If you’re headed to the airport later this week to celebrate Thanksgiving you’ll want to be careful about how you pack any goodies you plan on bringing along for the feast. The same TSA rules apply for Thanksgiving that do every other day, which means not every part of the meal can fly in your carry on.
The Points Guy spoke to a TSA spokesperson for the skinny of what’s air-legal and what’s not. Here’s a brief rundown of what will clear security and what you might want to leave at home.
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And keep in mind this week is bound to be one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. If you are traveling with food be sure to give yourself extra time before your flight in case that foods needs to be inspected at security. And package things well. No one wants to sit next to the guy that spilled stuffing all over the floor.
Cutting to the chase first: Yes, you can bring an entire turkey on a plane with you. It can be frozen or defrosted, but will potentially be subject to additional screening at security.
Just as normal, liquids will need to be in your checked bags, not your carry on. That means that bottle of wine, signature gravy, or bottle of whisky need to be checked rather than thrown in your bag.
This rule also goes for anything packaged in water. For instance, things like olives and tuna are a no-go in carry-on bags.
Pies and Cakes
Your baked goods are all ok to fly as carry on, even if the inside of that apple pie has some liquid inside. Baked goods are however potentially subject to extra scrutiny, so expect the TSA agent to take a closer look and maybe swab your Tupperware for explosive residue. The same goes for stuffings and casseroles.
That said, you can’t bring whipped creme to top that pie in your carry on. That needs to be checked and be in a container 17 fluid ounces or less. You’re better off buying this when you land.
Raw vegetables are fine, but things like mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce are a no-go for your carry on. If you want to make your dish before you fly, you’ll need to check it instead of carrying it on.
An easy way around the TSA’s restrictions is to freeze everything. Frozen foods can go in your carry on as long as they haven’t melted. So you can fly with everything from soup and cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes as long as you freeze them beforehand and are able to keep them frozen.
One thing that shocked me was that cast-iron pans are not allowed as carry-on. If you plan on bringing yours with you, you’ll need to check it. Other pots and pans are fine as long as they meet size and weight requirements for your airline.
And as always, you can’t bring sharp things like knives on-board, those will need to be checked.