7 Surprising Foods You Can Bring on a Plane (and 6 You Can’t)
Whether you're trying to take home foodie souvenirs or just have a snack on hand for the flight, knowing the rules will help you breeze through security.
Yes: Fresh eggs
Even though they’ve got runny yolks and whites inside, eggs are on the TSA’s Yes list for carry-on. We just can’t promise that they’ll make it onboard without cracking. On the other hand, here are 14 surprising things that aren’t allowed on planes.
Yes: Ice cream
As long as it’s frozen solid, you’re free to bring an entire tub of Breyer’s through security. But you’d better act fast between your drop-off car and the security line—melted ice cream is a no-go, and neither are slushy, part-melted ice packs.
Yes (depending): Live lobster
Hoping to come back from Maine with tomorrow night’s seafood dinner ready to cook? You actually might be allowed to. The TSA does allow live lobsters, as long as they’re in a clear, plastic, spill-proof container, though they warn that individual flights might not be crazy about non-service animals onboard, so check with your airline first. Check out these other 40 things pilots won’t tell you.
Yes: Juice and baby formula
Thankfully, the TSA makes exceptions to the 3.4-ounce liquid rule for parents of young children. As long as you notify an officer, formula, breast milk, and juice for babies and toddlers can be brought onboard in “reasonable quantities” as long as you’re willing to put them through extra screening, like X-rays or a pat-down. This is also one of the few times passengers can get away with going through security with part-melted ice packs.
Yes: Protein powder
A gym rat lifestyle doesn’t take a vacation, and turns out protein and energy powders are welcome onboard. Because it’s a powder, you’ll just have to make sure to put it in a separate bin for the X-ray if you’re taking more than 12 ounces and be prepared to sit through extra screening.
A Domino’s pickup sure is cheaper than any meal options you’ll find in the terminal. Luckily, the TSA gives its official thumbs-up to pizza (and other solid foods like pies and cakes), though good luck getting a whole pie to fit in your carry-on. You’ll probably want to stack the slices in a smaller container first before going through security. Or you can always settle for these 11 things you can still get for free on an airplane.
Those mini liquor bottles are well under the TSA’s 100-milliliter limit, so you’re free to take one onboard with you—though, or your sake and the sake of everyone around you, we beg you not to down them during your flight. Maybe take advantage of the five liters of liquor you’re allowed in your checked bag instead. Oh, but there is an exception to the rule …
No: High-alcohol liquor
Drinks with more than 70 percent alcohol are never, ever allowed on a plane—not even in a mini bottle and not even in your checked bag. The Federal Aviation Administration isn’t trying to kill your buzz, but alcohol is flammable, so a high liquor content could be a safety hazard. Don’t miss these other 18 things you should never do on an airplane.
No: Tub of creamy cheese
If you want to take creamy cheese, the TSA says you’ll have to stick with the “3-1-1” rule of a 3.4-ounce container that fits in a one-quart bag, with one bag per passenger. But they don’t get specific on where the line is drawn between creamy cheese (3.4-ounce limit) and solid cheese (always allowed). We’d guess Brie is OK but Philadelphia spread is not.
Technically yogurt is allowed in your carry-on, but the 3.4-ounce limit is about half the size of a typical yogurt cup.
No: Peanut butter
We love eating peanut butter by the spoonful—but unfortunately, that also means it’s un-solid enough to be tied to the 3-1-1 policy. Feel free to steal a single-serving PB cup from the hotel breakfast and tuck it into your toiletry bag, but don’t try to lug a whole jar of Jif with you. Make sure you know about these other 16 airport mistakes you need to stop making.
No: Canned food
Can’t get enough of an ethnic canned food you found overseas? You might not want to bother stocking up. The TSA doesn’t have a hard and fast rule for all canned food, but there’s a good chance it’ll be rejected in your carry-on, thanks to its hard-to-screen aluminum shell and the liquid inside that could make it break the 3-1-1 rule. Just in case, the TSA recommends leaving canned goods in your checked bag.
Sorry, but as solid as your favorite dip is, it’s still considered a liquid in the TSA’s eyes. You’ll have to dole out a 3.4-ounce portion if you want to make it through security. But on the bright side, carrots and celery sticks are allowed through. Keep an eye out for these other 13 things most likely to get you flagged by the TSA.