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TSA’s Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Published by FareCompare at November 21, 2022

thanksgiving travel tips

Thanksgiving is upon us, meaning millions of Americans will be traveling both near and far to spend the holiday with family members and loved ones. Anticipating an extremely busy – and stressful – week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has shared some tips for Thanksgiving travel so you can stay as sane as possible.

Travel volume is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, with people eager to reconnect with those they haven't seen in what might be years due to COVID-19. According to TSA, it's expected they will screen as many as 2.5 million passengers on Wednesday, November 23, and on Sunday, November 27. As a result, the agency is preparing passengers with helpful tips on everything from how to get through security smoothly to what foods they can (and can’t) bring with them in a carry-on bag.

"We expect to be busier this year than last year at this time, and probably very close to pre-pandemic levels. We are prepared to handle the projected increase in travel volumes next week," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.

To ensure that the Thanksgiving travel experience is as seamless as can be, the TSA reminds travelers flying for the holiday that some foods are prohibited from being transported in a carry-on suitcase. Here's a quick breakdown of what foods you can and can't bring in a carry-on:

What Foods Are Carry-On OK?

Anything that is solid can be brought with you onto the plane, no problem.

  • Cake
  • Pie
  • Cooked meat (turkey, chicken, beef)

What Foods Aren't Carry-On OK?

Liquids remain a no-no when it comes to air travel. Some examples include:

  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Wine
  • Jams or marmalades

TSA was quick to remind travelers: "If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it is a liquid and must be packed in a checked bag."

Are you unsure about which items can fly with you? Another great tip for Thanksgiving travel – and the rest of the year – is to check the TSA’s "What Can I Bring?" website, which includes a searchable list of both allowed and prohibited items. Travelers can also ask the TSA about any specific concerns by submitting questions to @AskTSA on Twitter or on Facebook Messenger. Staff is available from 8 AM to 6 PM (Eastern) everyday, including holidays and weekends.

To make their Thanksgiving travel experience even better, you should also come prepared with the correct ID, which can include a passport or driver’s license. Starting next year, travelers wishing to fly with a driver’s license will have to obtain a REAL ID, an enhanced state-issued driver's license, or identification card.

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