Can You Bring a Pie on a Plane

Can You Bring a Pie on a Plane: Navigating Air Travel with Delicious Desserts

Air travel comes with its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to carrying items on board. While most passengers are familiar with restrictions on liquids and sharp objects, there’s often confusion surrounding food items. If you’ve ever wondered whether you can bring a pie on a plane, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explore the guidelines and best practices for traveling with pies and other baked goods, ensuring that your delicious desserts can safely accompany you on your journey.

The Basics of Bringing Food on a Plane

Before delving into the specifics of pies, it’s essential to understand the fundamental principles of carrying food on an airplane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States, as well as equivalent agencies in other countries, sets guidelines to ensure the safety and security of all passengers.

1. Liquids and Gels

One of the primary rules to remember when carrying food items, including pies, is the restriction on liquids and gels. These items are subject to the famous “3-1-1” rule in the United States, which means:

  • 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) per container: Liquids and gels must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less. This includes common items like sauces, salad dressings, or jams you might want to accompany your pie.
  • 1 quart-sized, clear, resealable plastic bag: All the containers must fit into a single quart-sized bag. Each passenger is allowed to carry one such bag. The bag must be easily accessible for security screening.
  • 1 bag per passenger: Each passenger is permitted to carry one quart-sized bag containing their liquid and gel items. This bag should be placed in a separate bin during security screening.
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Pies, fortunately, do not fall into the category of liquids or gels, so they are not subject to these restrictions. However, if you plan to bring any accompanying sauces or toppings, ensure they comply with the 3-1-1 rule.

2. Sharp Objects

While not specific to pies, it’s essential to mention that sharp objects like knives and pie cutters must be packed in checked baggage. These items are generally not allowed in your carry-on luggage for security reasons. If you need a knife to serve your pie at your destination, it’s best to purchase one upon arrival or ask for one from the airline’s cabin crew.

3. Food Inspection

Security personnel may inspect your food items, including pies, during the screening process. Be prepared for this possibility, and ensure that your pies are easily accessible for inspection. It’s a good practice to inform the security officers if you have any food items in your carry-on bag.

Pies on a Plane: The Details

Now that we’ve covered the basics of bringing food on a plane, let’s focus on pies specifically. Pies, with their flaky crusts and delicious fillings, are a beloved treat for many travelers. The good news is that you can indeed bring a pie on a plane, but there are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Pie Packaging

To ensure your pie remains intact and fresh during your journey, proper packaging is crucial. Here are some tips:

  • Use a sturdy, airtight container: Invest in a container designed for pies or similar baked goods. These containers are typically available in various sizes and shapes, ensuring a snug fit for your pie.
  • Wrap the pie: Even when using a dedicated pie container, it’s a good idea to wrap the pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent spillage or damage to the crust.
  • Secure the container: Make sure the pie container is securely closed and sealed. You don’t want any surprises when you open your carry-on bag after the flight.
  • Labeling: Consider labeling your pie with your name and contact information in case it gets separated from your luggage or you accidentally leave it behind.

2. Carry-On or Checked Baggage?

While pies are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage, the choice often comes down to personal preference and practicality. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Carry-on baggage: If you plan to enjoy your pie during the flight or shortly after landing, packing it in your carry-on bag is a convenient option. Just be sure it fits within the airline’s size restrictions for carry-on items and that it’s easily accessible for security inspection.
  • Checked baggage: If you have a delicate or elaborate pie that you’re concerned about during the hustle and bustle of airport security and boarding, placing it in your checked baggage may be a safer option. Keep in mind that the pie container should be sturdy enough to withstand handling by baggage personnel.
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3. Temperature Considerations

The question of temperature is vital when it comes to pies, especially if you’re traveling to a warm destination. Pies with perishable fillings like custard, cream, or fruit may be susceptible to spoilage if not kept at the right temperature.

  • Cold pies: If you’re carrying a cold pie, like a cheesecake or cream pie, consider packing it with gel ice packs to keep it cool. Make sure the ice packs are frozen solid when you go through security, as the TSA may not allow partially frozen items.
  • Warm pies: Warm pies, such as fruit pies or quiches, can be transported at room temperature for a few hours without any issue. However, if your journey is lengthy, it’s best to consume or refrigerate them as soon as possible to prevent spoilage.

4. Security Screening

When you arrive at the airport, you’ll need to pass through security screening. Here’s how to navigate this process smoothly:

  • Prepare for inspection: Keep your pie container easily accessible in your carry-on bag. Security personnel may need to inspect it, so being ready can help expedite the process.
  • Be patient: Understand that the security screening process may take a bit longer if you’re carrying food items. Remain patient and cooperative with security personnel.
  • Communication: If you have any concerns or questions about bringing your pie through security, don’t hesitate to ask the security officers for guidance. They are there to assist you and ensure everyone’s safety.

International Travel Considerations

When traveling internationally, especially if you’re crossing international borders with a pie, there are some additional factors to consider:

1. Customs Regulations

Each country has its own customs regulations regarding food items, including pies. Some countries have strict rules about importing agricultural products, which can include baked goods. Before packing a pie for international travel, research the customs regulations of your destination country to ensure compliance.

2. Language Barrier

If you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s a good idea to have information about your pie and its ingredients written in the local language. This can help you communicate with customs officers if necessary.

3. Duration of Travel

Consider the length of your journey when bringing pies on international flights. Long-haul flights and extended layovers may require additional precautions to ensure the pie’s freshness and safety.

People Also Ask

1. Can I bring a homemade pie on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a homemade pie on a plane. However, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure it passes through security without any issues.

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2. Are there restrictions on the size of the pie I can bring on a plane?

Generally, there are no specific size restrictions for bringing a pie on a plane. However, it’s essential to ensure that your pie fits within your carry-on luggage or personal item and doesn’t exceed the airline’s size limitations.

3. Can I bring a store-bought pie in my carry-on bag?

Yes, you can bring a store-bought pie in your carry-on bag. Store-bought pies are typically not subject to the same restrictions as homemade items.

4. Do I need to declare a pie at airport security?

In most cases, you do not need to declare a pie at airport security. Pies are considered a non-liquid, non-gel food item and do not need to be separately declared.

5. Can I bring a pie in my checked luggage?

Yes, you can bring a pie in your checked luggage. It’s generally recommended to pack it securely to prevent any damage during the flight.

6. Are there any restrictions on the type of pie I can bring on a plane?

There are typically no restrictions on the type of pie you can bring on a plane. Both sweet and savory pies are allowed.

7. Do I need to remove the pie from its container at security screening?

In most cases, you do not need to remove the pie from its container during security screening. However, security officers may ask you to do so if they need a closer inspection.

8. Can I bring a pie with liquid or gel fillings on a plane?

Pies with liquid or gel fillings, such as custard or fruit pies, are generally allowed on planes. Just ensure they are well-sealed to prevent any spills.

9. Can I bring a frozen pie on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a frozen pie on a plane. Frozen pies are subject to the same rules as regular pies, and they may help keep other items in your luggage cold during the flight.

10. Are there any specific rules for bringing pies on international flights?

The rules for bringing pies on international flights are similar to domestic flights. However, it’s essential to be aware of any specific regulations or restrictions imposed by the country you are traveling to, as they may vary. Always check with the airline and customs authorities for the latest information.


In conclusion, you can absolutely bring a pie on a plane, but it’s essential to be mindful of the rules and best practices to ensure a smooth and delicious journey. Proper packaging, temperature considerations, and compliance with security regulations are key to successfully transporting your favorite pies