Food Items Allowed in Emirates Flight (Emirates Food Policy Guide 2024)

Food Items Allowed in Emirates Flight (Emirates Food Policy Guide 2024)

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Let’s Imagine you’re packing for an exciting trip on an Emirates flight. You think about bringing your favorite snacks or a homemade sandwich but aren’t sure if it’s allowed.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this!

Calm down meme

Many of us have been there, trying to figure out what food we can take on board.

In this post, we’ll guide you through the do’s and don’ts of in-flight food for Emirates.

We’ll share easy-to-understand information about what you can pack in your bag, ensuring you won’t face any surprises at the airport.

Are foods even allowed on Emirates Flight?

The simple answer is yes, but let’s dig a bit deeper into this topic to understand the specifics and nuances.

Emirates does allow passengers to bring their own food on the flight.

This flexibility is a relief, especially for those who have specific dietary needs or preferences that might not align with the in-flight menu options.

As someone who often travels for work, I’ve found this policy incredibly helpful. It allows for a personal touch to your dining experience, high above the clouds.

However, it’s not as straightforward as packing your entire pantry.

While Emirates is accommodating, there are guidelines and restrictions to consider. This is why we have policies like the laptop policies and certain restrictions on checked baggage.

The primary concern for caution on food is safety and convenience, both for you and your fellow passengers.

Think about it – you wouldn’t want to open your meal only to find that it’s not suitable for eating at 35,000 feet, right?

Food items that are non-liquid and emit minimal odor are generally acceptable to some extent.

This includes items like sandwiches, fruits, or dry snacks.

These kinds of foods are not only convenient to carry but also less likely to cause inconvenience to others. Remember, you’re in a shared space, and being considerate of others around you is key.

Another aspect to consider is the duration of your flight.

For long-haul flights, you might want to pack something that stays fresh.

Emirates offers refrigeration for special dietary meals, but this service might not be available for your personal food items.

So, choosing food that maintains its quality without refrigeration is a smart move.

Lastly, while Emirates is generous with its food policy, it’s important to take note of the little details which we’d share in the next section.

Food Items Allowed — Understanding Emirates’ Food Policy

As we said earlier, like most airlines, Emirates allows passengers to bring their own food on board.

However, there are some limitations and guidelines to keep in mind.

Snacks and Light Bites

Snacks are the simplest category. You can pack most dry snacks without any issues. This includes items like:

  • Chips and pretzels
  • Energy bars and granola bars
  • Cookies and biscuits
  • Nuts and dried fruits

I remember once packing a small bag of mixed nuts and dried apricots for my flight to Dubai.

It was a lifesaver during those moments when I felt a little peckish but didn’t want a full meal.

Sandwiches and Hearty Meals

Bringing a sandwich or a more substantial meal is also an option. However, there are a few things to remember.

It’s best to avoid strong-smelling foods – think garlic or strong cheeses – as they can be quite overpowering in the enclosed cabin space.

Simple sandwiches, salads, or cold pasta dishes are great choices.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally fine, but remember that they need to be consumed on the flight.

Carrying vegetables in emirates flight

Due to international regulations, you may not be able to bring these items into your destination country.

On a flight to London, I had to eat my apple before landing because of these restrictions.

Beverages: What’s Allowed?

When it comes to drinks, the rules are a bit stricter.

You cannot bring your own alcoholic beverages to consume on the flight.

As for other drinks, you can bring sealed, non-alcoholic beverages in your carry-on, but they must comply with the liquid restrictions set by airport security (usually 100ml per container).

I often bring a small bottle of water, which I refill in the airport lounge.

Special Dietary Needs

For those with special dietary needs, Emirates is quite accommodating.

If you have dietary restrictions, you can request special meals in advance. This includes vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and halal options, among others.

Are there foods that are strictly prohibited?

Now that we’ve covered what you can bring, let’s talk about the no-no’s – the foods that are strictly off-limits on Emirates flights.

This is important because, trust me, nobody wants to be that person who gets their snacks confiscated at security or, worse, causes discomfort to fellow passengers.

1. Strong-Smelling Foods:

First and foremost, strong-smelling foods are a big no. Think along the lines of fish, strong cheeses, and foods with intense spices.

I remember a fellow passenger once opened a container of garlic-heavy food, and the entire cabin was filled with the aroma.

It was not pleasant for those around them. So, as a courtesy to others, steer clear of anything that might invade your neighbor’s personal air space.

2. Alcoholic Beverages:

While Emirates serves alcohol on board, bringing your own is not permitted.

You might think sneaking in a mini bottle of wine sounds like a fun idea, but it’s actually against the rules.

Plus, the cabin crew is trained to serve alcohol responsibly, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for everyone.

3. Liquids and Gels Over 100ml:

This rule is more about airport security than the airline’s policy.

Any liquids, which include soups, creams, and gels, must adhere to the standard international airport security limit of 100ml per container.

So, if you’re thinking of bringing a hearty soup for your flight, you might need to reconsider.

4. Foods Requiring Refrigeration:

Perishable foods that require refrigeration are risky.

Without proper temperature control, they can spoil and pose a health hazard.

It’s best to avoid items like raw meat, certain dairy products, and anything else that might spoil over the course of your journey.

5. Foods with Seeds or Pips:

This might sound odd, but some countries have strict agricultural laws against importing seeds and pips.

So, if you’re bringing fruits, like apples or oranges, make sure they’re seedless or consumed before landing.

Tips for Packing Your In-Flight Meal

1. Choose Non-Messy, Easy-to-Eat Foods:

First and foremost, think about the practicality of eating in a confined space.

You don’t have a lot of room in those airplane seats, and juggling a complicated meal can be more frustrating than it’s worth.

Opt for foods that are easy to handle and won’t make a mess. Sandwiches, wraps, whole fruits (like apples or bananas), and dry snacks are excellent choices.

On my last flight to Singapore, I packed a turkey and cheese sandwich, which was both filling and hassle-free.

2. Mind the Aromas:

Remember, you’re in a shared space.

Foods with strong odors can be unpleasant for those around you. Items like hard-boiled eggs, fish, or strong cheeses might not be the best choice.

Instead, opt for foods with neutral smells.

A simple pasta salad or a chicken wrap can be just as satisfying without overwhelming your fellow passengers with their aroma.

3. Consider the Duration of Your Flight:

For longer flights, you’ll want to pack something that can stay fresh.

Non-perishable snacks like nuts, trail mix, or energy bars are ideal for these situations.

If you prefer something more substantial, consider foods that are safe to eat at room temperature. I usually pack a small bag of trail mix and a piece of fruit for my longer trips.

4. Packing and Storage:

How you pack your food is as important as what you pack.

Use leak-proof containers to avoid any spills.

If you’re bringing something that needs to be kept cool, like a sandwich with mayonnaise, consider using an insulated bag with a small ice pack.

It’s also a good idea to pack a small reusable bag for any trash or leftovers.

5. Be Mindful of Dietary Restrictions and Allergies:

If you have specific dietary needs or allergies, make sure your in-flight meal adheres to these. It’s one less thing to worry about when you’re thousands of feet in the air.

For instance, as someone who is lactose intolerant, I always make sure my meals are dairy-free.


Bringing your own food on an Emirates flight is not only allowed but can also make your flying experience much more enjoyable. Whether it’s a light snack or a substantial meal, the right food choices can add a touch of personal comfort to your journey. Remember to respect the rules and fellow passengers, and you’ll be all set for a pleasant flight.

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