Airline passengers are told not to take their own food on flights as it can be 'mistaken for a suspicious item' at security

  • The new guidance has been issued by the Department for Transport in the UK
  • It says food items or powders 'should be packed in passengers' hold baggage'
  • Officials say food in carry-on bags can obstruct x-ray images at airport security
  • Rules will affect thousands of travellers who prefer to take own food on board

Airline passengers in the UK are being told not to take their own food on flights.

New guidance from the Department for Transport (DfT) says any food items or powders should be 'packed into hold baggage where possible'.

Transport officials say that storing food in carry-on bags can obstruct images on the x-ray machine or may be mistaken for suspicious items, leading to additional checks.

But they insist that passengers won't be stopped from travelling with food but those that do should 'allow extra time at security.'

The new rules will affect the thousands of UK airline passengers who prefer to take their own food when they fly to avoid paying the premiums charged by airport retailers or airlines.

British Airways is also among the legacy carriers which have recently stopped offering complimentary refreshments to economy passengers on some flights in a bid to compete with low-cost airlines.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: 'Time and time again, our investigations have found that passengers are being ripped off with inflated prices for a number of items at airports around the UK.

'If travellers are being advised not to take their food through security, airports should ensure that the price of food available to them after security is fairly priced.'

There are already rules banning travel with liquids, gels and pastes of more than 100 millilitres, sharp items and tools.

Large electrical items such as laptops or tablets can be taken into the cabin, but must be removed from hand luggage at the search area and placed in the tray.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: 'We have some of the strongest aviation security measures in the world, and the restrictions are in place for a good reason – to keep passengers safe.

'By simply checking the guidance before they set off for the airport, passengers can have a smoother and less stressful start to their journey.'

A DfT spokesman added: 'There is no ban on passengers taking food brought from home or purchased in airports on to their flights.'

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