I'm flying from UK to Germany with Easyjet (there's next to no weight restriction to hand luggage). I've never had a problem with various edible items before, on any of my EU routes. I don't see how a watermelon would be different from a plastic bag with 10 sandwiches. But still, can I have a whole watermelon in my hand luggage ? What about a half melon ?

  • 5
    It is interesting. But a watermelon has far more water content than 10 sandwiches, maybe exceeding 100ml.
    – Blaszard
    Jun 5, 2016 at 18:34
  • 48
    Sorry but the curiosity is too much - Why do you want to take a whole watermelon on a plane? You won't be able to slice it with the flimsy plastic knives on a plane, and you can buy watermelons in Germany... Jun 5, 2016 at 22:51
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    @user568458 I don't know why Иво Недев wants to do it, but if I were doing it it might be an effort to get a large amount of liquid past security so I don't have to spend $10 on water while waiting for the plane.
    – phoog
    Jun 6, 2016 at 3:48
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    @user568458 I'm visiting my parents in Germany, and its quite popular to eat watermelon during the summer where I'm from (Bulgaria) So I want to surprise my parents with a nice melon to enjoy on our short vacation. Apparently the melons they have access to are tasteless, and I know for a fact that that I have access to are really nice. Jun 6, 2016 at 9:27
  • 10
    You may also wonder if you can fly with a gold bar, a bulletproof vest, or a deactivated bazooka.
    – Zenadix
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:10

4 Answers 4


There are two potential issues here: Airport security and customs.

For airport security:
In the UK, "Liquids include liquid or semi-liquid foods, eg soup, jam, honey and syrups" and "Liquids in containers larger than 100ml generally can’t go through security even if the container is only part full." Exemptions (e.g. essential medical purposes) don't seem likely to apply here.

Watermelon is less dense than honey, so an agent might use that to classify it more toward the "liquid/container" side than the "solid" side of honey, and honey (>100 mL) is not allowed. It is also less viscous than some honey. Edit to clarify: criteria used in practice for classification is a different question than that of what more scientifically-based criteria agents perhaps should use.

In the US, the TSA lists it as approved for carry-on in their "Can I Bring" app. Although this is the result for the explicit query "watermelon," the response does have a disclaimer that "Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not permitted in carry-on baggage" so if an agent decides that a watermelon is a non-empty container capable of holding 3.4oz of liquid or gel, they might use their wide discretion to tell you it's not allowed.

For customs:
Although generally speaking when entering Germany, "The import of food and animal feed for the consignee’s private use or consumption is permitted in principle," other readers traveling to other countries should consider whether or not they're allowed to transport fruits and seeds across national borders. Rules are much less restrictive for travel within the EU.

  • 19
    "Watermelon is less dense than honey" - if it was about density (instead of viscosity) then a lot of things would be forbidden, including styrofoam and most clothes. A lot of solids are less dense then honey. Although it's worth noting that it's not worth arguing with customs or security personnel over a watermelon.
    – vsz
    Jun 6, 2016 at 6:14
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    @vsz i once saw someone demand their empty plastic disposable water bottles back from Canadian airport security. People will argue over strange things. Jun 6, 2016 at 6:45
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    @Azor-Ahai probably they wanted to refill the bottle with water to drink after security? A café or bar in the departure lounge will usually fill a bottle with tap water for you if you ask nicely.
    – nekomatic
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:40
  • @vsz I agree density is the wrong criteria, but that's a separate question from what criteria or reasoning the security screeners might try to apply. Also, watermelon is less viscous than the crystallized honey that I have; it will take the shape of the bottom of its container more quickly (and by that point, will be quite unappetizing).
    – WBT
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:25
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    @WBT : If I were a security or customs agent, I would be concerned about how easily someone could smuggle contraband in a watermelon, and my suspicion would be strengthened by the fact that watermelons are probably very cheaply available at the destination, so why would someone pay 10 or 20 times the price of a watermelon as a baggage charge, just to bring an existing one with them? An extra hand luggage is quite expensive, and even if a free hand luggage is available, the passenger cannot bring anything else if a watermelon takes up all the space.
    – vsz
    Jun 6, 2016 at 16:04

While I am unaware of any liquid list containing a watermelon, here's the biggest list of liquids I am aware of, from Debrecen airport:

All drinks (including beverages, water, soup, syrups), chocolate creams, creams, oil, cheese spread, liver cream, pastas, peanut butter, yogurts, cottage cheese, butter, margarine, frozen food, tins, liver wurst, sausage, jelly, mousse, hair colorants, mascara, fluid lipsticks, fluid masks, lotions, spray and roll-on deodorants, perfumes, nail polish removers, and all items made of similar substances.

Of course, there's nothing to guarantee the UK will use the same list but knowing how the UK is batshit crazy about airport security I bet their list is even worse. If liver wurst and sausage is a no-go then you can bet a watermelon won't pass either.

  • 2
    There is a difference, possibly important, between liverwurst and sausages on the one hand, and watermelons on the other. The former are, like all food items on the list, processed into a more or less homogenous state. The latter is an unprocessed fruit.
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2016 at 20:43
  • Plus, the UK shouldn't care about stuff going OUT of the UK, but into the UK. Also: do the restrictions on meats apply to flights coming from the EU? If I brought my UK friends some French cheese, would I have to throw it away? Jun 5, 2016 at 20:52
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    @lafemmecosmique If someone, say, drained a whole watermelon and filled it with liquid explosives then blew up a plane departing the UK, then yes, the UK authorities would care about that particular watermelon that left the UK, because they'd be responsible for having let it on the plane! Jun 5, 2016 at 22:55
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    @lafemmecosmique you seem to be thinking of customs restrictions on agricultural and food products, generally imposed for reasons of agricultural safety or of politics, while the question is asking about whether a watermelon counts as a container of liquid for the purpose of carry-on luggage security restrictions, generally imposed to prevent people from blowing up airplanes.
    – phoog
    Jun 6, 2016 at 3:32
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    Maybe they mean pasta sauce? Because even cooked pasta would have to be cooked quite badly to be described as "liquid", I think!
    – mattdm
    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:13

Watermelons can easily be loaded up with other liquids including potently explosive liquids and as such would likely be prohibited as carry on items. Perhaps folks in the UK would not be familiar with this aspect, but in parts of the USA the process of spiking watermelons with a bottle or two of whiskey is commonly done to get alcohol into venues like outdoor concerts, sporting events, where alcohol is otherwise banned.

But one has to ask, are the watermelons that good in the UK?

  • 6
    I think vodka is a better taste. Anyways the melons are import from Turkey. Jun 6, 2016 at 6:11
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    Turkish grocery shops, which of course stock all sorts of food imported from Turkey including watermelons are ubiquitous in Germany, cities with an international airport should have hundreds of them. Jun 6, 2016 at 14:32
  • I have seen a video of a spiked watermelon being set on fire. I do not know how much extra work it may have taken to make the watermelon flammable.
    – arp
    Dec 5, 2023 at 0:02

Sharing my personal experience on the flight from Venice to Gdansk with three legs and thus three security checks (Ryanair uses cheap small airports where you can't transfer) in Treviso (Italy), Beauvais (France) and Modlin (Poland). I have got a small watermelon (15cm in diameter) in my backpack, which I took as a cabin baggage. During baggage scans in Italy and France I was asked to open my backpack and security officers checked it manually. Once they found the big berry, they smiled, started joking with their colleagues and let me proceed. I was asked no questions and had no additional checks in Poland.

P.S. I like watermelons :)

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