Is It Possible To Acquire Food On My Flight?

Airplane food is not exactly a fine dining experience. There are so many times when you have to decide between chicken and pasta. Frequent flyers and those with food restrictions have long packed their own meals for flights. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, many airlines have started eliminating meal service.

Even if you want to bring your own prepared food, it still doesn’t mean that it is safe to do so at the airport. Even if you do bring your Thanksgiving dinner, you may want to consider avoiding eating it during the flight. Before you go to the airport, make sure that you read this guide to avoid having to deal with food restrictions.

Most frequent travelers understand that they need to streamline their liquids and carry-on items in order to get through the security checkpoints quickly.

The 3-1-1 rule allows travelers to bring on most liquids, such as soap, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer, as long as they’re in a 1-quart zip-top bag. If you have something special that you want to bring to a business trip, such as food, then you’ll be allowed to bring these items through the security checkpoints.

However, make sure that you follow the 3-1-1 rule when it comes to bringing food into the checkpoint. It’s also important to note that certain liquids are not allowed.

Everything You Need To Know About Flying With Food And Beverages

We know that traveling can be hard these days. That’s why we’re working to provide even more helpful advice and inspiration so that when the world opens up again, you’ll be ready.

During the start of the pandemic, there were a lot of rumors about how air travel would change. Some people suggested that masks would be required on all flights, and airlines would finally eliminate the middle seat.

A lot of new procedures and rules have been implemented since then, and we’ve gathered all of the information you need to know about them.

The airlines and airports are still experimenting with new ways to keep people and crew members safe. As new rules are introduced, make sure to check their websites for up-to-date information.

Is Food And Drink Still Served On Planes By Airlines?

Since COVID has happened, many airlines have suspended in-flight service to reduce contact between the crew and passengers.

Although many airlines still offer in-flight service, it will be different from what you usually experience. Some factors include the duration of your flight and the class of cabin you’re seated in.

In economy and coach classes, flight attendants are now offering a limited selection of canned and pre-packaged food and beverages.

In most cases, alcoholic drinks will be served in sealed bottles or cans instead of in large bottles. This includes beer, wine, and spirits.

What Are Some Examples Of Major Airline Changes?

United Airlines

On United Airlines, economy passengers can only receive beverages once per flight. During long flights, they can only receive a snack bag.

First-class passengers must request drinks during flights under one hour. Those on longer flights will receive a snack bag and a sanitizer wipe.

Long-haul economy passengers can choose to receive an entree, dessert, and a pre-arrival snack.


Lufthansa has announced that its on-board service would be simplified until August 31, 2020. Service in economy class varies depending on flight time:

  • There will be no beverage service on flights under 50 minutes.
  • Passengers on flights longer than 50 minutes are given a bottle of water.
  • Passengers on flights longer than 150 minutes are given a snack and the normal beverage service.
  • Passengers on flights lasting more than 180 minutes will be provided an additional vegetarian sandwich (preorder of special meals is still possible)

Passengers in business class can expect standard food and beverage service. Special dinners can still be ordered ahead of time.

Qatar Airways

On all Qatar flights, a full bar is offered. The food service in economy class varies according on the flight time:

  • A snack is recommended for flights under 2 hours.
  • A substantial meal is required for flights longer than 2 hours.
  • For flights of more than 7 hours, a main meal and a snack are required.
  • For flights of more than 12 hours, two main meals and a snack are recommended.

Pre-order meals are temporarily suspended in first and business classes, while on-board social facilities and lounges are temporarily closed. These passengers can expect the following dinner service:

  • Drinks and wipes are provided as a welcome gesture.
  • Menu cards that can only be used once
  • On-demand meals are delivered on a tray.
  • A wide variety of drinks and snacks are available.

Although masks are required during flights, airlines allow passengers to remove them temporarily while they’re eating or drinking. You can do this by lifting or temporarily removing them.

