Can You Bring Pizza On A Plane?

Few foods have conquered the global culinary scene quite like pizza, a savory dish of Italian origin consisting of a typically round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and various other ingredients. Its popularity is such that it’s not uncommon for travelers to contemplate whether they can bring a slice of this universally beloved pie into the cabin of an airplane during their travels.

The idea of traveling with pizza touches on the broader evolution of airline food regulations, which have fluctuated greatly since the inception of commercial air travel. Initially, in-flight meals were a luxury, but as air travel became more accessible, regulations surrounding onboard food standards and security measures tightened—especially in the post-9/11 world. Despite the emergence of stricter security protocols at airports, particularly those involving liquids and gels, solid foods like pizza generally remain permissible on flights, assuming they adhere to the guidelines set forth by transportation authorities. As air travel continues to be a vital mode of transportation in today’s interconnected world, understanding the nuances of what passengers are allowed to bring aboard is more relevant than ever.

can you take pizza on a plane

Can You Take Pizza On A Plane?

When it comes to traveling with food, many passengers wonder if they can take pizza on a plane. The answer is yes, you can generally take pizza with you on a flight, either as a carry-on or in your checked luggage. However, it’s important to consider the policies of the specific airline and the regulations of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regarding food items. Typically, as long as the pizza is solid and not a liquid or gel (like certain pizza toppings might be), it should be allowed through security checkpoints. Bringing pizza on a plane can be a convenient way to have a meal ready, especially if you’re facing a long flight or have dietary restrictions that make airport food options less appealing. In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the guidelines for taking pizza on a plane, tips for packing it properly, and any potential restrictions you might encounter during your travels.

Carrying Pizza Through TSA Checkpoints

Passengers planning to take their pizza with them through TSA security checkpoints for consumption on domestic flights within the USA should be aware of the regulations. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), pizza is allowed through security checkpoints. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Whole pizzas should be wrapped or boxed properly.
  • Any liquid toppings or sauces may be subject to the TSA’s liquids rule, limiting them to containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less in a single, clear, quart-sized bag.

If you’re carrying pizza with you, it’s recommended to inform the TSA officer when you begin the screening process. For detailed guidelines, travelers can visit the official TSA website (TSA page for pizza).

Pizza on Board: Airline Policies

While TSA allows pizza through the checkpoints, airline policies regarding onboard food consumption may vary. Passengers should:

  • Check with their airline for specific policies about consuming personal food items on board.
  • Be courteous to fellow passengers when consuming food items with strong odors, such as certain types of pizza.
  • Dispose of any trash or leftovers to maintain cabin cleanliness.

Some airlines might offer their own menu selections, including pizza, so passengers may prefer to purchase food on board instead of bringing it from outside.

Enjoying Your Pizza In-Flight

Dining on your favorite pizza slice at 35,000 feet is possible, but passengers should consider:

  • Storage space: Keep the pizza in a carry-on bag that fits under the seat or in the overhead bins.
  • Temperature: Since there’s no way to reheat pizza on a plane, it’s best consumed cold or at room temperature.

Enjoying pizza during a flight is a matter of preparation and respect for the shared space. Passengers can savor their meal while following protocols for a pleasant in-flight experience.

Post-Flight: Pizza Disposal and Cleanup

After enjoying pizza on your flight, cleaning up is essential:

  • Avoid leaving crumbs or food waste in the seat area.
  • Use napkins or paper towels for clean hands and any potential spills.
  • Keep the cabin tidy by taking any leftovers, boxes, or waste with you to dispose of them in airport trash receptacles.

Travelers who maintain cleanliness contribute to a better flying experience for themselves and others.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
Convenient for long flights or layovers May not be allowed by some airlines depending on their policies
Cost-effective compared to purchasing food at the airport Potential for strong odors to disturb other passengers
Satisfies hunger with a familiar and filling meal Possibility of it getting cold and soggy over time
Good for sharing with fellow travelers Challenges in keeping it fresh and properly stored during travel
No need to rely on airline food quality or availability Could create mess or require extra space for disposal of leftovers

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides regulations and guidelines for the safe transport of goods and items on commercial aircraft. While the IATA does not provide specific guidelines for carrying food items like pizza, they do have general guidelines for the transport of perishable goods and cabin baggage. Passengers intending to fly with pizza should consider the following:

  • Perishable items should be well-packaged to prevent leakage or odor emission.
  • Carry-on baggage should comply with the airline’s size and weight restrictions.
  • Passengers should check with their specific airline for any additional restrictions or guidelines.

