Wrapped boxes are allowed to be brought on planes, but just like anything that goes through airport security, these items could be subject to further inspection.
“if a bag alarms our security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. We recommend passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.”
The TSA points out that pies and cakes are similarly allowed through checkpoints, but could be subject to further inspection.
Here are some tips we’ve picked over the years:
-If you’re going to a friend or family member’s home, ask them if they will have extra wrapping paper for you to use when you arrive.
-You could also ask that family member or friend if they would be willing to wrap the gift for you if you have it shipped to them in advance.
-Instead of carrying the gift with you, look into shipping the wrapped gift via a delivery service. It may be cheaper, especially if that gift you’re carrying requires you to check an additional bag.
-Or if you’re ordering from an online retailer that offers gift-wrapping, see if you can have the pre-wrapped gift delivered to your destination.
-Carry extra gift wrapping or a gift bag with you. There are a lot of wrapping papers that come in flat-packed rectangular packages, no thicker than a magazine, that can be put in your bags along with the gift you’re carrying. (NOTE: If you’re traveling with only carry-on bags, you’ll need to scare up a pair of scissors when you land, as they fall under the “sharp objects” prohibition.) And you can always use a gift bag, which would (hopefully) not be ruined as part of a TSA inspection of your package.