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Pizza on the plane [moved from Chicago]

Has any one had any issues bringing a fresh pie home on the plane out of O'Hare lately? I'm just wondering if I can still get a pizza through security with out it being confiscated under the Patriot Act. LOL

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  1. I saw some people bringing Giordano's pies on a plane when I flew through O'Hare a few weeks ago. As long as the screener does not determine that your pie is some type of liquid you should be fine.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Annapolis07

      I would suggest having them ship the pies. All the places do it, Lou Malnati's having the most robust system. They send half-cooked on dry ice so you finish at home in the oven. Much better than shlepping thru airport and getting nasty looks from road warriors like me who don't really appreciate taking up overhead space with large sometimes greasy pizza boxes.

      Here is a link to Tastes of Chicago where you can get many of our local chicago foods shipped to you.


      Here's the link for Giordano's


      Finally, the link for Gino's East


      1. re: jbontario

        I'm just not a fan of frozen or or par baked pies. In the past I've just put my pie on the floor. It would be a little rude to stick it in the overhead on a full flight.
        I do agree though. Carrying it can be a pain but it sure is worth it when you get home.
        I guess I might just order one this afternoon and have a late night snack and Sunday breakfast of Giordanos.

        1. re: Docsknotinn

          Just in case you ever decide to try shipping, I've tried a gino's frozen par-baked and if you follow the directions exactly (I thawed first) it was very close to the fresh restaurant pie. either way enjoy.

          1. re: jbontario

            We keep several of these pizzas in our freezer at all times and they are wonderful.

    2. I think a lot depends on how you pack it. Carrying a big, wide, space-taking pizza box to stash in an overhead compartment is selfish and inconsiderate, and the pizza will warm. On the other hand, if you have cooled and cut the pizza into quarters and then frozen it so it comprises a frozen block, that can be easily wrapped up and transported, and should survive a flight in your checked luggage where it will be insulated by your clothes and other packed items.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        My nearby Lou Malnati's has a large freezer in the carry-out area, where you can buy already-frozen pizzas. You'd have to check but I would guess that their carry-out location in Park Ridge, close to O'Hare, also has them.

        1. re: nosh

          I'm in a hotel so freezing pizza slices would be a bit difficult. Not that I would wrap frozen pizza sices in my cloths any how. As I said earlier I used to put the boxes on the floor or just hold them. I guess I'm bit confused by the rude and inconsiderate comment. The airlines determine carry on size not I. Unless the box is actually over size I just don't see how it's inconsiderate.

        2. D

          Giordano's (jfood's favorite) used to make a Pop-a-Pizza which was about half baked. He used to bring 2 home every month from chicago (canadian bacon is his favorite). And yes they do fit under the seats of American Airlines (2 actually).

          Jfood has not tried since the new regs but would guess they are OK.

          Heading to the Windy City tomorrow for the night. Maybe a Giordanos is in the cards.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            The closest Giordano's location to O'Hare Airport is just north of the River Road exit from I-190, the main access road to O'Hare:

            9415 W. Higgins Rd.
            (847) 292-2600

            The closest Giordano's location to Midway Airport is a half mile south of the main terminal building:

            6314 S. Cicero Ave.
            (773) 585-6100

            Call ahead with your pizza order so you don't have to wait 30-45 minutes for them to bake it.

            I don't know if either of these locations will freeze your pizza for you; you'll have to check with them. I have not seen a freezer full of frozen pizzas at other Giordano's locations the way I have at my local Malnati's. If you ask them about pre-frozen pizzas, let us know what they say!

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like we will be spending another night thanks to Northworst.....errr I mean NW so it's a non issue. At least this time. They do have a mini UNO pizza in the airport. Not half bad in a pinch.

          2. I have brought pizzas on-board when traveling to bring to friends in other areas of the country. I never had a problem with the airlines or with fellow travelers. In fact, it usually ends up being a upbeat topic of conversation. I can't imagine why anyone would consider bringing pizza(s) on a plane rude or inconsiderate. You've paid for your ticket just as everyone else and you're entitled to bring whatever the airlines approve on-board. It'll be well worth it in the long-run.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wineaux

              Because everyone can smell it but you're not sharing?

            2. is there any way of getting pizza shipped to Canada..or is it impossible with cross-border regulations??

              1. Never mind the Patriot Act but pizza would smell up the entire plane. I would never even think of bringing pizza on a plane in consideration of other passengers. MacD's burgers also smell revolting in closed cabin space....

