Can you Bring Starbucks on a Plane?

Every day, millions of individuals rely on a cup of coffee to kick-start their mornings, with Starbucks being one of the most recognizable coffee brands worldwide. The relationship between air travel and the desire for a comforting cup of Starbucks coffee poses an intriguing question for travelers – can one bring Starbucks on a plane?

The modern traveler often faces a set of regulations dictated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that determines what can and cannot be taken aboard commercial aircraft, particularly when it comes to liquids. These rules, stemming from security concerns that crystalized in the early 2000s, have since shaped the way travelers pack beverages, including those from Starbucks, for air travel. The current significance of understanding these regulations is underscored by the common sight of Starbucks outlets in many airports, serving as beacons of familiarity and comfort for passengers about to embark on their journeys. The widespread presence of these coffee shops within secure areas of airports provides a clear indication that air travelers routinely carry Starbucks beverages with them. However, the way these drinks are allowed on planes ties back to globally-recognized security measures and the adaptability of both passengers and airport businesses to these regulations. With the convenience of enjoying a familiar beverage juxtaposed against the backdrop of stringent security protocols, addressing the practicalities of bringing Starbucks on a plane remains a pertinent discussion for the contemporary traveler.

can you bring starbucks coffee on a plane

Can you Take Starbucks on a Plane?

When it comes to taking Starbucks on a plane, the main consideration is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquids rule. Beverages purchased from Starbucks are generally allowed on a plane, but they must comply with TSA’s regulations if you’re passing through security. This means that any Starbucks drink must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and fit within a quart-sized, resealable bag if you’re bringing it from outside the airport. However, if you purchase your drink after passing through security, you can bring a larger size onboard. Keep in mind that hot beverages can pose a spill risk during turbulence, so cold drinks might be a more practical choice. For more detailed information on traveling with Starbucks beverages and tips on how to do so smoothly, continue to the next section where we delve deeper into the subject.

Serving Starbucks on U.S. Domestic Flights

Many airlines in the United States recognize the demand for high-quality coffee during flight. As a result, several have partnered with Starbucks, a premier coffee company, to offer their beverages on board. This service enhances the in-flight experience for passengers who prefer the familiar taste of Starbucks coffee.

Airline Partnerships with Starbucks

  • Delta Air Lines: Delta serves Starbucks coffee on all of its flights. Passengers can enjoy complimentary Starbucks products alongside other in-flight beverage options.
  • Alaska Airlines: Alaska has also partnered with Starbucks to serve their coffee on board, emphasizing the importance of providing passengers with premium coffee options.

Types of Starbucks Beverages Offered

  • Hot Coffee: The most commonly offered Starbucks product on flights is hot brewed coffee, available in both regular and decaf options.
  • Espresso Beverages: Some airlines may offer a selection of Starbucks espresso-based drinks on select flights.

Limits and Restrictions

When bringing any Starbucks beverage onto an airplane, passengers must adhere to TSA liquid regulations. According to the TSA, liquids must be in 3.4-ounce containers or smaller and must fit in a single quart-sized, clear, resealable bag.

  • 3-1-1 Liquids Rule: If purchasing Starbucks coffee in the airport to take on the flight, it must be consumed or disposed of prior to reaching the TSA checkpoint due to the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
  • After Security: You can buy Starbucks products once past security and bring them onboard without a problem, as they are considered “secure” having been purchased within the secure zone.

Starbucks Rewards and Mobile Ordering

  • Passengers with Starbucks Rewards cannot earn points through in-flight purchases as transaction capabilities on board are different from regular stores.
  • Mobile ordering is not available once on board an aircraft due to limitations in internet connectivity and purchase logistics.

Environmental Sustainability

Starbucks is known for its commitment to environmental sustainability, which extends to their in-flight service. Airlines that offer Starbucks coffee often highlight their shared commitment to sustainability by using recyclable or compostable cups and reducing in-flight waste.

Starbucks on International Flights

While the focus here is on domestic flights, it’s relevant to note that certain U.S. airlines may extend their Starbucks offerings to international flights as well, thereby maintaining a consistent service for travelers on longer journeys.

For more information on TSA guidelines related to flying with liquids, and specifically bringing Starbucks on a plane, visit the TSA website.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
Enjoy your favorite drink onboard Liquid restrictions could prevent you from passing security with a full drink
Can be a comforting travel ritual Drinks can spill in a crowded plane environment
Potentially avoid airplane coffee May need to discard the drink if it’s not finished prior to landing in certain countries
Helps you stay hydrated during the flight Carrying the drink can be inconvenient when handling luggage
Saves money if airline charges for beverages Some airlines might have policies against outside food and drink

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides guidelines for the transportation of liquids, aerosols, and gels in carry-on baggage for the safety and security of all passengers. According to IATA regulations, passengers are allowed to carry liquids in containers of up to 100 milliliters (or equivalent in other volume measurements) in a transparent, resealable plastic bag with a total capacity of no more than 1 liter. These regulations apply to all international flights and are commonly referred to as the “Liquids Rule”.

