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Brown bagging for Airline travel?

Because we're far from the airport, we'll be leaving our house at 7 am for an 11:40 flight. Rather than spend a bundle at the airport (who knows how much time we'd have anyway) or ditto to buy nothing worth eating from AA on the plane, I'd like to pack a simple lunch. One that won't spoil in so many hours, and will pass through security!
Any ideas --- beyond peanut butter and jelly--- for sandwiches and/or snacks that are quick to prepare at home and good to eat later? I need all the consolation I can get on a plane flight! Many thanks for any brainwaves.

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  1. I like to bring things I can graze on rather than a whole meal so I bring things like pasta salad, cured meats, cheese that I either chunk of slice before hand, nuts and pretzels. All travel well and you can snack while you read.

    1. Instead of sandwiches use small dinner buns and make mini sandwiches. Make your own trio (honey ham, turkey,corned beef) with some kind of cheese like gouda or whatever. Have your veggies in a separate container. There's even some plastic containers that have a small compartment on the lid for dressings or dip. Finger foods are good in ziploc bags. Have something chewy like licorice for the kids (or yourself) when you are ascending and descending. The chewing action helps relieve the tension in your ears. If you want something fruity, bring dried fruits like raisins and craisins. I like to make my own trailmix with nuts and dried fruit. I think there's a thread about bringing pizza on the plane... not sure how that works lol. I did however bring a Mcmuffin on board. The smell wafted to another row where a guy asked if they were serving breakfast. He was really disappointed when the stewardess laughed and said no.

      1. You have to be really careful about what you try to take through security these days. And what will be allowed by one security person might not be allowed by another. Friends of mine recently had sandwiches confiscated because the security person didn't know what was in them and was unwilling to take their word for it. And salad dressing or veggie dips would have to fall within the 3 ounce limit and be in your 1-quart carry-on in the sealable plastic bag you use for toothpaste and stuff like that. To be certain you'll get on board with what you bring, stick with things like trail mix, pretzels, cheese, nuts, crackers, dried fruits, cookies, protein bars--things that can't possibly be considered gel or liquid or to contain a gel-like substance.

        9 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          That shouldn't happen. If you're questioned, ask to see the rule or regulation that applies *in writing*. Not knowing what's in something is not a legitimate reason for confiscating something that is not otherwise suspicious. What do you want to bet the guy just wanted the sandwiches?

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            What do you want to bet if you give the Security people a hard time that they'll make you get off the line and will go through everyrthing ...Twice.
            Unfortunately, they don't need a reason. They hold all the marbles.
            I agree with JoanN's idea.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              That rings so true. One time we were going from Can to by car and because the oranges didn't have stickers.. he said we could not bring a small bag of oranges into the States. So I aske if we could eat them. They said sure so we gorged ourselves with the juicy oranges while the guards just stared at us blankly.

              1. re: sleepycat

                sleepycat: Assuming you're trying to say that you were coming into the US from Canada, that has nothing to do with TSA regulations; it's about border regulations. You are not allowed to bring produce not grown in Canada into the US. http://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.c...

                1. re: irishnyc

                  Which is kind of ridiculous, considering most citrus fruit in Canada is from Florida or California originally.

                  1. re: KevinB

                    I know.. we did point this out to the guard. We only have igloos here.. There aren't any orange trees.

                    That's why we ate the oranges on the spot.

                    1. re: sleepycat

                      Well no, it's not all that ridiculous. The US has a very large citrus industry. We don't want anymore imported fruits than we already have, both for economical reasons, and for contamination reasons.

            2. re: JoanN

              it really is a crapshoot. i habitually bring cottage cheese and/or yogurt on board in my own container [i.e. not in the one it came in], and each serving is 4-6 ounces - obviously over the 3-ounce limit - yet and they've never taken it from me...but my mother had an unopened container of yogurt confiscated.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                agreed. You never know what they are going to take.

            3. First and foremost, PLEASE be considerate of your fellow passengers and don't bring anything that is remotely smelly. No matter how nice it may smell to you it is torture to those around you who have no way to escape, and the smell can linger in the enclosed space for ages.

              Having said that, I find that something like a cheese sandwich works well, particularly cheddar, havarti, muenster, things like that. It will taste even better for having had time to warm to room temperature. Another option is to freeze sandwich-sized portions of roast beef or turkey in plastic wrap. By the time you're ready to eat them they should have defrosted and will still be fresh. Pack them separately from the bread, and assemble the sandwich just before eating so it doesn't get soggy. Grab a few single-serving packs of mayo or mustard from a local deli and you're good to go. Just remember to put the condiments in that 1-quart baggie when going through security.

              4 Replies
              1. re: BobB

                Not sure if this is acceptable. I sometimes bring cold KFC. Or slices of meat from smoked turkey drumstick. They keep me full and taste great cold.

                1. re: caitlink

                  Cold is fine, it won't smell much.

                2. re: BobB

                  That would be the same as perfume and colognes, etc.

                  1. re: BobB

                    To go along with what BobB suggested, I wholeheartedly agree with keeping any "smelly" food in mind. Frozen portions of food are also good to keep the food nice and cold in transit from your home to the time you eat it- can't be too careful with proper food temperatures!

                    Also, you can also always pick up condiment packets at a food court/take out place once you get past security, and that doesn't have to go in your 1-qt liquids bag. Just an idea, coming from my own experiences of packing the bag too full of toiletries to be able to pack anything else :o)

                  2. I don't care for schlepping prepared food around before a flight. But I often cart apples, string cheese and/or granola bars in a carry on bag. Also, small packages of almonds might be nice. And I think I've carried chocolate and hard boiled eggs as well. You can easily buy a bottle of water or a cup of coffee after going through security, to supplement your snack.

                    I hate airport food too! And refuse to buy anything from AA.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sueatmo

                      With all due respect, to me hard boiled eggs would be a huge offender if someone near me was eating them. They stink to high heaven.