Air passengers advised to not pack food or snacks in their hand luggage

Passengers flying from UK airports have been advised to leave snacks and other food behind – or face extra security checks.

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Guidance from the Department for Transport says: “Food or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible.”

The move will hit passengers who pack their own snacks to save money and beat the premiums put on food by airside retailers.

Many travellers also use the food to feed children on flights that charge inflated prices for in-flight meals and snacks.

The DfT has said the move is essential because food-stuffs and powders can “obstruct images on the x-ray machine or may be mistaken for suspicious items” which then causes additional delays.

The new guidance does not prevent passengers from packing food, but is likely to mean that those who do can expect to spend longer at security desks.

Rules already exist to stop passengers taking more than a 100ml of liquids or gels. Use our guide here to find out how to get free water at UK airports.

The Department for Transport advice in full

“Food or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible. Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the x-ray machine, or may be mistaken for suspicious items – so putting them in the hold will help reduce the need for additional checks. Passengers who need to take these items on board should therefore allow extra time at security.”


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3 comments for “Air passengers advised to not pack food or snacks in their hand luggage

  1. L Lloyd
    05/06/2018 at 6:50 am

    Why all this extra hassle? I will definitely use the tip from Martin above next time I fly. It seems to me that Department of Trade is going hand in glove with airport charges to increase the cost of flying. Is this another dictation from the EU? By the way, last time I flew from Shannon airport there was a scanner at security which instantly scanned a bottle of water (more than 100ml) and the bottle was handed back to the passenger there and then (and she was flying to the States). If a little airport like Shannon can scan water, why not other airports?

  2. 29/05/2018 at 3:37 pm

    So air passengers are “advised” not to take food airside, and I’ll bet they are trying hard to make it law!!
    This sounds like another scam by the air industry disgracefully backed up? by the Department for Trade, In order to sell hideously expensive snacks in the airport and on the aeroplane.
    As no cheaper alternative is offered this is just another example of the air industry legally fleecing a captive audience
    It is incredible that an advanced dedicated X-ray machine backed up by a supposedly skilled operator cannot tell the difference between a Ham Bap and a Bomb, Ah’ well if it takes longer to unwrap the cling-film and inspect my butty I don’t mind waiting :-)

  3. Martin Bates
    26/05/2018 at 11:13 am

    Put food in a clear plastic bag, remove to scan it, replace in bag. Eat.. Simples!

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