Can You Bring Fruit on a Plane?

There is a good chance that if you’re heading off on a flight, you may want to bring a snack with you to keep you refreshed for the duration of your journey. Of course, a natural snack to want to bring is fruit. However, you may have wondered if it’s actually ok to bring fruit on a plane. The general rule is, some fruits are more accepted than others, and in the same vein, some ways of preparing are more accepted than others.

Generally, hard fruits are acceptable, and if you plan to take something like a fruit salad containing liquid, if bought before security, you’ll need to make sure it is within 100ml and if bought after, that you keep it sealed in its packaging until you consume.

It is also worth looking at the rules applied to both your outbound and arrival destination. If you’re not planning to eat all the fruit you bring with you in your carry-on on your flight, you may need to declare this with customs upon arrival. Though, if you’re planning to eat this on the way, you should be fine.

Below, we’ve outlined what the rules are on fruit, and what you can and can’t bring as much as possible per area/country to help you make the best decision for your flight.

can you bring fruit on a plane

Why Wouldn’t You Be Allowed to Take Fruit in Carry-On Luggage?

As harmless as fruit may seem, the idea of just bringing a fruit snack for your flight may not be quite as straightforward, especially if the fruit you want to bring doesn’t fit with the recommendations.

They can attract pests. Soft fruits like mango, jackfruit or similar can attract pests. This is one of the reasons you’re unlikely to be able to take fruits like this on a plane – as they can fester in the overhead locker and can cause problems in the cabin. This can also introduce invasive pests from one country to another, which can cause significant problems with non-native species.

They can have a strong odor. Many fruits have a strong odor, such as durian or lychee and it can cause disruption to other passengers.

They can bruise and leak. Very overripe fruits can bruise and leak – this can cause problems for not just your luggage, but other people’s, especially if the bag that has your fruit in leaks in the overhead locker.

They can be classed as a liquid. If you try to carry fruit that is in a liquid or puree form, it will be seen as a liquid, and if this falls over 100ml, you will not be able to transport this on a plane, if bought before security.

So, Can I Bring Fruits on a Plane as Carry-On Luggage?

The answer to if you can bring fruits on a plane in your carry-on baggage will depend on the type of fruit and if it is deemed to be safe for travel or not. Below, we’ve outlined by area how the rules apply, and what kind of fruits are acceptable. It is important, if you plan to bring more fruit with you than you’ll eat on your flight, to check the customs rules for your destination to see if you’ll need to declare it.

USA – What Does the TSA Say About Fruit?

The TSA has special recommendations for fruit, and this is mostly down to the type of fruit you’ll be carrying, generally hard fruit that is not overripe should be fine to bring in your carry-on luggage – so fruits like apples, oranges, bananas etc. However, anything that is overripe, could bruise or break and leak is considered non acceptable.

If your fruit is very soft, or there is a chance it could leak, you may be less likely allowed with it if it is deemed possible to leak or cause problems on the flight. If you want to travel with something like a fruit salad which contains liquid, puree or liquidized fruit, it will be considered a liquid and will need to be under 100ml.

Generally, fruit is accepted in hand luggage if you are traveling within the United States, so long as it fits the above. If you are flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to mainland USA, you will not be able to bring fruits into the country.  

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables

The UK – What Are the UK Government’s Regulations Concerning Fruit in Hand Luggage?

The UK don’t pose any specific instructions on taking fruit on a plane with you when leaving the country. However, you will need to make sure that your hard fruit poses no risk of bruising and leaking and that any soft fruit is well packaged to avoid any leaking on the plane. If you are planning to bring liquidized fruit, a fruit salad containing liquid or puree with you, it will be classed as a liquid and will need to fit within 100ml.

If you are entering the UK from outside with fruit, you will need to follow the rules based on where you’re entering from. If you’re traveling from the EU back into the UK, you can bring fruit with you, with no real restrictions (though this is subject to change as Brexit laws come further into effect and is worth double checking before you fly). If you’re traveling from outside of the EU to the UK, you will be limited to 2kg of fruit per person, to enter the country and they must be free from pests or disease.

https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions

Europe – What Are the EU’s Guidelines Regarding Fruit?

