The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stated that travel volumes during the Thanksgiving vacation could exceed pre-pandemic levels.
TSA officials explained that the three busiest days of the holiday travel season, which runs from Nov. 18-27, are typically the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday.
The government agency anticipates screening up to 2.5 million passengers at checkpoints across the country on Wednesday, November 23, and may exceed 2.5 million passengers on Sunday, November 27.
On the Sunday following Thanksgiving in 2019, the TSA reported the highest passenger volume in its history, screening approximately 2.9 million people at checkpoints around the country.
“We expect to be busier this year than last year at this time, and probably very close to pre-pandemic levels,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “We are prepared to handle the projected increase in travel volumes next week.”
Security officials have issued a list of Thanksgiving items that must be carried in checked baggage rather than carry-on luggage to avoid potential congestion at security checkpoints, in addition to the expected increase in air traffic.
Food items often require additional security screening. Therefore, TSA advises placing them in an appropriate area when packing carry-on luggage. If it is a solid item, it can pass through the checkpoint, according to the government. Anything that weighs more than 3.4 ounces and can be spilled, dispersed, sprayed, pumped or poured must be packed in a checked bag.
According to TravelPulse, these are the Thanksgiving foods that can be carried through a TSA 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.