For detailed information on IATA’s regulations, passengers should consult the IATA website or contact their airline directly. However, as of the knowledge cutoff date, the IATA website does not have a specific page talking about pizza. (IATA website:

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with pizza, it is crucial to be aware of the specific regulations that apply to the country of destination. Each country has its own set of rules regarding the importation of food products, which can affect whether or not you can bring pizza across its borders. These regulations are in place to prevent the spread of pests and diseases and to protect local agriculture and biodiversity.

United Kingdom

  • Food products brought into the UK are subject to strict controls, especially meat and dairy.
  • Pre-packaged food items like pizza may be allowed, but it’s best to check the latest guidelines.


  • The European Union has regulations for food items entering its member states.
  • Non-animal product foods are generally less restricted, but rules can vary between countries.


  • Canada has regulations on food products to prevent the introduction of diseases.
  • Travelers should declare all food items upon entry and check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for specifics.


  • Australia’s biosecurity laws are stringent, and many food items are not allowed to be brought in.
  • Even if pizza is allowed, it must be declared and may be inspected upon arrival.

New Zealand

  • New Zealand also has strict biosecurity measures to protect its unique ecosystem.
  • All food items must be declared, and undeclared items can result in fines.


  • Asian countries have diverse regulations, with some being very strict about food imports.
  • It’s essential to check the specific country’s customs regulations before traveling with pizza.


  • Singapore has specific import requirements for food items, which may include obtaining a permit.
  • Travelers should consult the Singapore Food Agency for the latest guidelines.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Pizza

Airlines may have their own specific regulations when it comes to flying with food items like pizza. These regulations can vary widely from one airline to another, and they may include restrictions on the size, packaging, and type of food that can be carried on board. Below are examples of regulations from 10 different airlines regarding flying with pizza. Please note that the actual regulations should be confirmed with the airline directly, as policies can change and may not be explicitly detailed on their websites.

American Airlines

  • Food items must fit within carry-on baggage allowances.
  • Pizza should be packaged in a way that contains any odors and prevents leakage.

Delta Air Lines

  • Delta allows passengers to bring food on board but advises that it should be well-wrapped or in a container to avoid spills.

United Airlines

  • United permits carry-on food items as long as they adhere to size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage.

Southwest Airlines

  • Southwest does not have specific restrictions on food items, but they must be able to fit under the seat or in the overhead bin.

British Airways

  • Passengers can bring food on board, but it should not have a strong smell or require refrigeration.


  • Lufthansa allows snacks like pizza on board, provided they are contained and do not violate any customs regulations upon landing.

Air Canada

  • Air Canada allows food items on board but reminds passengers to consider potential restrictions at their destination.


  • Qantas advises passengers to check quarantine regulations of the destination when bringing food on board.

Air New Zealand

  • Air New Zealand allows food items but has strict biosecurity controls upon arrival in New Zealand.

Singapore Airlines

  • Singapore Airlines permits the carriage of food items, but they must comply with Singapore’s import regulations.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, passengers should always check with their airline and the relevant government agencies before traveling with pizza or any other food items.

Packing Pizza in Carry-On Luggage

Traveling with pizza in your carry-on luggage requires preparation to prevent a mess and to adhere to airline regulations. Since carry-on space is limited and food items are subject to security screening, consider these steps:

  • Choose Your Pizza Wisely: Opt for pizzas with less grease and toppings to minimize the chance of leakage or getting flagged during security.
  • Cool It Down: Allow your pizza to cool completely before packing to avoid condensation, which can lead to sogginess.
  • Use a Sturdy Container: A hard-sided, airtight container will protect your pizza from being squished and contain any smells.
  • Double Wrap: Wrap your pizza slices first in parchment paper or aluminum foil, then place them inside the container for extra protection.
  • Security Considerations: Remember that any sauces should comply with TSA liquids rules – they must be in a container of 3.4 ounces or smaller and placed in a clear, quart-sized bag.

taking pizza through airport security

Packing Pizza in Hold Luggage

Packing pizza in checked, or hold luggage offers more flexibility due to the larger space available. However, it’s essential to protect your pizza from temperature changes and movement:

  • Freeze Your Pizza: If possible, freeze your pizza slices before packing to keep them fresh. Frozen items are generally allowed, but it’s best to check with the airline first.
  • Insulate: Use an insulated bag or cooler within your luggage to maintain the temperature of your pizza during the flight.
  • Secure Container: Similar to carry-on, use a hard-sided, airtight container to avoid any crushing of your pizza slices.
  • Layer Wisely: Place the container with your pizza in between your clothes or other soft items for added cushioning and insulation.
  • Check for Leaks: Ensure that any additional items, such as sauces or dressings, are well-sealed to prevent leaking onto your belongings.

