You’re excitedly packing for a trip and thinking of taking peanut butter and bread for a quick snack. But then, you stop and wonder – ‘Can you bring peanut butter on a plane?’
As surprising as it may sound, the TSA considers peanut butter to be a liquid. Whether it is creamy, chunky, or regular – you can’t take more than 3.4 oz into the cabin in any one container.
The Quick Answer: Can I bring peanut butter on a plane? Yes, you can bring peanut butter on a plane. However, considered a liquid by the TSA, you can only carry this within 3.4 oz (100ml) in your carry-on. On the other hand, you can get an unlimited quantity of peanut butter in your checked baggage.
Let’s look at how you can get peanut butter on a plane.
Can You Take Peanut Butter Through Airport Security?
Unfortunately, TSA considers peanut butter a liquid and applies the 3-1-1 rule. Therefore, the rule prohibits bringing peanut butter in a container larger than 3.4 oz.
The TSA is quite specific: if you can spill, spray, spread, pump, smear, or squeeze it, then it’s a liquid as far as they are concerned.
Instead of bringing a full jar onboard, consider scooping some peanut butter into any small container of about 3.4 oz/100ml capacity and packing this in your carry-on. The container must fit into a zip-top or quart-sized bag.
The other alternative is to pre-make peanut butter sandwiches which would be allowed through the security checkpoint.
It’s best to unclutter and organize your carry-on bag since TSA officers might ask you to separate items like powders, foods, or materials that could obstruct clear images in their X-ray screening process.
Can You Pack Peanut Butter in Checked Bags?
The good news for peanut butter lovers is that there are no restrictions on packing peanut butter in checked bags.
The TSA doesn’t specify any limits for the quantity of peanut butter you can get in your checked luggage. So if you’re traveling with a big jar of it, consider packing it in one of your checked bags.
Can You Take Peanut Butter on an International Flight?
Since the TSA rules apply to all travel to and from the US, you can still bring peanut butter in a container with a 3.4 oz capacity in your carry-on and unlimited in your checked bags.
If you’re packing a lot of peanut butter for your travel, you might have to check your destination’s customs restrictions on their website.
Most foreign countries permit peanut butter in checked bags. However, some places require it to be unopened and in its original packaging.
Although, if you wanted to get a small amount of it for a snack during your flight, you’re good to go.
Even if you are permitted to take peanut butter into the country, you may still have to declare it on your customs entry form. If you do not, you can be fined quite heavily. Australia is notorious for this.
Can You Bring Peanut Butter on an International Flight to the USA?
If you’re traveling from a foreign country to the US, you may bring commercially packed peanut butter jars.
Although TSA permits peanut butter within 3.4 oz in carry-ons and unlimited amounts in checked bags, you must declare all foods in your bags to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). An officer might even ask to inspect them.
There are routine random screenings by the CBP for passengers at arrivals; failing to declare food items could lead to steep penalties.
Can You Bring Peanut Butter in Powdered Form on a Plane?
Peanut butter in powder form of more than 12 oz (350ml) might have to be inspected separately at airport security.
If you have more than 12 oz (350ml) of peanut butter in powdered form, it’s best to pack it inside your checked luggage. TSA officers could ask you to separate any powders, foods, or other materials during the screening process.
Can You Eat Peanut Butter on a Plane?
If you managed to get your small peanut butter container through airport security, eating it on a plane is alright.
However, since peanut allergy is more common and could get life-threatening, some airlines might request you avoid consuming peanut butter on your plane journey.
Can I bring a peanut butter sandwich on a plane?
There are small 1.5 oz packs of peanut butter you can pack in your carry-on.
You can take a peanut butter sandwich with you. As long as it isn’t overly soggy, you’ll be able to get it through airport security and into the cabin. Take it up a notch with PB & J sandwiches that you can take in carry-ons without special packaging or quantity limitations.
Similar to peanut butter (or PBJ) sandwiches, TSA also permits peanut butter crackers and even peanut butter cups in carry-ons without any restrictions.
Peanuts make an excellent snack. You can bring as much as you want on a plane in carry-on and checked luggage. Airlines discontinued serving peanuts on flights due to peanut allergies being more common.
Taking any food containing nuts onboard
One thing to bear in mind, if you bring food or snacks on a flight that contains nuts, including peanut butter, there might be someone on the aircraft with a serious nut allergy.
If that is the case the crew will probably make an announcement before you take off telling you that such a person is on board and asking you not to open any food item that contains nuts.
This has happened a number of times when I have been on a flight and typically they were pretty much the only time that I have actually had some snacks with me that contained nuts.
As much as most of us love peanut butter and would like to take it on our travel, only 3.4 oz of it can come with us as cabin baggage. Anything more than that will have to wait to be devoured in checked bags.
Peanut butter sandwiches (or even PBJs) and large packs of Reese’s peanut butter cups are a better alternative for your snacking desires onboard.
Other Airport Security Articles
Read into some of these other articles on airport security on my site to know what you can fly with and what you can’t bring along: