Stealing gifts from home for the holidays? Plan ahead for the TSA checkpoint


If you are bringing food or gifts to the airport during the holiday season, it is important to plan ahead for the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said most food can be carried at screening points, but some items, such as liquids, will need to be carried in checked baggage.

“If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, and it’s over 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a taped bag,” Farbstein said.

It is also recommended to take the food out of your carry-on baggage and place it in a trash can for faster screening at the checkpoint.

To check if an item should be packed in hand baggage or checked baggage, visit the TSA home page here.

This is also the time of year when passengers frequently travel with gifts. The TSA recommends wrapping gifts in gift bags or gift boxes instead of wrapping them, because if a gift triggers an alarm, it will need to be opened to resolve the alarm.

Wrapped gifts that trigger an alarm will need to be removed from the gift wrap, but if the gift is in a bag or box, it’s easy to look at the item to resolve the alarm.

Holiday foods that can be transported to a TSA checkpoint:

  • Fruit cake
  • Biscuits, cakes, pies
  • Chocolates
  • Candy canes
  • Fruit and nut baskets
  • Spices
  • Ham (frozen or cooked)

Holiday foods that should be carefully packed with your checked baggage:

  • Eggnog
  • Champagne, wine, sparkling apple cider
  • Cranberry sauce. (homemade or store-bought) are spreadable, so check them out.
  • Preserves, jams and jellies (homemade or store-bought) are spreadable, so it is better to check them.
  • Maple syrup


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