                4 Replies
                1. re: fauchon

                  Jfood has travelled forever and can remember the smell of horrible food, first prepared bythe airline and then brought on by passengers. Although it sounds very empathetic about the smells of food on a plane disturbing others, smells on planes have been around probably longer than people on these threads.

                  Some people cannot stand the smell of coffeee, others roast beef, others tuna fish or egg salad.

                  So although jfood agrees that some level of consideration should occur on an airplane over the last 40 years the airlines have turned most flights into cattle cars and greyhound busses.

                  Bring what you want, flying domestically is such a chore it is hard to get any lower.

                  This was written 20 minutes after American called jfood and told him that his flight this afternoon was cancelled and now he does not get dinner when he lands because he was re-booked hours later. Bad timing for this post.

                  1. re: jfood

                    I agree with Jfood. I have smelled a lot worse on planes than pizza. Put it under your seat and enjoy.

                    1. re: Annapolis07

                      I'm not taking sides on this issue. However, I will note that, if you're not going to eat the pizza while it's hot, you may as well buy it the day before and refrigerate or freeze it (or buy it frozen) before you take it on the plane. It will keep better that way, and you also won't have to worry about ingredients sliding over or sticking to the box when it gets jostled or placed at an odd angle en route. (It also renders the odor issue moot.)


                      1. re: Annapolis07

                        On our last flight most people had been waiting twelve hours to get on. There were much worse odors floating about than pizza. BTW there were at least a half dozen people eating pizza and McyD's on the plane.

                  2. I don't know about pizza but I can tell you that when I go back to New Jersey I always bring back here to Chigaoland several large pork rolls. I was even took them on board in my carry-on the day after the London problem. Pizza is not liquid so I don't think it would be a problem.

                    1. I couldn't take a salad through security at O'Hare a few months ago, so I don't know about pizza.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: odkaty

                        Folks, its just a given that Security is going to stop you with food, whether its liquid or not. Some are nice, some are egotistical despots who will declare baby formula a terrorist threat. If you're going to eat on the plane, its best to buy your food near your gate. And if you could eat it before you get on, that would really be nice. I've smelled the pizza/burgers/chinese on airplanes too and sometimes do find it annoying, especially if I am trying NOT to eat some of the food I smell but can't have. We can't ask people not to do it, but a little compassion would be nice.

                      2. When I fly Continental from Denver to Mexico there is a lay-over in Houston. I always get a little Uno's pizza for myself to eat on the plane and another for DH when he picks me up at the airport. I've never had a problem going through Mexican Customs and bringing "food" into the country. When DH makes this trip, he brings me Shipley's Devil's Food Filled Donuts.

                        1. Hope I am not too late, but I do it EVERY TIME I am in Chicago! Ask the pizzaria to cook it "half baked", take it home and immediatley put it in the freezer. The morning before your filght, take the pizza out of the box, wrap it in aluminium foil, or plastic wrap, and then several layers of newspaper. Place it back in the box and tape it shut. Repeat for as many pizzas as you have. Each in it's own original box.

                          Now you have your dilemma. Carry on or check? Personally I like to check them if I can, because the temp of the plane's cargo hold will keep them cold. Just put them in a large soft sided bag (check your local dollar store - they sell plaid bags that are a woven plastic-y material that will withstand a lot of abuse.) The cardboard box WILL protect your pizzas from destruction with the other suitcases, and you don't have to stink up the plane.

                          Or, if you only have 1 or 2, feel free to carry them on board. YOU WILL GET THROUGH SECURITY as I have been doing it 3-4 times a year for 5 years. I have never been hassled and they see it all the time. And, if you wrap it with my method your pizzas will still be frozen when you get home. I usually leave 2 hours early for my flight + 3 hour flight from ORD to RSW + 1.5 hours for luggage retrieval and drive home = 7.5 hours and my pizzas are still frozen.

                          I am jealous - try Salernos sausage and cheese.
                          Oh, keep them frozen until use, heat oven to 400-450 with a pizza stone and watch it carefully. It will only take about 8-10 minutes from frozen to perfection!

                          I also do the same freezing system with Zweigle's hot dogs from Rochester NY and you can imagine what those look like when x-rayed!!!!!!!

