Is it Rude to Eat on a Plane?

Eating on a plane isn’t against the rules by any means, or the airlines wouldn’t allow us to pack food onto the plane and eat it during the flight.

But, that doesn’t speak to how the other passengers feel when we eat on the plane, now, does it?

So, how about it? Is it rude to eat on a plane? Or is it A-OK? Read on and find out, below!

Is it Rude to Eat on a Plane?

It is not rude to eat on most planes. That said, eating in someone else’s private space (if the plane is crowded) can be rude.

Further, packing certain snacks onto the plane with you that are impossible to eat quietly, like Doritos or popcorn, may also be seen as rude by other passengers.

How Rude Is it?


On a scale of 1 to 10, eating on a plane rates 2 on the rude meter.

The main reason we rated eating on a plane 2 on the rude meter, rather than 1 or 10, is that while it is technically allowed, eating on a plane when the seating is cramped can be extremely rude (especially depending on what you’re eating).

Why is it Not Rude?

Eating on a plane is not rude unless you are doing it right into another passenger’s ear (or are eating a bag of Doritos, followed by popcorn, followed by peanuts, followed by something else crunchy (you get the point).

If eating was frowned upon on planes, passengers wouldn’t carry so many snacks and food with them, and airlines wouldn’t allow it (let alone serve food of their own, for an extra charge).

Other Options to Do Instead

There is very little reason to do something other than eat on the plane if you are hungry. 

However, if you are a forward thinker, you may do well to plan on eating before the flight, perhaps while waiting to board the plane (or slightly beforehand).

You could also bring some chewing gum, or some sort of candy to keep your tastebuds too busy with flavors to remember it is hungry enough for a meal.

Common Questions

Is it legal to take food on a plane?

It is perfectly legal to take food onto a plane. In fact, most regular travelers that fly often typically take snacks with them religiously. Airplane food is tasty and offered to passengers, but it is indeed expensive as well. This is why many people prefer to buy food and take it onto the plane with them.

Do planes serve hot food and drinks?

Most airplanes, today, do indeed serve hot food and drinks. Mind you, we are talking about jumbo jets and airliners, not 2 seater bush planes that fly you and your dog into the Alaskan wilderness.

Why is it wrong to eat on planes?

It isn’t exactly wrong to eat on planes, but it is not very nice if the space is cramped. In business and coach seating, eating on the plane is far from rude. In economy class seating, how rude it is to eat on the plane depends on how close you are packed together with other passengers