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Traveling with ice packs and food... allowed for carry-on?

Traveling with ice packs and food... allowed for carry-on?

Old Oct 12, 18, 6:44 pm
  #1  
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Traveling with ice packs and food... allowed for carry-on?

Hi, I'm flying Southwest tomorrow for work and I am also on a diet, and trying to be really careful about how many calories I consume. Since I won't have a car and won't be near a grocery store or any place selling healthy food, I wanted to bring a little cooler with ice packs and some food items. Those items would include those sealed Sabra hummus and pretzel packs, maybe a couple frozen pupusas or egg&cheese sandwiches, a cup of Siggi yogurt, some slices of bread and some peanut butter. Would that stuff make it through? (I was going to bring iced coffee and almond milk but I forgot about the 3-1-1 rule and those would never make it.) My ice packs are frozen rock solid, which I read would make them acceptable, and I will put the personal-sized cooler inside my luggage.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 6:59 pm
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You are taking a risk with the ice packs. The worst you face is having to toss the ice.

How long do you really need it to remain cool? Given that WN doesn't fly EWR-SIN or LHR-PER, maybe just put it in a small cooler without the ice. Then add ice when you get to your destination.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 7:59 pm
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WHS. But FWIW, I've sent some of those cooler packs (the frozen-liquid kind you get when you get perishables shipped to you) frozen hard in an insulated bag as checked luggage and TSA didn't even inspect them.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:55 pm
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The other option is to buy dry ice (less than five pounds) to avoid a liquid issue. Bag must be allow gas release.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 11:26 pm
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TSA says they are allowed if they are frozen solid. But if they make me toss them, they were $4 each so that's fine.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 11:44 pm
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If the food will also be in your carry on, you’ll have problems with most of it as well. The peanut butter, hummus, yogurt are all subject to 3-1-1.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-.../peanut-butter
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...g/items/hummus
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...g/items/yogurt
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Old Oct 13, 18, 12:07 am
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
If the food will also be in your carry on, you’ll have problems with most of it as well. The peanut butter, hummus, yogurt are all subject to 3-1-1.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-.../peanut-butter
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...g/items/hummus
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...g/items/yogurt
Surprised they even have a site that is as clean and functional as this one.

Apparently, deer antlers are safe to carry on. Good to know.
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Old Oct 14, 18, 9:06 am
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Just to follow up, I did use the TSA website to check everything individually and my peanut butter, for instance, was 3 oz, and I knew the bread was allowed, etc. The ice packs were allowed as long as they were frozen. But then I realized that a) there was no reason for me to rush and not check my bag 2) to fit all the food in my bag, I was better off using a larger luggage. So, in the end, I checked the luggage.

Honestly, it worked out great. My ice packs were still frozen solid bricks when I landed and all the food was cold. I was scared about it leaking on my clothes, even though all the food and ice packs were in an insulated bag, but it didn't at all. In retrospect, I wish I had brought more stuff, like almond milk, but this worked out great and I will definitely do it for future flights. It's going to save me money on buying food here on my trip, and it's going to save me calories by giving me some handy healthy options in my room. Win-win!
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Old Oct 19, 18, 9:52 am
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One final update to this thread. I weighed myself when I got home and I still lost 1 pound, even while I was on my trip, thanks to my little stash of healthy snacks! That's great for two reasons: 1) I obviously stuck to my diet and still lost weight, which has been my goal. 2) I didn't gain any weight! That was my big fear on this trip, that I'd end up having to eat crap and I would set myself back.

The whole thing may seem silly, but I'm glad I did it. My diet aside, there also just wasn't any food around my hotel, and since I didn't rent a car, I would've been paying for expensive delivery or starving, so it ended up being a major convenience as well.
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Old Oct 21, 18, 8:59 am
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You can probably get some ice from one of the restaurants in the terminal. That's post-security so no issues loading up ice there.
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Old Oct 22, 18, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by MiniMuffin View Post
The whole thing may seem silly, but I'm glad I did it. My diet aside, there also just wasn't any food around my hotel, and since I didn't rent a car, I would've been paying for expensive delivery or starving, so it ended up being a major convenience as well.
For future reference, I've flown internationally with people who had multiple large coolers full of ice cores, and they had no problems with them as checked baggage or at customs ("sea ice").
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