can you bring microwave popcorn on a plane

Can You Bring Microwave Popcorn on a Plane?

Thinking about what you would do in your long-duration flight? Have you considered watching a movie, though? It would definitely bring you to this obvious question, can you bring microwave popcorn on a plane?

I mean, who does not like eating popcorn while watching movies to enjoy their time? But is it allowed to do, even? 

Well, we will figure this out in this blog post.

Are you allowed to bring microwave popcorn on a plane?

Well, when it comes to food, we are often unaware of the regulations from the TSA or Transportation Security Administration. 

Knowing all these regulations can mitigate a lot of confusion from our end regarding what to carry and what not to carry on a trip.

If you think about popcorn then, it is a snack and TSA considers it as solid food. Now, let’s see what does TSA says regarding snack items.


According to this information, you are absolutely allowed to bring popcorn with your carry-on bag on your trip.

To Ashley’s question it was TSA’s reply on Twitter.

TSA Food Rules

Even though popcorn seems to be allowed by the TSA, there are a few points that you must keep in mind to follow all the rules of the TSA.

It may seem tempting to pick up a pack of microwavable popcorn at your favorite airport shop. But TSA regulations forbid food and drinks that are packaged in containers larger than 3.4 ounces from being brought onto an airplane.

Even if you plan to consume them during your flight, you need to purchase sealed snacks at airport concessions for an airline-friendly munching experience. 

If you do opt for microwave popcorn, seal it into a clear plastic bag before heading through security to avoid any confusion or embarrassment if the quantity is more. 

To stay safe and avoid any unpleasantries with TSA agents, always check the agency’s guidelines before packing your carry-on!

But if the weight doesn’t cross the mentioned limit, then you are good to go with a carry-on bag.

Why doesn’t every airline allow this?

Though there is no issue from the TSA, not every airline allows popcorn during the flight.

There are reasons why most airlines don’t allow you to bring your own food on board, and it’s not just because they’re greedy. There is plenty of logic behind it.

If left unchecked, foodborne pathogens can multiply quickly in the warm and moist environment found in a plane cabin. It’s also hard for flight attendants to monitor how each individual passenger is handling their meals. 

During times of turbulence, passengers may be tempted to remove their tray tables or use them as pillows. Then, some of those same trays can come loose during a rough landing, and hitting another passenger or falling into their laps during a meal isn’t great for anyone involved. 

Flight attendants need to be able to clear tables so that they can access all areas of an aircraft in case of an emergency. 

Airlines do have policies about keeping carry-on bags closed so that spillage stays contained if something does happen. And no one wants your microwave popcorn burning a hole through their luggage or someone else’s luggage! 

In short, cleanliness is essential!

What if they smell it when on board?

There’s no law against bringing solid food onto an airplane, and many of us do it at one time or another. 

Popcorn may smell while eating it. But it should not matter, as long as you aren’t deliberately making someone else feel uncomfortable or asking them to go through anything more complicated than eating something that smells, you should be fine.

How much weight is allowed in carry-on bags?

If you’re traveling by plane, chances are you’ll have to check at least one bag, especially if it contains liquids. 

But for those who are flying within North America, most airlines allow passengers to carry on one carry-on bag and one personal item, for instance, a purse or briefcase. 

To be sure of your airline’s policies, consult their website or call ahead. The weight limits per carry-on vary by the airline; Southwest allows 50 pounds per passenger, while other carriers may allow some more or less than it. 

Most importantly, don’t pack so much that your bag is too heavy to lift without assistance! And you must remember, you must pay extra fees when checking bags. It’s best to stick with luggage you can manage yourself.

What else should I know about bringing food on a plane?

If you want to be safe, avoid bringing open food containers onto planes, and make sure it’s transported in such a way that security officials can see what’s inside.

Passengers may bring up to two sealed packages of popped popcorn into the cabin. These must be declared to security officers at the checkpoint. It also is worth noting that some airlines prohibit foods like nuts, cookies, and candy from being stored in overhead bins. 

You can check with your airline ahead of time to determine whether these are permitted onboard. It’s best to travel with snacks you can munch on without making a mess, like granola bars and trail mix are convenient options since they’re sealed.

What happens if TSA finds a prohibited item in checked bag

If TSA finds something suspicious in your checked bag, you’ll be directed to a secondary inspection area for additional screening. 

If you brought prohibited items to security, you could face fines or criminal charges and possibly miss your flight. To avoid potential hassles, leave all food and beverages including unopened water bottles at home and place all other electronics in carry-on bags. 

All sharp objects, including knives and scissors, must go into checked baggage; any sharp objects that are discovered will be confiscated by TSA personnel.

What kind of food can I bring on a plane

Traveling with food is essential, especially when traveling long distances! 

While some airline companies have restrictions on bringing certain foods and drinks on board, they’re usually pretty lenient.

In general, you can pack your own snacks and meals, but there are a few restrictions that you should follow. For instance,

Taking food that does not create a mess

The safest snacks to bring include granola bars, nuts (in their shells), trail mix, crackers, or cookies without frosting or filling. 

Avoiding liquid food items in large quantity

Since liquids aren’t allowed in a large quantity in carry-on bags, avoid containers that tend to leak, like yogurt containers or soda cans. 

Avoiding food that may stink later

It might be tempting to pack chips, but since they can go stale quickly, it’s better not to risk it. Stay away from food items with strong odors like curry or cheese as well. 

Having all the foods sealed before bringing

Finally, make sure your food is properly sealed before you bring it on board; if there are any holes at all in your bag or its contents have broken open, don’t even think about packing it!

My thought regarding bringing popcorn on a plane

Packaged foods, like popcorn, are allowed through security and onto an airplane. However, there are some restrictions. Many airlines will allow you to bring one bag of food onboard for consumption during your flight. 

One bag is usually enough for one person for an entire trip, but if you’re sharing with someone else, you may want to bring two bags in case one doesn’t fill your stomach enough. 

When I asked a few people who travel frequently if they ever attempted to board an aircraft with packed lunch or snacks, many reported being stopped by airline personnel. 

It might seem strange that you can’t carry something on that never leaves your possession, for instance, books. When it comes down to safety concerns, things are much less flexible. 

If you do wish to travel with packaged foods and other real items, please check directly with your airline prior to making any assumptions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can you bring candy through TSA?

You can carry on solid food items either in a carry-on bag or in a checked bag. In that sense, you can definitely carry on candy with you.

Can I bring medicine on a plane?

You can bring unlimited amounts of solid medications on a plane, but for that, it needs to be screened at the security checkpoint.

Wrapping things up

So there you have the answer of can you bring microwave popcorn on a plane? 

To be honest, I don’t see any problem with bringing your own microwave popcorn onto a plane. Just make sure that it is in its original packaging. If they request that you take it out of its packaging, then put it into another container like ziplock when you are asked to. 

Once you are done with all the formalities, have a seat on the plane. Then start watching the movie to pass time and ENJOY!

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