Can I Bring That Homemade Pumpkin Pie On Board? Know How To Pack Before You Fly

While you’re probably eyeing the weather reports of storms, snow and sleet with trepidation, there are other things to consider before you head to the airport during the holiday season. For example: Your aunt makes the best darn pumpkin pies this side of the Mississippi and she wants to send one back with you because she’s the best aunt ever. Should you pack it in your checked luggage or can you bring it as a carry-on?

The Transportation Security Administration has helpful hints on what you can bring through security checkpoints during the holidays, when you might be traveling with items you wouldn’t usually fly with.

About that pie? Cakes and pies can go onboard with you, but don’t be surprised if you’re stopped for additional screening.

Not so lucky is that jar of cranberry sauce Mamaw pressed upon you on the way out — any liquid, aerosol or gel items above 3.4 ounces must be checked or shipped ahead of time.

No-nos for carry-ons:

Cranberry sauce
Cologne
Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
Gravy
Jams
Jellies
Lotions
Maple syrup
Oils and vinegars
Perfume
Salad dressing
Salsa
Sauces
Snow Globes
Soups
Wine, liquor and beer

If you’ve got wrapped gifts, security officers might need to unwrap something if a bag triggers an alarm during the screening process. Just to be safe, it’s probably a good idea to wrap presents after the flight or ship them before you get to your destination.

Safe and happy travels, everyone. Even you Grinches out there — you know who you are.

Traveling with Food or Gifts [TSA.gov]

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  1. SingleMaltGeek says:

    I really don’t understand why a pumpkin or lemon meringue pie would be allowed, but port wine cheese spread, peanut butter, and jams and jellies are not. I really don’t see the distinction. (I’m not saying it’s arbitrary, just that if the distinction is clear and easy to understand, the public *and* TSA agents are both less likely to be caught by surprise by an item that hasn’t specifically been allowed or prohibited by the TSA.)

  2. C0Y0TY says:

    Some foods may scan with the same signatures as explosives, too. I know someone who was bringing stollen back from Germany and was confronted about it. It didn’t help that “stollen” sounds like “stolen”.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      It was probably the marzipan. I love that stuff, but I can imagine how it might look a LOT like C4 on an X-ray.

      • PhillyDom says:

        So IOW people who can’t tell almond paste from plastic explosive are the ones keeping people safe on airplanes?