Can You Bring Sandwiches On A Plane Through Airport Security (TSA Rules)

Last Updated on October 23, 2021

The sandwich was a great invention that brought convenience and portability to lunch.

But just how portable is a sandwich? Can you bring a sandwich on a plane?

Let’s find out!

TSA Sandwich Rules

The Transportation Security Administration runs the screening process at airport security.

Let’s see what they have to say about bringing sandwiches on your flight.

You can bring sandwiches on a plane either in hand luggage or hold luggage. The best place to pack a sandwich is probably in your under-seat personal item rather than in a carry-on suitcase.

That will keep it handy in case you want to eat your sandwich on the flight.

There is a chance that your sandwich might be subject to a close inspection at the security checkpoint. You might need to take it out of your bag if it is obstructing the view in the x-ray machine.

The TSA officer who inspects your luggage always has the final decision about what is allowed through the checkpoint including food items.

You don’t need to wrap your sandwich but it’s a good idea, a plastic sandwich bag got its name for a reason.

You can pack sandwiches in checked luggage but remember there is always a chance that checked luggage can be lost or delayed.

Items in checked bags are occasionally stolen too so if a dishonest baggage handler spots your meatball sub then don’t count on it arriving at your destination.

Bringing Sandwiches On International Flights

There are sometimes extra rules about bringing fresh foods into foreign countries that don’t apply on domestic flights.

Some foods are prohibited to prevent the introduction of invasive species or diseases into new environments.

For example, you cannot bring meat and meat products or dairy into the United Kingdom from outwith the EU.

The solution to that is simple. Eat your sandwich on the plane before you land.

And remember, the UK invented the sandwich so you can buy them over there!

Some Sandwich Fillings May Be Restricted

It’s one of life’s great mysteries.

Peanut butter is considered a liquid by the TSA, and Jelly is considered a liquid too.

But a PB&J sandwich is considered a solid and given the all-clear by the TSA.

If you have specific questions about your sandwich you can ask the TSA directly on Twitter.

Rylan wanted to bring his leftover sandwich on the plane with him.

David wondered if he needed to take his grilled cheese sandwich out of his pocket at airport security.

Egg salad alone needs to go in your quart-size bag alongside your toiletries.

But if you slap egg salad between two slices of bread then it is miraculously safe to be brought on the plane!

It’s the same with Tuna. Canned Tuna is treated as a liquid and must be in cans smaller than 3.4 oz and packed in your one-quart bag.

Through the magical power of making a sandwich, the TSA is no longer concerned by it.

Jacob wondered if fast-food sandwiches are allowed through the checkpoint.

And the TSA gave the green light. You can learn more about taking fast food through the security checkpoint here.

The Bottom Line

If you are bringing a snack to eat on the plane there might be etiquette involved in choosing the right type of sandwiches. Fish, eggs, or other smelly sandwiches might be a little irritating to your fellow passengers.

The bottom line is you can bring sandwiches through airport security and onto the plane in carry-on or checked luggage.

Sometimes where sandwich fillings alone are restricted in quantity they are not restricted when between slices of bread.

Be aware that there are sometimes rules about importing fresh foods into foreign countries.

That’s all. Enjoy your trip and your sandwich!

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