WASHINGTON - Thanksgiving travel is starting earlier each year – and this year the number of airline passengers traveling for the holiday is expected to rebound to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.
The Transportation Security Administration says it is ready to handle the surge. In 2019, a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through U.S. airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving. But that plummeted in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic kept people at home.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he didn’t think a vaccine mandate going into effect for TSA agents would have any effect on staffing for Thanksgiving.
On Monday it was announced that more than 90% of federal workers were reported to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline set by President Joe Biden.
Thinking of bringing your favorite Thanksgiving food along for the ride? TSA officials say while most foods can be carried through airport security -- some items will need to be transported in checked baggage.
THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT CAN BE CARRIED ON PLANE
According to TSA, solid items are able to carried through an airport’s security checkpoints, but these items often need additional security screenings. The agency suggests placing the items in a clear plastic bag or container when packing them at home an removing the items from your carry-on bag and placing them in a bin for screening at the checkpoint.
Baked goods: Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats
Meats: Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked
Stuffing: Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag
Casseroles: Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic
Mac ‘n Cheese: Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination
Fresh vegetables: Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens
Fresh fruit: Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi
THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT NEED TO BE PUT IN CHECKED BAGGAGE
Meanwhile, items should go in a checked bag if you can "spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces," according to the TSA.
Cranberry sauce: Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them
Gravy: Homemade or in a jar/can
Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider
Canned fruit or vegetables: It’s got liquid in the can, so check them
Preserves, jams and jellies: They are spreadable, so best to check them