Food to avoid at the airport

With limited food options at airports around the globe, we know there’s nothing more taxing on a diet than traveling. Vegetarians? Your chances of finding fresh vegetables or veggie-based proteins will be slim. On the keto diet? Low-carb options are few and far between. 

Meanwhile, airports remain a hotspot for indulgence with greasy snacks and sugar-filled desserts around every corner. Although it may be tempting to purchase something unhealthy for the sake of convenience, your stomach may strike its revenge at the worst time possible – in the middle of a five-hour flight with only two bathrooms for all 100+ passengers!

As certain foods can cause bloating, sugar crashing, or even nausea, we encourage you to stay away from vacation-mode eating for just a little bit longer! Here’s everything you should (and shouldn’t) eat as you make your way to your next destination.

Food to Avoid When Flying


Food to avoid at the airport

We know…we’re starting with a BIG one. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a cheesy slice of pizza? However, pizzas are typically kept under warming lamps until the entire pie is gone. So, you’ll have no way of knowing how long your slice of pizza has been sitting out in incorrect temperatures.

Deli Sandwiches

Deli sandwiches are one of the easiest food items to grab at the airport. But as you’re scarfing down that ham and cheese, you could be consuming days-old food. And if said food hasn’t been stored at the correct temperature, you’ll be spending your vacation in the bathroom instead of on the beach.

Fruits & Vegetables

Food to avoid at the airport

No pizza, no sandwiches, and now no fruits or vegetables? What are we thinking?! Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables are risky items to consume at an airport. Raw produce has a high risk of carrying bacteria, so we suggest opting for cooked items instead.


This might be the first un-surprising item on our list. With so much potential for consuming raw fish that has been stored at an incorrect temperature, the reward of a delicious roll is certainly not worth the risk of immediate stomach sickness. Trust us, this is one food to avoid at the airport at all costs.


Pizza, burgers…it just keeps getting worse! But red meat is one food group to seriously consider avoiding at the airport. If your burger is even the slightest bit undercooked, you’ll be hoping you snagged an aisle seat on the plane if you know what we mean… This isn’t to say you should avoid all meats at the airport, as poultry is a relatively safe item to consume.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Food to avoid at the airport

If you have any regard for the people around you, leave the hard-boiled eggs on the shelf. They may be one of the healthier eats at the airport, but they won’t do your breath (or your GI tract) any favors.

Tuna Sandwiches

While not the most popular item sold at airports, many people pack tuna sandwiches before leaving home. And for those thinking about packing one in their carry-on to enjoy at their gate or on the plane, we have one word for you: don’t! Unfortunately, as delicious as a tuna sandwich may be, the smell simply won’t leave you.

Greasy Snacks

A bag of chips or a chocolate bar may seem like a safe snack at the airport. And while you likely won’t get food poisoning from an airport eat of this nature, you’ll be just as disgusted if you look at the nutrition information. Snacks are cheap, convenient, and easy to eat – but because they’re loaded with unhealthy sugars and calories, a snack of this kind is certainly one food to avoid at the airport.

Good Food Choices at the Airport


So, we’ve gone over all the food to avoid at the airport and you may be thinking, “what’s left?” Well, there are several healthy and safe options to consume at the airport – one of which is packaged nuts. Nuts and seeds are great sources of protein and healthy fats. Just consider opting for unsalted nuts if you’re watching your sodium intake.


Smoothies are an easy option to find at almost any airport. They’re a great way to satisfy a hunger craving without consuming thousands of calories.

Dark Chocolate

We know it’s hard to avoid all sweets at the airport. So, to satisfy your sweet tooth, consider chocolate – the darker the better. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants so as long as you control your portion size, it can be a relatively healthy snack.

Now that you’re aware of what food to avoid at the airport, you can grab a free quote from ShipGo to ship your luggage ahead. So, you have one less thing to worry about before boarding your flight.