Traveling with Thanksgiving dinner? TSA shares what you can and cannot pack in your carry-on

Some of your Thanksgiving menu might be TSA-friendly

ByChristian Piekos WLS logo
Saturday, November 18, 2023
What you can and cannot pack in your carry-on this Thanksgiving
TSA provided some tips on what Thanksgiving food you can and cannot bring in your carry-on.

CHICAGO -- The Transportation Security Administration is gearing up for what will be a very busy week with Thanksgiving now just days away.

With food on everyone's mind ahead of the holiday, you might be wondering what you can bring.

TSA shared holiday travel safety tips Friday.

TSA has some tips.

"Just come prepared, and get here early because you know it's going to be insane," said Felix Tollinche, who was leaving for Thanksgiving Friday.

Tollinche and his family were beating the crowds ahead of what's expected to be a hectic, and potentially record-breaking, Thanksgiving travel week.

The American Automobile Association, or AAA, estimates that 4.7 million people across the country will take to the skies over the Thanksgiving holiday -- an increase of more than 6.5% from last year.

Between Midway and O'Hare, TSA said it's expecting to screen more than 1.1 million passengers over the course of the next week or so.

Nearly 50 million Americans are predicted to hit the roads, up 1.7% from 2022, AAA said.

SEE ALSO: Are you obliged to switch seats on a plane? Inside the travel debate

"That Sunday after Thanksgiving nationwide is expected to be TSA's busiest day ever," said Jessica Mayle, with the Transportation Security Administration. "Especially at a holiday when we are expecting high volumes in the checkpoint, the less you can bring with you in your carry-on will always help you make it through faster."

But, with Thanksgiving dinner looming, the TSA wants to make sure passengers are aware of what foods they can bring in a carry-on.

"Baked goods, cookies, cakes, pies, anything solid like that is fine in your carry-on: stuffing, powdered gravy that you have not made - fine," Mayle said.

Throngs of travelers are gearing up to pack airports.

"Just trying to get out as quick as possible," said Donna Clark-White, who was traveling to New York City.

The TSA said a little grace for its hard-working agents can go a long way.

"I am just so grateful. They take the mission of the work so seriously that they are really keeping the skies safe, helping passengers get where they need to go safely," Mayle said.