Flying Over the Holidays – Can I Bring That on a Plane?

Are you flying over the holidays?

Are you bringing your signature Thanksgiving dish to share? Do you know if your dish is allowed on a plane?

Flying over the holidays is stressful. It can seem hard to keep up with changing flight regulations. But flying over the holidays doesn’t need to be difficult. As of the date of this post (11/18/2016), here are some common Thanksgiving dishes and TSA’s rules regarding bringing them on a plane.

flying over the holidays with a turkey
Photo by Steve Johnson
Easy Turkey Thanksgiving

Can I bring a turkey on a plane? (You have to search for meat.)

Cooked Meat, Seafood and Vegetable (No Liquid)

  • Carry On Bags: Yes
  • Checked Bags: Yes

“You may transport this item in carry-on or checked bags. For items you wish to carry on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.”

Fresh Meat and Seafood

  • Carry On Bags: Yes (Special Instructions)
  • Checked Bags: Yes

“Meat, seafood and other non-liquid food items are permitted in both carry-on and checked bags. If the food is packed with ice or ice packs in a cooler or other container, the ice or ice packs must be completely frozen when brought through screening. If the ice or ice packs are partially melted and have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they will not be permitted. You also can pack frozen perishables in your carry-on or checked bags in dry ice. The FAA limits you to five pounds of dry ice that is properly packaged (the package is vented) and marked.”

Can I carry on a pumpkin pie?

Pies and Cakes

  • Carry On Bags: Yes
  • Checked Bags: Yes

TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.

Flying over the holidays with bread
Mark Bonica
Beer Bread

Can I bring two loaves of homemade bread with me when flying home?

Bread

  • Carry On Bags: Yes
  • Checked Bags: Yes

“Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags. Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in your checked bags if possible.

TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.”


Looking for another dish?  Or do you have questions on bringing knitting needles (yes), wrapped presents (no) or other items with you as you fly?

Check out TSA’s What Can I Bring tool. Here you’ll find up-to-date information on rules and regulations for flying over the holidays. If your item is not listed, you can send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Please remember TSA gate agents have the most up to date information and the final say on what is allowed through security.

Everyone at Witte Travel & Tours wishes you a terrific Thanksgiving.  Here is to happy and safe travels!

 

Post updated 11/21/2018 for accuracy. Quotes come directly from TSA.

3 Things to Consider When Traveling with a Dietary Concern

One of the perks of travel is to taste new and different cuisines. This can be hard if you have dietary concerns. After all, you are special; your needs and wants are important and when it comes to food, these needs can make or break your trip.

  1. Know and stick to your dietary concern.

There are 7 types of vegetarian.  Do you know the differences? There are ovo vegetarian, lacto vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pollotarian, pescatarian, vegan, and flexitarian. There are also allergies, food intolerances, and dislikes.  There are a lot of choices, it’s no wonder chefs and restaurants in foreign countries sometimes have a hard time understanding what your dietary need is.
Your travel agent or tour operator acts as the middle-man when it comes to your dietary concern.  Your requests are given to airlines, hotels and restaurants where food reservations were made on your behalf. When you check-in for flights or arrive at a restaurant please double check your dietary request has been received.
It is also prudent to stick to your dietary requests.  The staff has gone out of their way to accommodate your request; it is not the time to come off your diet because your neighbor’s dinner looks appetizing. You may laugh at this, but those that relay their dislikes or food intolerances have the luxury of changing their minds as their dietary concern is a preference not an allergy, I’ve seen it happen, it’s not polite. If you do change your mind, talk to your tour manager or host and they will see what they can do to change your upcoming meals, not the one that is currently being served.

  1. Don’t expect a substitute for everything.

You are not at home or in Kansas anymore. Food will be different, embrace it.  Chances are you will not find gluten free bread in Europe.  If your group dinner is having chocolate cake and you are a vegetarian, a chocolate cake made without eggs will not appear.   On the bright side, Europe has fantastic, fresh cuisine.  With all the in season vegetables,  fresh cheeses,  and meats, you will not go hungry.

  1. Bring Snacks.

Just like at home, you may not be able to eat when you are hungry.  Having a stash of non-perishable snack you can eat will be very helpful. They also help if you end up leaving a meal still hungry.