Within the EU, you can take solid fruit in your hand luggage provided it is not overly ripe and poses no risk of breaking and causing problems on the plane. If you wish to bring liquid fruit, such as purees, they must be under 100ml. Each container must fit within your liquids bag, and you are only allowed one per passenger.

If you want to travel within the EU with solid fruit, you are allowed to bring as much as you like with you, provided it is for your own consumption, and so long as they are free from pests and disease.

If entering the EU from a non-EU country, you are allowed to bring a ‘limited amount’ (2kg) of fruit with you in your carry on baggage. This must be for personal consumption and must be free of disease and pests.

Australia – Does the ABF Have Laws About Fruit?

You will have no problem bringing dried fruit through airport security with you in Australia, however the rules aren’t quite as straight forward for other fruits.

You are required to make sure any food you bring with you in your carry-on baggage is put separately to your main bag for scanning at the airport.

However, you are generally restricted from bringing fresh fruit on a flight with you in Australia – if you do, make sure it is something small that you don’t mind giving up if needed to avoid the spread of invasive species and pests.

You will not be able to bring fruit into Australia with you from outside either, so make sure any fruit you do have is consumed before arrival.

New Zealand – What Are the CAA of New Zealand’s Rules About Fruit?

Generally, you can take a small amount of fruit for your personal consumption with you on a flight from New Zealand. However, this must not be overripe and must be free from pests and disease. Therefore, it’s advised to just take a small amount of hard fruit, such as apples, bananas or oranges with you – or alternatively buy at the airport once through security.

However, you cannot bring fruit into New Zealand as it can pose a biosecurity risk and you may be subject to a fine if you do not declare this properly and dispose of it in the correct way before entering the country.

can you take fruit with you on a plane

Canada – What Does the CBSA Say About Fruit?

In Canada, you are fine to travel with hard fruit such as apples, oranges and bananas in your hand luggage provided it isn’t bruised and likely to rupture or cause problems in the overhead locker. Anything that is a puree or liquidized will need to be within 100ml and fit into your liquids bag.

When traveling into Canada, you are generally able to bring most fruits into the country if entering from the continental United States. However, if traveling from outside of Canada, you are generally prohibited from bring fruit into the country.

https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/what-can-bring/item/fruits

The Rest of the World

As the rules vary so much from country to country, with some being stricter than others, it is a really good idea to make sure that you check the rules for the country you’re traveling from and to. You can do this usually by checking through your airline or the country’s immigration website.

What’s the Best Advice for Travelling on a Plane with Fruit?

Similar to other items like plants, if you want to bring fruit with you on a plane, you’ll need to first make sure that you’re allowed to from your country of departure. Using the above information is a great start, but if the fruit you’re planning to bring isn’t listed or obvious, you’ll need to check with your airline in more depth and with the customs or border force agency of that country.

Generally, it is advisable to travel with fruit that is harder (such as apples etc.) as they are less likely to cause any concern at security and be let through. If you do decide to travel with softer fruit, you do so at your own risk and there is a good chance you may have it taken away from you at the airport.

It is also important to remember that any fruit that is in more liquid form will be subject to the 100ml liquids rule and must fit inside your liquids bag. This will also include things like a fruit salad if it has a heavy liquids content.

You should also generally avoid any cut fruit or fruit packages that are not sealed up properly. If there is a chance that the fruit you want to bring with you could leak, you will be unlikely allowed to bring it with you.

Any fruits that have a strong odor, such as mango, jackfruit, durian, and lychee will likely be prohibited too, as this can cause upset to other passengers, and can be very strong smelling for the duration of the flight.