  • Liquids must be in containers of 100 ml/3.4 ounces or less.
  • All containers must fit comfortably in one transparent, resealable plastic bag.
  • Each passenger is limited to one plastic bag, with a total capacity of 1 liter.
  • The plastic bag must be presented separately from other carry-on items for screening at airport security checkpoints.

For more detailed information, please refer to the IATA guidelines on the IATA website.

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with Starbucks or any other beverage, it’s crucial to be aware of the country-specific regulations that may affect your ability to bring these items on board. Each country may have its own set of rules regarding the importation of food and beverages, which can include Starbucks products. These regulations are in place to protect local agriculture, ecosystems, and economies from potential threats such as pests and diseases.

United Kingdom

The UK government provides specific guidelines for bringing food and drink into the country. For the latest information, visit the UK government website.


European Union countries have harmonized rules, but it’s always best to check the regulations for the specific country you are visiting. The EU’s official page here can provide more details.


Canada’s guidelines for bringing food and beverages can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website here.


The Australian government has strict biosecurity measures. Check the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website here for current regulations.

New Zealand

New Zealand also has stringent biosecurity laws. For information on what you can bring, visit the Ministry for Primary Industries’ website here.


Asian countries vary widely in their regulations. It’s advisable to check the official government website of the specific country you are visiting for the most accurate information.


Singapore has specific import regulations for food and beverages, which can be found on the Singapore Customs website here.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Starbucks

Many airlines have their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to flying with food and beverages, including Starbucks. Below is a list of 10 airlines and their specific regulations regarding flying with Starbucks products. Always check with the airline before traveling to ensure compliance with their latest policies.

American Airlines

  • Starbucks beverages must adhere to the TSA liquids rule for carry-on.
  • Visit American Airlines’ baggage policies here.

Delta Air Lines

  • Liquids purchased after security are allowed on board, including Starbucks.
  • For more information, check Delta’s policy here.

United Airlines

  • United permits beverages from Starbucks if they meet the TSA liquids rule.
  • United’s carry-on information can be found here.

Southwest Airlines

  • Starbucks drinks must be consumed or disposed of before boarding.
  • Southwest’s policy details are available here.

Air Canada

  • Starbucks beverages are subject to Air Canada’s liquid restrictions.
  • See Air Canada’s carry-on guidelines here.

British Airways

  • Liquids from Starbucks must comply with the UK’s security restrictions.
  • British Airways’ hand baggage rules can be found here.


  • Starbucks drinks must follow Lufthansa’s guidelines for liquids in hand luggage.
  • For specifics, visit Lufthansa’s baggage information here.


  • Qantas allows Starbucks beverages that meet Australian security regulations.
  • Carry-on baggage details for Qantas are available here.


  • Starbucks products must adhere to Emirates’ policy on liquids in carry-on bags.
  • Emirates’ baggage policy can be accessed here.

Singapore Airlines

  • Liquids, including Starbucks, must comply with Singapore Airlines’ carry-on rules.
  • Find more information on Singapore Airlines’ website here.

Packing Starbucks Items for Your Journey

Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or simply adore the merchandise and snacks from Starbucks, you may want to take some of these items with you while traveling. Understanding the proper way to pack Starbucks products in your luggage is essential to prevent any spills, damage, or issues with airport security. Below are some tips on how to secure your Starbucks goods for carry-on and hold luggage.

For Carry-On Luggage

Carry-on luggage is subject to strict regulations, especially for liquids and gels. When packing Starbucks items in your carry-on, consider the following:

  • Liquid Beverages: Starbucks drinks must adhere to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 liquids rule. Any liquid product needs to be under 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and fit in a single, clear, quart-sized bag.
  • Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee: Packets are an excellent alternative as they are not subject to liquid restrictions. Ensure they are sealed and placed in an accessible spot in case TSA officers need to inspect them.
  • Coffee Beans or Grounds: You can bring coffee beans or grounds, but keep the package sealed and away from clothes to avoid transferring the scent or any potential spills.
  • Merchandise: Travel mugs and other merch should be cushioned with clothing or bubble wrap to avoid breakage. Place these items in the center of your bag away from the zipper to reduce the risk of theft.
  • Snacks: Pre-packaged snacks from Starbucks can be carried on, but ensure they are sealed and packed away from items that can squash them.

taking starbucks through airport security

For Hold Luggage

When checking your Starbucks items, you have more flexibility, but you’ll still want to pack strategically:

  • Beverages: Larger quantities of beverages can be packed here, but seal them carefully. Use plastic wraps to prevent leaks and place them in leak-proof bags as an extra precaution.
  • Starbucks Syrups and Sauces: Make sure any bottles are tightly sealed and placed within plastic bags. It can be beneficial to wrap them in clothes or use bubble wrap to provide additional protection.
  • Whole Bean or Ground Coffee: As with carry-on, ensure that these are sealed. Consider using a hard container to protect the bags from punctures or squishing.
  • Mugs and Tumblers: Wrap each one individually and place them in the center of your suitcase surrounded by clothing to act as cushioning.
  • Bulkier Merchandise: Larger items are often better suited for hold luggage. Ensure they are secured and won’t shift during the journey.