Some airlines require masks to be worn on board. Some of these include United, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic. Qatar Airways is another airline that requires its economy passengers to wear masks while on the plane. However, they can also do so at their own discretion.

Is It Permissible For Me To Bring Food Through Airport Security?

Since airlines have suspended their food service due to the pandemic, they’re trying to reduce the contact between the crew and the passengers.

Although it’s allowed to bring food and beverages through airport security, passengers are required to separate their liquids and bags for security screening.

The following are some solid food products that are permitted:

  • Baby food
  • Bread
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Cooked meat, seafood, and vegetables without liquid
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Pies
  • Pizza
  • Sandwiches
  • Snacks

The following foods are classified as liquids and must meet the 100 ml/3.4oz requirements:

  • Cheesy creaminess
  • Chocolate in liquid form
  • Spreads and dips
  • Gravy
  • Maple syrup and honey
  • Ice cream with hummus
  • Jelly and jam
  • Vinegars and oils
  • Peanut butter is a delicious spread.
  • Sauces and salsas
  • Yogurt

Most fruits and vegetables can’t be transported through the checkpoint due to the risk of introducing pests and diseases to the environment.

Some airports in the world have implemented restrictions on the number of carry-on bags that can be brought through security. These measures aim to speed up the process and minimize wait times.

Foods You Can Bring In Your Carry-On That Have Been Allowed By The TSA

Prepare yourself for some good news: you may bring almost any meal past security as long as it doesn’t contain a liquid that exceeds 3.4 ounces.

The Transportation Security Administration allows almost all food items to pass through the security checkpoints. However, they do require that you keep your liquids in amounts that are not exceeding 3.4 ounces.

Aside from food items, such as baby food and cereals, the authorities also allow various snacks and beverages to be carried in your carry-on. They also allow live lobsters to be transported in spill-proof containers.

Some exceptions to this rule include breast milk and baby formula. The agency suggests that travelers check its website for more information on this and other food items.

Aside from food items, the authorities also allow various snacks and beverages to be carried in your carry-on. Some of these include cookies, crackers, and dried fruits.

However, protein powders and canned food items are subject to additional security checks. The agency suggests that you pack these in checked bags or leave them at home.

Although live lobsters are generally fine to carry in your carry-on, you should always check with your airline before going through the security checkpoints.

Foods You Won’t Be Able To Bring In Your Carry-On

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a rule that prohibits passengers from bringing liquids that are more than 3.4 ounces in size onto the plane.

Like other non-food items, you cannot bring in liquid or cream forms that are over 3.4 ounces. This rule applies to all liquids, including those that are made up of cheese, peanut butter, or juice. You can only carry these items in containers that are less than 3.4 ounces.

These restrictions apply to various items such as alcoholic drinks and canned food. Having these restrictions makes it difficult to get through security checkpoints.

For instance, alcoholic beverages that contain more than 140 proof alcohol by volume are not allowed in checked baggage. However, if they do not exceed 140 proof, you can still bring small bottles of alcohol.

Also, ice packs are fine as long as they’re fully packed. However, if they contain liquid, they will be taken out of their checked bag. Also, canned food items that are suspicious will be taken out of their checked luggage.

Related: Can You Bring Breast Milk On The Plane?


After cutting back on most of their food service due to the pandemic, airlines are now offering more premium dishes such as Greek chicken salad and braised ribs.

Since COVID-19 has affected the way airlines serve food and drinks, they have also cut back on some of their usual offerings. Anasia Obioha, a Los Angeles resident, said that she misses the smell of chocolate chip cookies when she flies with American Airlines.

Although in-flight meals and drinks are not considered significant revenue generators, they are important to attract first- and business-class passengers. Although it’s legal to bring alcohol in checked baggage, many airlines won’t allow you to bring it on board. They also make specific boarding announcements that prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

You can still bring ice packs to keep your food and drinks cold on board, as long as they are properly secured.

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog

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