Things You Should Never Eat On A Plane

Things You Should Never Eat on a Plane

With fewer airlines offering free inflight snacks (see the healthiest and unhealthiest free airline snacks), and airlines more likely to offer meal service that is more sketchy than stellar, it's understandable why you might want to BYOB-B (Bring Your Own Brown Bag). Before your become one of those passengers that everyone is posting about on social media, check out our list of things you should never, ever eat on a plane.

Smelly sandwiches

Sandwiches might seem like a satisfying meal to pack for a plane trip, but they are a feared feast inflight. The biggest culprits: tuna salad, egg salad, and bologna and cheese sandwiches like those made with odorous cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort, and Munster.

Other foods that stink

This should be obvious, but one passenger's aromatic food might be stomach-churning to another. Skeptical? There is a reason why so many people debate whether durian really smells (for the purposes of a plane flight, it smells). So, let us review the list of common foods that are commonly agreed to smelly in close quarters: chili, clam chowder, any seafood, garlic, hard boiled eggs, and salade niçoise (tuna, eggs, dressing...don't get us started). Other foods that smell big time (but are inexplicably ubiquitous at departure terminals): hotdogs, deep-fried anything, Ranch dressing, and yogurt.

Heartburn inducing foods

Traveling is touch enough on the body, don't make it harder. Skip heartburn-inducing foods like French fries, spicy foods, and carbonated drinks.

Exotic edibles

Buying souvenirs is a highlight for many travelers, but save them for later. Now is not the time to crack open a can of haggis. Leave the bizarre foods to Andrew Zimmern. And if you're tempted to grab a burrito to-go when coming back from Mexico or a delicious Indian curry departing from India, please don't. The smell will linger all the way home.

Foods that cause cravings

There's nothing worse than arriving hungry for a flight having not had time to pack snacks or to buy some only to find your seatmate shoving hot, crisp French fries in his or her mouth and then smell the remnants long after it is gone. Please don't be that person, and, if you must eat fast-food inflight, please eat it before takeoff, so the spectacle doesn't last past liftoff.

Noisy food

Crunch, crunch, CRUNCH! It's okay if you want to rip open a bag of snack-size chips and quickly eat them, but please, please, please don't engage in a flight-long crunch-a-thon. We can hear you through our earplugs and noise cancelling headphones. The same goes for crudité, noodles that you slurp, and bubbles that you keep incessantly popping with your bubble gum.

Food that won’t make it past customs

Innocuous foods like fruits and dried meats are a no-go. It's not that they're offensive (unless, of course, you are packing a durian), but that you won't be able to get through customs with them. Here's information from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on what you can and can't bring back to the U.S.

Messy Foods

With airline seats that are as small as 17 inches wide, and passengers jockeying for armrest space, there's no ruder way to mark your territory than with food. Indulging in Cheetos and Doritos on the comfort of your couch at home might be routine, but it's not classy in coach – especially when your hands get stained orange and you grab for the armrest – or worse, lick your fingers and then gently rest them on the armrest.          


We are not at a ballgame, so leave the peanuts (and PB&J sandwiches) at home. Not only will you spare us your peanut breath, but the folks with peanut allergies will thank you too.

Foods that cause gas

Passengers who pass gas are the worst. Prevent inflight flatulence by avoiding foods that cause gas like broccoli, beans, cabbage, and any drinks with bubbles like Champagne, soda, and sparkling water.