Most airlines serve a variety of beverages on their flights, including coffee and tea.
Quality is a different question, and prices can definitely be up there, so many travelers choose to bring their own (non-alcoholic) drinks on a plane.
You can bring Starbucks on a plane if you purchase your beverage after passing through security. The TSA will not permit any liquids over 3.4 oz (100 mL) to go through the checkpoint, and the smallest Starbucks cup is well over that limit at 8 oz (240 mL).
If you’re jonesing for a cup of coffee before you get on your flight, you either have to finish it before you go through security or buy one on the other side.
TSA Beverage Guidelines
The TSA allows passengers to take beverages in cans, bottles, plastic containers, and cartons in their carry-on luggage, but they must be 3.4 oz (100 mL) or less.
This is known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
Basically, all liquids (including gels, aerosols, and creams) have to be in those little containers, and you’re only allowed one quart-sized (1L) plastic bag of them.
You can bring empty travel mugs or reusable water bottles to fill up after you’re past security. Just ensure there’s no liquid inside them before putting them in the scanner.
Passengers are also permitted to pack liquids exceeding the 3-1-1 limit in their checked luggage.
It’s unlikely you’ll want to put liquid coffee in your checked bags, so this mainly applies to things like alcohol, lotions, and hair products.
If you’re bringing alcohol in your checked luggage, make sure to comply with any regulations regarding the amount, volume, and alcohol content of your bottles.
Can You Board a Plane With Coffee Purchased After Security?
You are absolutely allowed to board a plane with a coffee you’ve purchased after security.
Once you’ve passed the checkpoint, you’re welcome to visit an airport cafe and bring your drink on your flight.
Likewise, passengers can bring beverages like water, soda, or juice on a plane, as long as they’ve been purchased after passing through security.
If you’re past the checkpoint and brought a reusable mug or water bottle, you can also fill it before getting on the plane.
Can You Board a Plane With Ground Coffee?
Yes, you can board a plane with ground coffee in your carry-on, but there is a TSA guideline regarding amounts.
Ground coffee is considered a powder, so any amount greater than 12 oz. (350 mL) may require additional screening.
Coffee isn’t typically measured in ounces (or milliliters), so a good rule of thumb is If you want to bring more than 0.5lbs (250g) of ground coffee on your flight – pack it in your checked luggage.
It’s also best to keep ground coffee in its original packaging as it’s designed to be airtight for longer freshness.
Even though the coffee packaging is pretty durable, I’d double-bag it in a clear, resealable plastic bag to avoid mishaps.
It will also come in handy if the TSA requires you to open the package and remove a small amount for additional testing. If your coffee is vacuum-sealed, you’ll need the plastic bag to repackage it.
Can I Travel Internationally With Ground Coffee?
The rules for traveling internationally with ground coffee depend on your destination.
More often than not, you’re allowed to bring ground coffee into other countries.
However, you’ll do yourself a favor by keeping it in its original packaging. It makes it easier for screeners to identify, increasing your chances of getting past security.
Coffee beans, on the other hand, are a different story.
By their nature, coffee beans are obtained directly from the parent plant, and most countries don’t allow passengers to bring in outside fruit, vegetables, or other agricultural products.
They don’t want to risk having dangerous (or unknown) pests and diseases in their country.
That said, check the country’s rules to confirm what you are (and are not) allowed to bring.
Bringing drinks on a plane is easy if you purchase them after going through airport security.
If you buy a coffee before the checkpoint, you’ll either have to finish it or toss it before passing through.
The same goes for bottled water, soda, or any other beverage in a container of 3.4 oz. (100 mL) or more, but you can bring empty travel cups or reusable water bottles to fill up once past security.
If you plan to travel with ground coffee in your carry-on, you may be subject to additional screening for any amounts more than 12 oz. (350 mL). In coffee terms, this is about 0.5 lbs (250 g).
When flying internationally with any agricultural product (like coffee), double-check the customs rules at your destination to avoid any inconveniences.