Travel-Friendly Foods Similar to Pizza

When considering alternatives to pizza for air travel, opt for items that are just as convenient and satisfying. Sandwiches are a top choice, offering customizable fillings and easy handling. Wraps, with their neat and compact form, make for a mess-free meal. For those craving the flavors of Italy, calzones are a perfect pizza cousin, encapsulating cheese and toppings in a doughy pocket. Sushi rolls are another portable option, providing a light yet fulfilling choice. Lastly, savory pastries like empanadas or turnovers can satisfy the need for something hearty without the bulkiness of a pizza box. All these options are ideal for travelers looking to enjoy a delicious meal while flying.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Pizza On A Plane?

When it comes to air travel, many passengers want to know if they can bring their favorite foods on board with them. Pizza is a popular choice for travelers looking for a satisfying meal before a long flight or wanting to bring a slice of home to their destination. The following FAQ section addresses common questions and concerns about carrying pizza onto an airplane and what is expected when you decide to fly with this cheesy companion.

Is it allowed to bring pizza through airport security?

Yes, it is typically allowed to bring pizza through airport security. Solid foods like pizza can be carried in your hand luggage. However, any sauces or dips would need to be compliant with the liquids rule (3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters or less in a clear, resealable plastic bag).

Can I bring a whole pizza box on the plane?

While you can bring a whole pizza box on the plane, it must fit within the airline’s carry-on size restrictions. Keep in mind that overhead bin space may be limited, and a full pizza box might be difficult to accommodate.

Will bringing pizza on a plane make it cold by the time I eat it?

Yes, it’s likely that pizza will cool down during your trip to the airport and the waiting period before your flight. Some airports and planes may have facilities to reheat food, but it is not guaranteed.

Are there any airlines that prohibit bringing pizza on a flight?

Most airlines allow passengers to bring food items such as pizza on board. However, it’s recommended to check with the specific airline prior to your flight for any unique restrictions.

How do I store my pizza on the plane to keep it fresh?

To keep your pizza fresh, store it in a container that maintains its temperature and protects it from getting squished. Insulated bags can help maintain warmth for a short period.

Can bringing pizza on a plane create a mess or cause a disturbance?

It can, especially if the pizza is greasy or has loose toppings. To avoid creating a mess or disturbing other passengers, make sure your pizza is stored properly and handled carefully.

Is it proper etiquette to eat pizza on the plane?

While it is generally acceptable to eat pizza on a plane, it’s considerate to be mindful of strong odors that might bother fellow passengers. If the pizza has a particularly strong smell, you may want to wait to eat it until you’ve landed.

Can I bring a frozen pizza onto the plane?

Yes, frozen pizza can typically be brought on a plane. Since it’s a solid food, there are no special restrictions. However, be aware that it will likely thaw during your journey.

Are there any countries that restrict bringing food like pizza onto the plane?

Restrictions on bringing food onto planes usually come into play upon arrival rather than departure. Some countries may have strict regulations on bringing food, including pizza, due to agricultural and biosecurity measures. It’s best to check the customs regulations of your destination country beforehand.

What if I want to bring pizza as a carry-on on an international flight?

For international flights, while you may be able to bring pizza as carry-on, be aware that you typically can’t bring food items off the plane once you reach your destination due to local customs laws. You should plan to consume the pizza during the flight or dispose of leftovers before going through customs.

Packing It All Up

In conclusion, travelers can indeed bring pizza on a plane in both their carry-on and checked luggage with certain considerations in mind. When packing pizza for a flight, it’s important to remember the TSA’s regulations regarding food items. As pizza is typically considered a solid food, it’s permitted through security checkpoints without any specific restrictions. However, to ensure a smooth process, pizza should be properly packaged to prevent any messes or spillage, which might raise concerns with security personnel. Additionally, maintaining the freshness of the pizza is key, especially for longer flights, where perishable foods can spoil. Using insulated bags and perhaps a cold pack is wise to keep the pizza at an appropriate temperature during your journey.

Moreover, for those preferring convenience, purchasing pizza after passing through the security checkpoint is also an option with the added benefit of not worrying about transit time affecting food quality. While onboard, courtesy toward fellow passengers is essential when consuming pizza, given its aromatic nature which may be intrusive in the confined space of an aircraft cabin. In essence, whether you’re bringing a slice from home or grabbing a quick bite at the airport, knowing the proper protocol for traveling with pizza can ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable in-flight dining experience. Just be aware of potential odors, and try to consume your pizza during appropriate times to avoid causing discomfort to others.