Can You Take Fruit on a Plane? [Food & Airport Security]

Can You Take Fruit on a Plane

I fly regularly, including overseas, and often think about taking some healthy food on the plane journey, but as planning sometimes goes awry I never get around to it.  I’ll usually get hungry on the flight but don’t care much for the airline snacks, so before I actually get around to planning ahead.

I was curious whether you can take fruit on a plane?  so I had to do some research and here it is…

You can take fruit on a plane.

The requirement is that sliced fruit should be kept in some form of packaging.

However, loose whole fruit such as apples or bananas is fine to be kept in your carry-on or checked baggage without packaging.

In this article, I will explain whether you can take a banana through airport security, what food can go through airport security, whether you can pack fruit in your checked luggage, and can you take fruit on international flights.

Can I Take a Banana Through Airport Security?

Can I Take a Banana Through Airport Security

A banana, the perfect snack.

Airport security is known to restrict certain items and for doing a thorough check so I was curious about whether I can take a banana through airport security.

Here’s what I found.

As a general rule, you can take a banana through airport security.

A whole banana can be loose in your carry-on.

But, you can also take other whole fruits as well.

If the fruit is sliced or partially eaten it should be placed in a container or packaging.

It’s generally not advised to eat bananas or other fruit as you go through airport security as it can slow down the process.

However, once you’re on the plane you can feel free to eat bananas or any other kind of fruit provided it doesn’t cause a nuisance to other passengers.

Durian is particularly bad, as well as noni fruit. So, don’t be surprised if you can’t take really foul-smelling fruit on the plane.

They may ask you to leave it with them where they will dispose of it.

You can take both bananas and other fruits in your carry-on baggage, or have them in your checked bags.

However, certain countries will ask you to declare what fruit you have so that it can be inspected for invasive pests.

New Zealand is a well-known example for thoroughly checking food items as they come into the country to avoid the introduction of things like non-native ants or spiders.

If non-native species get into a country it can overtake native populations and destroy certain habitats.

What Food Can Go Through Airport Security?

What Food Can Go Through Airport Security

So, bananas and other fruit can go through airport security.

But, what about other food like sushi or cookies?

Only solid food items can go through airport security.

Liquids and gels can be taken in your carry-on in containers.

But, the container can be no bigger than 3.4 (100 mL), and need to be kept together in a 1 quart (1 liter) zip lock bag.

Cosmetics such as shampoo, and face wash – both liquids or gels – can either go on your carry-on, or in the checked luggage.

If cosmetics are smaller than 3.4 oz (100 mL), then they can be kept in a plastic sealed bag.

If the containers are larger than 3.4 oz (100 mL), then they must be taken inside your checked luggage.

Regardless, of how much is left in the bottle. For example, you might have a 200 mL bottle but it only has ⅓ left in the bottle.

Technically, that’s around 70mL which is under the 100mL limit.

However, because the container is bigger than 100 mL it still must go in your check-in luggage.

Can I Pack Fruit in My Checked Luggage?

Can I Pack Fruit in My Checked Luggage

I’ve got some exotic dried fruit that I picked up at the market.

But, I didn’t get around to finishing it all.

So, I wanted to know whether I can take fruit in my checked luggage as I don’t think I’ll feel like eating it on the plane?

It’s perfectly fine to pack fruit in your check luggage.

However, checked luggage bags are normally pressed up light to one another, and tossed around a bit.

Therefore, it can be a good idea to give your fruit some padding.

As well as, putting it in a water-tight seal in case it gets squashed.

Certain countries also have biosecurity regulations that might be local to the country or city.

For example, they may be a particular fruit that poses a greater risk of bringing in a harmful fungus or pest. Therefore, it may be banned for a time.

Therefore, it’s always wise to check the official documentation from the airline you’re travelling with.

You should also get in touch with your embassy via email to ask them about any special requirements if you’re in doubt.

Can We Carry Fruits on International Flights?

Can We Carry Fruits in International Flights

Typically taking fruit domestically is fine, but can you take fruit in your carry-on and in your checked luggage?

Generally, you can carry fruit in your checked luggage and carry on for international flights.

Fruit should be stored in such a way that it won’t cause a mess if it gets squashed.

Sliced fruit also needs to be in a container or packaging.

As you may know, prior to getting off the plane you can be required to complete a questionnaire that asks you to declare certain categories of items that you’re bringing into a country.

For example, most countries limit how much foreign currency you can carry into the country.

With fruit though, you can generally bring in as much as you like, as long as you declare how much when you’re required to state it.

If you’ve ever seen the show Border Patrol you’ll know that if you don’t declare it then you can face some distressing fines.

But, if you are honest about what you have, typically you can go straight through, or be required to wait if your fruit poses a risk of bringing in pests or an invasive plant or fungi so that it can be inspected.

Can I eat my own snacks on a plane?

Can I eat my own snacks on a plane

You may have some favorite chips or some delicious chocolate.

But, is it possible to take snacks on a plane both internationally and domestically.

Generally, any snacks can be taken on a plane.

However, liquid or gel foods need to be kept separate and can be in containers no larger than 3.4 oz (100 mL).

Examples of food you may want to carry on that are a gel or liquid are cream cheese, and hummus.

But, any size container can be taken in your checked baggage.

Just remember, that your bags will move a bit and can be placed down quite hard as they are moved from the plane to the airport.

Therefore, you should make sure any liquids in your checked baggage won’t spill all through your clothes if the lid pops off, or if it gets slightly crushed.

Can I take a packed lunch on a plane?

Can I take a packed lunch on a plane

Some flights are so short that they don’t include an in-flight meal – dang! So, is it possible to take a packed lunch since I’ll be sitting around for a few hours anyway?

Generally you can take a packed lunch on a plane.

Either domestically or internationally.

Be wary of food that is liquid or gel as you can’t take it as carry-on unless it’s in a container under 3.4 oz (100 mL).

However, in your checked luggage you can carry any food you like. 3.4 oz is around half a cup.

Common foods that might be in a container that is bigger than 3.4 oz are hummus, cream cheese, yogurt, salsa, and jelly.

So, you are quite limited in how much you can take in one container.

However, if you’re planning a corn chip and salsa and hummus marathon then you’ll need to store it in separate containers that are 100 mL each.

But, by the time you go to the trouble, you may figure it’s easier to eat something else.

Foods that are particularly good are nuts, chocolate, potato chips, fruit, and dried fruit.

However, feel free to make a full-blown sandwich.

Be careful about anything with excessive amounts of sauces such as pasta, or stir fry as it may contain too much liquid and you may be asked to throw it in the bin by airport security.

On the plane they typically serve a wide range of drinks from water all the way to beer.

But, because you can’t take liquids or gels to have a water bottle you’ll need to take an empty one on board with you.

And ensure it’s empty or empty it out before you exit the plane.

A final note about airline-specific requirements

When you book your flight you may do it through a travel agency, or a special type of website that finds the cheapest flights for you.

When doing that you will always still be booked through an airline company.

For example, Qantas if you’re flying from Australia, or Lufthansa if you’re flying in or out of Germany.

It’s a good rule of thumb to check the specific requirements that the airline you’re flying with lists on their website, as well as, the airlines for any connecting flights.

A common scenario is that you will fly from one city to another on one airline, and then the connecting flight is with a different airline.

Therefore, you should check all the airlines you’re flying with.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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