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TSA’s Thanksgiving policy: You can fly with turkey, but hold the gravy

November 17, 2022, 3:29 PM UTC
TSA details what foods can and can't be carry-on items as travelers gear up for Thanksgiving.
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If you’re not hosting a Thanksgiving gathering, it’s traditional to bring something along, whether to show your gratitude or to take some of the pressure off of the organizer.

Some guests travel a long way for the holiday, however, and with crowds expected to be near pre-pandemic levels this holiday season, the Transportation Safety Administration is reminding folks what they can—and can’t—bring on board airplanes with them. It gets a little weird.

You can, for instance, fly across the country with a cooked, or even raw, turkey in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you (fresh or frozen). You’ll need to have it packed in a cooler with ice packs, mind you, but it’s perfectly acceptable to authorities.

Likewise for mac and cheese, stuffing, casseroles. Gravy, though? Hold on a minute, pilgrim…

Liquids are still limited as carry-on items, with very few exceptions. You’re allowed no more than 3.4 ounces of most liquid or spreadable items, which is less than half a cup. And please tell us you’re not just bringing half a cup of gravy to a Thanksgiving dinner.

That also means you’ll have to pack your secret-recipe cranberry sauce alongside your delicates in your luggage as well. Ditto those homemade preserves and your famous butternut squash soup.

Pies, cookies, and other baked goods are fine, though—and likely to be eyed much more favorably by your seatmates.

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