Thanksgiving travel: What foods you can and can't bring on the plane

Courtesy of TSA

Tuesday is supposed to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. Many people want to bring food on planes, but there are restrictions. 

Thanksgiving-themed items that should be packed in a checked bag include wine, gravy, cranberry sauce, canned fruits and vegetables with liquid in the can, and mashed potatoes. It's OK to bring uncooked potatoes to be cooked and mashed at a traveler's destination, but after they are prepared as mashed potatoes, they're not exactly what one would define as a solid. 

Things that can go in your carry-on bag are the solid foods: turkey, bread, flour, sugar, nuts, and candy.

The most common foods people bring to the airport around Thanksgiving are baked goods, with pies and cakes topping the list. 

If you have questions about what you can bring, you can ask the TSA or check their "What can I bring?" online tool.

Food item

Carry-on or checked bag

Checked bag only*

(If 3.4 ounces or less, these items can go in a 3-1-1

bag inside a carry-on bag)

Turkey, chicken, fish, meat, ham


Cranberry sauce


Wine and other beverages

Creamy dips and spreads

Cookies, brownies

Cakes and pies



Mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes

Flour, sugar, and other dry ingredients

Whipped cream

Canned vegetables or fruit with liquid (yams, green beans, corn, crushed pineapple, etc.)

Raw vegetables or fruit (carrots, beets, potatoes, green beans, apples, pears, etc.)


Salad dressing

Jams, jellies, preserves

Egg nog

Maple syrup



Jell-O molds