4 Tips for Flying with Fish and Game Meat

Frozen vacuum packed Salmon fillets in plastic ready to be packed in an insulated bag for a flight on an airplane

We have now thoroughly discussed how to fly with your fishing gear, how to fly with your hunting gear, and even the best ways to preserve meat from a successful outdoor adventure. But we have yet to shed any light on how to travel back home with the delicious fresh fish and game from your trip when you must fly. Shipping is obviously one option, but expedited shipping of a heavy package is not likely the most cost effective way to get your harvest home. So if you have ever wondered if you could bring home your catch or kill on a flight, here is the answer.

YES! 

Luggage loading into a plane in an airport

It is pretty simple and these tips will make it even easier.

1. The TSA and airlines allow you to bring non-liquid food items on a flight in both checked or carry-on luggage. The rules are:

  • All ice packs must be frozen solid, no gel packs and no ice.
  • Dry ice is also allowed in both checked and carry-ons but it must be properly vented and you are only allowed up to 5 lbs of dry ice.

2. Try and save as much weight as possible, you will either be carrying it on board or checking it and lightness counts in both situations. Checked bags need to be under 50 lbs or the surcharge is painful and you also get charged more for each additional bag. You want to pack as much meat into that bag as possible and check as few bags as possible. Bone-out meat and trim fish and game liberally. Anything you wont eat should get trimmed before packaging your fish and game for travel.

3. The meat does not technically NEED to be frozen, but it is almost always the best state for transportation. Preserve your fresh fish and game, including freezing, by using as many of these tips as possible. For both checked and carry-on applications you should use as much insulation as possible and frozen ice packs if possible to create more thermal mass to prevent thawing. Well packed and well frozen meet will stay frozen during your flight and be very high quality when it makes it to the table.

4. Fly direct whenever possible, you want to limit the time between freezers. Also, tight connections are the main reason that bags don’t make it to their final destination on time. The last thing you want is a checked bag full of meat getting lost in transit!

Follow these tips and there is no reason not to bring your harvest with you on a flight.

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We believe in the ethical pursuit of hunting and fishing adventures and support taking from the land only what you can use and leaving it in better shape than you found it.

Tight Lines & Happy Hunting!

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