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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