                          1. Ok, now that my post is complete...maybe you meant to eat it on board? See what I get for rushing?

                            If you are indeed taking them on board for the purpose of bringing the home with you, after they are frozen and wrapped they will not smell too much, unless the box has gotten greasy where some cheese might have slipped. You can ask the restaurant to give you a few extra 'clean' boxes for packing.

                            I would be left at the airport if my husband came to pick me up and I had not brought Chicago pizza to him!!!!!!

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: sparkalina

                              No I meant to bring home. The thread just got side tracked by the absurd comments about it being rude to bring a pizza on the plane. Funniest thing I've ever heard. I like your idea but this time I was travelling with just a carry on. I decided to mail order some pie and give it a try. I'm a little dissapointed that Giordanos doesn't offer anthing but cheese, veg or spinach frozen.

                              1. re: Docsknotinn

                                jfood flew through ORD yesterday after 4+ hour delay getting in on Sunday. Boy would he have liked a Giordano's.

                                Your point about the frozen. Did you try the Pop-a-Pizza (half baked)? Jfood back out again on Sunday and was thinking of having two sent to his office to take back tuesday night.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  I just orderd some Ginos east deep dish. Giordanos doesn't offer mail order with any meat. :(
                                  Try em out Jfood and lets us know how it goes. A layover has to be more pleasant with a few pies in tow!

                                  1. re: Docsknotinn

                                    just so jfood has the correct terminology.

                                    Is Ginos east a double-crust pizza with the cheese and goodies inside or is it a thick crist pizza?

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      I haven't had Ginos yet but I believe it's deep dish. On their website if you check Edwardo's that's stuffed. Unfortunatly I figured that out after I placed my order.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        It's a deep dish, cornmeal based crust. The sauce and filling (and more sauce come next and then all topped with cheese. Very good. Have 6 in the freezer right now.

                                    2. re: jfood

                                      Did you get the pie Jfoods? They worked out well for me.

                                      1. re: Docsknotinn

                                        glad it worked out D. Weather postponed trip. Going next mon-wed and have two pretty good reservaions for dinner. Jfood thinks the office is gettin somepies fro deal review though so all may not be lost.

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          Be glad you postponed. Hope you get some pies.

                                    3. re: Docsknotinn

                                      Oh, I wish you would have picked up a fresh pizza. I loved Giordanos when I lived in Chicago but I just ordered their frozen pizzas online a few months ago and I was not happy with the 'za....especially the spinach...Nasty!

                                      But I was able to order sausage - double check the website, it's a little crowded so maybe you missed it -- and those pizzas, although not great, were much, much better than the spinach.

                                      1. re: sebetti

                                        REDACT! I just realized that I ordered those Pizza's from Gino's East!
                                        Those were the nasty ones!
                                        I'm sorry Giordanos!
                                        (oh please oh mighty pizza gods, do not smote me!)

                                        1. re: sebetti

                                          My experience was the polar opposite of yours. My pizzas from Gino's East arrived well packaged. Last night we tried it for the first time. Incredibly good product. Their sauce is awesome. I personally like stuffed better than deep dish but I would highly recommend buying Gino's East from the links posted above. Their freight prices are very reasonable. I was not very open to the frozen pie concept. I have to admidt they are far better than I had expected.

                                          1. re: Docsknotinn

                                            The sausage was decent but I really, really disliked the spinach pies (which I love at the restaurant). I ordered three of the spinach and gave them two chances...and just tossed the third without even cooking it.

                                            1. re: sebetti

                                              Decent? Ok I guess for the most part we have very different tastes and opinions. The sausage pizza from Ginos East was incredible. The pepperoni was very good. We tried the spinach last night and while it was my least favorite no way was it bad enough to toss. Not even close. Next time I'm just ordering sausage.

                                              1. re: Docsknotinn

                                                When you compare it to that fresh pie that could have been sitting on the floor under the seat in front of you...yeah, just decent.

                                  2. Anybody had any luck with those plastic single slice containers when carrying pizza on planes? They seem pretty sturdy so you could store them in your check in luggage. Youd just need to buy enough to make it worth while. And unlike carrying a full box, cheese slippage should be a minimized by the single container restriction as well as the risk of having them toss it at security and offending the sensitive noses who have complaints.

                                    I have a situation where Im going away for business and I NEED to be able to walk off the plane and immediately present much beloved Giordanos pizza to my eager and waiting family who worship the stuff and will react with nearly teary eyed rejoicing and over the top carrying on... And Im sure half will be eaten in the car so frozen or special ordered wont cut it....