Generally, if you want to be allowed through security with fruit, you’re best trying to travel with hard fruit such as apples, oranges, and bananas. Though, to make things easier, we’d advise trying to buy your fruit at the airport if possible. As there are many rules surrounding bringing fruits into other countries that might be different from the country you’re traveling from, it is always advised to make sure you have eaten the fruit before disembarking the plane.

What Happens If Your Fruit Is Flagged by Airport Security?

It may seem a little over the top if your bag is flagged by security for the fruit you’re carrying – after all, it’s just a snack. However, there are many rules surrounding the transportation of fruit, not just for other passengers’ comfort, but also for the biosecurity risks that it can cause.

One of the main reasons your fruit is likely to cause your bag to be inspected is because it does not show up as a recognized object on the scanner. In this case, you’ll need to wait for the security officer to call you over and you may be asked to answer questions about the item if it is not obvious.

If flagged, and your fruit is bruised or there is a chance it may leak, you may be asked to dispose of it. If asked to get rid of your fruit, there is no point arguing with the security officer. They are just doing their job and are just trying to keep everyone at the airport safe.

The other reason it may be flagged is if it is a puree or in liquid form and you haven’t followed the 100ml rule, as per other liquids, and if it is not in your liquids bag. You will be asked to put it in for rescanning. If it doesn’t fit in your liquids bag, or if it is larger than 100ml, you will unfortunately be asked to dispose of it.

Because there is a chance that you could have your fruit removed, we would always advise, if possible, buying the fruit you want for your flight at the airport.

How to Pack Fruit in Your Luggage

If you’re wondering what the best way to carry fruit with you on a plane is, we’ve outlined the best way to transport it, both in your carry-on and in your checked luggage.

Packing Fruit in Carry-On Luggage

To take fruit with you in your carry-on baggage, you’ll want to look after it in a similar way to what you would with the rest of the food you’ll be taking with you. It is good to remember that if you take fruit (and other food) in a separate bag, this will count as one of your pieces of luggage, so make sure you have the allowance for this.

It is generally a good idea to keep fruit separate from your main belongings. If you have a side pouch in your backpack, this can be a great place to keep an apple, orange or similar. Likewise, if you have a backpack with a mesh section on the front, this can make a great place to store food.

If using a suitcase, try to find a pocket or an area you can keep your fruit that is as separate as it can be from your other belongings.

It’s important to remember that if you’re looking to bring fruit puree or similar with you that it will be classed as a liquid, so you should make sure these fit in your liquids bag before traveling, to avoid any problems at the airport. Generally, you’ll want to make sure the container says 100ml or less on it too.

Generally, you’ll be carrying fruit for just your flight and your own consumption, but if you are carrying more fruit and are going to still have this with you when you land at your destination, you’ll need to see what the country you’re arriving ins instructions and restrictions around fruit are.

Packing Fruit in Hold Luggage

It isn’t generally advised to pack fresh fruit in your hold luggage, this is because it can end up rupturing without you knowing about it and this could cause harm to your belongings. In many circumstances depending on what the fruit is, it could even ruin your personal items. It could even leak outside of your bag causing damage to other passengers’ items too.

However, if you do need to travel with fruit in your hold luggage, you’ll want to make sure that it is well packaged. You should wrap the fruit well, and if possible, keep it in an airtight container. Generally hard fruit that isn’t overly wet or juicy is better to travel with as there is less chance of any serious problems if it does become damaged.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many restrictions from country to country about whether you can take fruit on a plane and if you can, the types of fruit you can bring with you.

On the whole, harder fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas are easier to take on a plane in your carry-on than softer fruits. You’ll also find that fruits that are turned into pastes are classed as liquids, so it is important to keep in mind what you’re planning to bring before you travel.

If you want to bring fruit as a snack on a plane, we’d suggest it would usually be better to buy this once you’re through airport security, to avoid any potential issues where you are not allowed to travel with the fruit you’ve already bought.

If traveling with fruit that you’re not going to eat on the plane you will need to look at what the country you’re entering says about bringing fruits into the country – as this can differ from place to place and is to help ward off biosecurity threats from pests and invasive diseases.