"It's just a taco, sir..."
January 20, 2009 6:02 PM   Subscribe

AirportFilter: Is it possible to bring in my DelTaco into Bob Hope Airport?

The hubby and I are headed out on a red-eye flight from Bob Hope airport in Burbank. Since our flight leaves at 9, we'd like to have some dinner beforehand. We're planning to arrive at the airport around 7, check in our luggage, and walk on over to the food plaza next door to grab some Del Taco.

Now, I'm worried that we might miss any important announcements or even miss our flight altogether if they decide to pull the flight time up. Would it be possible/good idea to just go get the food and bring it through security with me? I know this should be common-sense, but it's been a while since I've been in this situation and my google-fu fails me. So good idea? Bad idea?
posted by arishaun to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I brought a bag with Chipotle through security at Tampa International a few weeks ago... all that happened was the security guy asked what kind of food I had and then said "Yum."
posted by SputnikSweetheart at 6:10 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've brought In-N-Out Burger through security before, no problems. It was at John Wayne Airport.
posted by zsazsa at 6:10 PM on January 20, 2009

It really seems like it can depend on what specific TSA person you're dealing with. In the US, rules don't seem to be enforced consistently/some airports and TSA staff seem to arbitrarily make shit up.

Either way, almost certainly the worst that could happen is that they make you throw it away. Unless it's expensive food, I would just go for it.
posted by fructose at 6:24 PM on January 20, 2009

Is there really a risk of early departure? I've never seen that happen.

You might see if your airline offers flight status notification via text messaging or email. These tell you about gate changes and delays. This would give you an extra measure of confidence as you enjoy a leisurely meal in the relative comfort of the food court seating area. A warm taco beats a cool, soggy taco any day.
posted by Snerd at 6:26 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Burbank's a small airport, pretty mellow on a whole. I wouldn't worry.
I'm pretty sure people will understand... they don't exactly have a delicious food court available to travelers.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:33 PM on January 20, 2009

And I wouldn't worry about missing anything as long as you're already checked in. Find out when the boarding time is and just get back a smidgen before then. Even if you get back a few moments after they start boarding, you'll be cool. I swear.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:35 PM on January 20, 2009

Is there really a risk of early departure?

Yeah, it happens occasionally. Most airlines have clauses in their contract of carriage that require you to be at the boarding gate within a certain number of minutes of the departure time (usually 10 min–30 min). After this cutoff arrives and the airline boards everyone in the gate area, they can send off the plane, and do sometimes.

A friend of mine actually missed an important flight because of this, which was partially responsible for him losing his job soon after. (Now he claimed that he was there something like 12 min in advance when the cutoff was 10 min, but he was always cutting those sorts of things way too fine.)

But if you are there by the scheduled boarding time, you will be fine. They won't move up the flight earlier than that.

Many airlines will send notification of flight changes to your mobile phone. If your airline has such a flight change notification service, you should sign up for it.
posted by grouse at 6:49 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: I fly through Burbank all the time, and yes, it's pretty mellow; I think they'd probably let you through with it, but -- caveat -- you never can really predict it for sure.

If you're really worried about having your food confiscated by security, you can probably just hang out in front of your airline's check-in area and eat it there before getting in line for the security check.

I can't tell if you've been through the Burbank airport before (if so, ignore the following info); keep in mind that while the food plaza is indeed quite near the airport, it's a several-minute walk (how many minutes depends on how fast you walk!). There's also a sit-down restaurant (burgers, salads, etc.) inside the airport itself, so if it turns out you're running late and you're worried about not having the time, you don't actually have to go off-site to eat.
posted by scody at 7:24 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Unless it's expensive food

I think you should be OK, and you could always hide it in your carry-on. Knowing Del Taco, I would say the greater risk would be encountering turbulence during the flight and not being able to get to the bathroom promptly.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:39 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I bring breakfast from McDonalds with no problems, and a few times I have packed a lunch with little cheeses, meat, crackers, carrots, or fruit and gotten through no problem at Bob Hope.

I would risk it if I were you -- there aren't a lot of food choices at Bob Hope Airport so if you have a hankering for Del Taco, go for it. Don't bring too many Taco Sauce packets, though!
posted by Miastar at 7:55 PM on January 20, 2009

Is there really a risk of early departure? I've never seen that happen.

It happened to me once, and I missed a connecting flight because of it. Spent an entire day of my vacation in LAX. I will never again fly American Airlines out of sheer spite.
posted by cirocco at 8:18 PM on January 20, 2009

I'd eat before I go through. Hell, if I can't get through security with a water bottle on me...

It does depend on your luck of the draw with the TSA, really.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:57 PM on January 20, 2009

In the event that you can't get your food through security, I recommend the most unfortunately-named Chezz Burger inside the terminal. It's not bad at all.
posted by dhammond at 11:14 PM on January 20, 2009

My mother-in-law tried to bring Mexican food through security one time. The tacos made it; the refried beans didn't.
posted by wallaby at 8:17 AM on January 21, 2009

Response by poster: @snerd- This actually did happen to us once a few years back. We had about 45 minutes left and were shopping in the gift shoppes. We had to run through security when we heard them paging us. Turned out that they'd managed to board everyone early and we were the only stragglers. Luckily, it was a small airport. The TSA agent on duty just let us through when she saw us running and we told her that page was for us.

So it looks like my worst problem will be the actual injestion of the food vs. having it taken away before I get to it. Awesome! Thanks for the answers everyone!
posted by arishaun at 1:51 PM on January 21, 2009

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