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Security Rules on Taking Food onto a Plane

In a recent survey of 2,000 people it was found that 65% were ‘dissatisfied’ with the quality of in-flight meals. Of those 65%, 30% went on to say the meals were ‘reasonable’, while 25% said they were ‘disgusting’.

It’s hardly surprising then that a commonly asked question when flying is “can I take food on a plane?” or “can I pack a packed lunch for my flight instead of buying an in-flight meal?”

If you’re flying over a mealtime, or just want something to eat on board, but you don’t fancy paying for an in-flight meal, did you know you are allowed to take food with you to eat?

Passengers are allowed to pass through security with food products. However, you do have to be mindful of whether that food will be considered a ‘solid’ food, such as a sandwich or crisps, or a ‘liquid’ product, such as soup, yoghurt or a bottle of drink.

If it is a ‘liquid’ product, the same strict liquid rules apply – you can only take sealed items of 100ml or less, all fitted within one small, re-sealable, clear plastic bag, which has to accommodate all your other hand luggage liquid items.

If you want to take a packed lunch of ‘solid’ foods then you are free to do so – you can include sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, pies, pasties, wraps, sausage rolls, chocolate, sweets, fruit and vegetables etc.

You can also buy food and drink after security – drinks bought airside are not subject to ‘liquid’ restrictions so you can take larger quantities of water, juice, yoghurts, soups etc. on board the plane – be aware that, from a safety point of view, some airlines will not allow you to carry hot liquids onto the plane.

If you’re travelling with children, don’t forget that they are often hungry and eat little and often, so pack sufficient to keep them going, particularly if you are on a long flight.

Do remember that your packed lunch needs to fit within your hand luggage, it cannot be carried in a separate lunch or cool box – the one item of hand luggage rule still applies for the majority of airlines.