Can I Bring Live Lobster On a Plane? 2024

So can I bring live lobster on a plane?

Learn how to travel with your live lobster and take care of it during your flight.

Whether you want to bring a live lobster for your home aquarium, or you just bought a lobster to cook for a special occasion, you want to make sure you are allowed to take live lobster on your flight.

There are a few things you need to know before you head to the airport with your lobster in hand.

Here is the short answer before we go deep and answer all your questions about traveling with lobsters.

The TSA regulations do not have any issue to take a live lobster through the airport security and into a plane as carry-on or checked luggage, But your live lobster must be in a spill-proof clear transparent container. However you should always check with your airline first to ensure that they do not apply any additional or special restrictions on traveling with lobsters.

Read on to know more about taking live lobsters on planes, and what are airlines regulations about lobsters.

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Live Wild Caught Maine Lobster / Courtesy of Amazon

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Can You Bring Lobster Through TSA?

According to the TSA you are allowed to take live lobsters through the security checkpoint, However a lobster must be transported in a clear, plastic, spill proof container. 

You must notify a transportation security officer that you have a live lobster .

The TSA officer will manually inspect your lobster at the security checkpoint. The TSA recommends that you check your airline rules to ensure that they allow live lobsters on their flights.

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This passenger asked the TSA if he can bring live lobsters on the plane.

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The TSA confirmed that “Live lobsters are allowed through security and must be in a clear, plastic, spill proof container; the TSA officers will visually inspect it at the checkpoint; it should not go through the X-ray machine. TSA added “Please contact your airline regarding their policy.”

Take a Live Lobster In The Cabin

Although the TSA does not have restrictions when traveling lobsters in the cabin,it is possible that some airlines rules might not allow live lobsters in the cabin so you should always check with your airline beforehand.

This passenger wonders why you can’t take peanut butter but you can take a live lobster.

But the TSA replied that both Lobsters & peanut butter are allowed in both carry-on & checked bags. but taking peanuts better in the cabin must be 3.4 ounces or less. The container must be placed in your quart-sized bag along w/ other travel-sized liquids. Larger containers are allowed in checked bags.

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Take a Live Lobster In Checked Luggage

Live lobsters are allowed in checked luggage,though it is not recommended because it will not be handled gently and it would probably be injured or killed.

At least in your carry on luggage it will be treated carefully becsaue you will keep it under you sight all the time.

How do you pack a live lobster for travel?

As stated above, living lobsters should be transported in a clear, transparent container that cannot spill water, they can be transported in special aquatic “breather” solid bags which allow oxygen to pass out but not water.

However, make sure to take your lobster in a clear, plastic, spill proof container, but do not use water, you can use frozen gel packs or bags of ice, fresh water will cause your lobster to die.

Do not store live lobsters in a closed sealed plastic bag (lobsters want to breathe).

What you will need (Amazon links):

How Long Will Live Lobsters Keep In a Cooler?

How long can you travel with live lobsters?

Lobsters can survive in a cooler for more than two days,though it is important to keep lobsters in a cool temperature.

How is lobster transported?

If you travel to Maine and catch a lobster yourself!

If you bring your lobster from Maine or another place a lobster wants to be happy when he’s traveling also.

It is important to keep live lobsters in a cooler, but not in fresh water or dry ice, instead use cold packs or gel packs.

Even when packed correctly, live lobsters have a limited lifespan when transporting them. Therefore, you might notice that most seafood stores when they ship live lobsters they don’t ship them carefully.

Major Airlines Rules On Traveling With Lobsters

Most airlines do not mention if live lobsters are allowed in their planes but I did a little research and here is what I found.

Airlines Regulations
United airlines United Airlines will accept seafood as checked bags if it’s wrapped in a sealed protective material and packed in a leak-proof container.
they won’t accept seafood if it’s packed in wet ice or in a Styrofoam container.
If you bring seafood in addition to our normal allowance for checked bags, the Airlines will apply any charges for extra, overweight and oversized bags.
American airlines
Since American Airlines didn’t mentions live lobsters on its website, here a response to a tweet AA stated “While you’re not able to carry the lobster on, you can have it shipped
delta airlineslive lobster allowed and must be properly packaged.
Jetblue live lobster allowed and must be properly packaged.
Air CanadaAllowed and must be properly packaged.

Conclusion: Can I Bring Live Lobster On a Plane?

If you are looking forward to traveling with your live lobster, taking it in carry-on luggage is the best option. 

The TSA does not have any restrictions on taking lobsters through the security checkpoint; however you should always make sure that your airline does not have any restrictions on taking lobsters in their planes.

Learning how to travel with a live lobster requires some planning and prep work. We wish now that you get to know how to travel with your lobster effectively.

When you are ready just take a quick look at your airline regulations about traveling with such creature ( if it is not mentioned above).

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