Remember to check the weight of your hold luggage, as adding multiple Starbucks items can contribute to excess baggage fees. Also, review any customs regulations if you’re traveling internationally, as some countries have restrictions on bringing in food and agricultural products.

Travel-Friendly Snacks and Beverages

When preparing for a flight, consider packing a variety of portable, non-liquid snacks that can pass through airport security with ease. Energy bars, nuts, and dried fruits are nutritious options that can keep hunger at bay. For a more substantial meal, sandwiches or wraps with peanut butter or deli meats are convenient and satisfying. If you’re looking for a caffeine fix similar to Starbucks, single-serve instant coffee packets or tea bags are a great choice—just ask for hot water on the plane. Don’t forget to bring an empty water bottle to fill up post-security to stay hydrated throughout your journey.

FAQ’s About Can you Bring Starbucks on a Plane?

Traveling by air often comes with a myriad of rules and regulations, especially concerning what you can bring aboard. Many travelers look to bring their favorite beverages, such as Starbucks coffee, with them for their journey. In this section, we will address some common questions regarding the rules and guidelines for bringing Starbucks drinks on a plane.

Can you bring Starbucks through airport security?

No, you cannot bring Starbucks or any other liquid over 3.4 ounces through airport security due to the TSA’s liquids rule. If you must bring a Starbucks drink, you have to consume or dispose of it before the security checkpoint.

Are you able to buy Starbucks after passing through security?

Yes, once you pass through security, you can purchase Starbucks in the airport terminal and bring it onto your flight. Many airports have Starbucks locations in their departure areas.

Can you take hot Starbucks drinks on your flight?

Yes, you can take hot drinks, such as Starbucks coffee, on the plane if purchased after security. Just be cautious as hot liquids can spill and cause burns or discomfort to yourself and others.

Is it allowed to bring an empty Starbucks cup through TSA?

Yes, you can bring an empty Starbucks cup through TSA. You are allowed to fill it with water or another beverage once you’ve cleared security.

How can you dispose of Starbucks cups responsibly on a plane?

You should wait for flight attendants to collect trash or ask them directly on how to dispose of your Starbucks cup appropriately. Some airlines may have recycling programs.

Will Starbucks drinks be subject to additional screening?

Any Starbucks drink you purchase after security and bring to the gate can be subject to additional screening, but this is typically not common.

Are there any restrictions on the Starbucks drink size to bring on a plane?

There are no official restrictions on the size of a Starbucks drink you can bring aboard as long as it has been purchased beyond the security checkpoint.

Do international flights have different rules for Starbucks drinks?

It’s possible, as international rules can differ. Some international airlines have more stringent regulations concerning carry-on items, including food and beverages. Always check with your airline before traveling.

What should you do if you accidentally spill your Starbucks on the plane?

Inform a flight attendant immediately if you spill your drink. They can help with cleaning up and may provide you with materials to soak up the liquid.

Can bringing a Starbucks beverage on board interfere with in-flight service?

It’s not likely. However, during takeoff and landing, you’ll be required to secure your drink to prevent spills. Be mindful of the space and comfort of fellow passengers when bringing any beverages on board.

Packing It All Up

Bringing Starbucks on a plane is certainly possible, but it comes with specific restrictions that must be adhered to in order to pass through airport security without issue. It is permissible to bring Starbucks beverages aboard as a carry-on item, but they need to comply with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) liquids rule if you’re flying from within the United States. This rule allows travelers to carry liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item, housed in a single, quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Therefore, your Starbucks beverages must fit within these parameters if they are to pass through the TSA checkpoint.

Once past security, you can purchase Starbucks drinks to take on the plane without volume restrictions. However, keep in mind other consideration factors such as possible spills, courtesy to fellow passengers, and airline policies about consuming personal food and beverages on the flight. Additionally, when thinking about bringing Starbucks on international flights, you’ll need to be aware of specific regulations that may differ from country to country. Ultimately, planning ahead and understanding the rules that apply to both your departure airport and your arrival destination will ensure a smooth experience when deciding to fly with your favorite Starbucks coffee or tea in hand.