Things You Can/Can’t Bring Through TSA This Holiday Season

If you’re travelling for the holidays and have an unusual item you want to carry-on but aren’t sure if its allowed, well, we’ll help you with that.

By nowproducerdave on December 19, 2017
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Travelling for the holidays can be difficult, mostly because of the crowds, but also because you’re travelling with some things that you may not otherwise bring with you, like gifts, cakes, Christmas trees, and a whole assortment of other things. Here’s a list we found that might make things easier for you.

Things you can bring with you through TSA and onto a plane in your carry-on bag, according to this post.

Surprisingly, you can bring knitting needles. They’re allowed, as well as (according to the post) scissors under 4 inches in length. TSA won’t stop you from knitting that sweater on your flight. But circular cutters (and other bladed cutters) will have to be in your checked bag.

Christmas lights ARE allowed. They’re fair-game in checked or carry-on bags. Just make sure they’re not those liquid-filled ones that bubble.

Turkey and ham. This one usually comes into question, and I can’t imagine the look on someone’s face when they open the overhead compartment to stwo their bag and see a turkey staring back at them, but yes, you can bring turkey, ham, cakes, pies, etc (any other “solid” foods).

Ice skates. Long blade can’t be allowed, right? Well, they’re allowed in both checked and carry-on bags.

Gray area items:
Christmas trees. “No way,” right? But this one comes down to your specific airline. Delta says “who are we to turn away holiday spirit?” Fair enough.

Wrapped gifts. They’re allowed, but not recommended. Yes they go through the x-ray machine, but if an alarm goes off, they’ll have to unwrap to inspect. Annoying since now you’ll have to re-wrap, or worse, forfeit the item.

Wreaths/Garland. This comes down to rules about travelling with plants, but really becomes a problem when you’re crossing country borders.

Chestnuts are allowed, but only if they’re roasted. Raw chestnuts are a no-deal. This rule also applies to travelling to/from another country. They’ll probably have to be inspected to make sure there aren’t any insects, and you may even need a permit.

Candles are fine, but only if they’re wax, and obviously not burning. Gel candles aren’t allowed.

Coming back from New Zealand or Australia? You can’t bring pinecones.

Snow globes are banned due to the liquid content. But if they’re smaller than 3.4 ounces, they’re probably fair game. The TSA says if it’s about a tennis-ball size or smaller it’s probably in the clear, apparently.

Mistletoe. Only Canadian mistletoe will be allowed after inspection, but that’s only because Canadian mistletoe (apparently) doesn’t have berries on it, making it all-clear. The berries are what’s banned, since mistletoe is a parasitic plant. Coming in from other countries, it will probably have to be inspected by a botanist, which I had no idea until now that some airports actually employ. Interesting.

For some more details on each of these, check out the website here.

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