TravelAmerican Airlines

What Food Can You Take on American Airlines?

American Airlines 1

Traveling can often leave you feeling hungry, and while airlines do provide meals, it may not always cater to your specific dietary needs or cravings. If you’re planning to fly with American Airlines, you might be wondering what food you can bring on board. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the policies and regulations of American Airlines regarding food items, helping you navigate the do’s and don’ts of packing your in-flight snacks.


Yes, you can bring food on American Airlines. The airline allows passengers to bring solid food items in either carry-on or checked bags. However, liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not permitted in carry-on bags and must be placed in checked luggage. It’s important to pack food properly to avoid issues at security checkpoints, and be aware of special considerations if you have dietary restrictions or allergies.

American Airlines’ Official Policy on Food

American Airlines, like many other airlines, allows passengers to bring food on board. Although they offer limited food and drink service on flights based on flight length and destination, passengers are welcome to bring their own snacks and soft drinks. The airline’s guidelines, which are enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), dictate that solid food items can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags. However, liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not permitted in carry-on bags and must be placed in checked luggage [^1^].

Types of Food Allowed and Prohibited

You might have specific food items in mind that you’d like to bring on board. While there are no specific restrictions on the types of food you can bring, the TSA has guidelines on what food items are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage.

Solid food items like sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, candy, gum, granola bars, pretzels, brownies, chips, cookies, and pastries are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags. However, foods in liquid form over 3.4 ounces, such as creamy cheeses, liquid chocolate, liquid coffee, creamy dips and spreads, gravy, honey, hummus, ice cream, jam, jelly, juice, syrup, peanut butter, salad dressing, sauce, salsa, soda, soup, and yogurt, are not allowed in carry-on luggage [^2^].

Packing Food for Travel

Knowing how to pack your food correctly is crucial to avoid any issues at the security checkpoint. Follow these guidelines when packing your food:

  1. Solid food items can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags.
  2. Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz (100 ml) are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in checked bags if possible.
  3. All food items must undergo X-ray screening at the security checkpoint.
  4. Food items in liquid or cream form, such as peanut butter, ketchup, and maple syrup, must be in travel-sized containers of 3.4 oz (100 ml) or less and fit in one quart-size resealable bag.
  5. Frozen food is allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage, but ice packs used to keep the food frozen must be completely frozen at the time of security screening.
  6. If you’re bringing food from home through security, it must be whole, natural foods (like fruit or vegetables) or be placed in a container or otherwise wrapped up.

Special Considerations for Dietary Restrictions and Allergies

For passengers with dietary restrictions or allergies, American Airlines advises informing the airline of your dietary needs when booking your ticket. Most airlines require advance notice to provide special meals or accommodations. It is also recommended to carry an allergy or diet restriction card with you, which can be shown to restaurant staff when dining out [^3^].

Disposal and Recycling of Food Packaging

In line with its commitment to sustainability, American Airlines has implemented various measures to handle the disposal or recycling of food packaging on board. The airline has been working to reduce single-use plastics in its operations and has a recycling program dating back to the late 1980s [^4^].

Recent Changes and Updates

As of September 26, 2023, American Airlines has implemented temporary changes to its food and drink service on board, based on flight length and destination. Passengers are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages on board. For flights under 250 miles, non-alcoholic drinks are available by request [^5^].

In conclusion, American Airlines allows a wide range of food items to be brought on board. However, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to the guidelines set by the airline and TSA to ensure a smooth journey. Happy traveling!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring alcoholic beverages on board with American Airlines?

No, you cannot bring your own alcohol on board. However, American Airlines serves a selection of alcoholic beverages on most flights, but service is temporarily suspended in the Main Cabin due to COVID-19[^5^].

Can I bring baby food and formula on an American Airlines flight?

Yes, baby food, breast milk, and formula are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding the standard 3.4 oz limit. These items will be subject to additional screening[^2^].

Are there any restrictions on bringing food items from other countries?

Yes, there are restrictions on bringing certain food items from other countries into the U.S. due to customs regulations. It is best to check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines before your flight.

Can I heat up my food on an American Airlines flight?

No, American Airlines does not offer facilities to heat up personal food items due to safety reasons.

[^5^]: American Airlines Travel Updates [^2^]: TSA Guidelines

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *