to be taken through to your new destination due to customs.
Am I allowed to make my food to bring on a plane?
You can make your snacks and meal to bring on the plane providing they do not contain any liquids over 100ml, do be wise about your choice of the meal, however, as fish-based meals can often stink out the whole plane!
Can I bring fresh meat on a plane?
It is not advisable to bring fresh meat on a plane as it would have to be kept refrigerated the whole time and might spoil, fresh meat also might not be allowed at your destination.
Will water make it through security at the airport?
No, you can not bring water through security at the airport, it is best to have a reusable bottle that you can fill up once you pass through security.
What is the best way to pack in-flight snacks?
The best way to pack your in-flight snacks is either in a plastic container or a plastic bag that can be sealed to prevent leakages and spills while preserving freshness.
To conclude our carry-on flight food guide, you can typically carry any kind of food onboard with you as long as it is in a solid form, liquid type foods have to be under the 100ml limit and you should be careful when packing items such as salad dressings.
If you are travelling with food to your destination which might be fresh then ensure you check with countries restrictions and customs beforehand to avoid any delays at the airport.