Each year, when Thanksgiving rolls around, the Transportation Security Administration team reminds travelers of the foods that are OK to put in your carry-on for the big meal. They also make a point of giving some examples of items you should put in your checked bag or let someone else contribute.
Fruit cake? Dry stuffing mix? Mini marshmallows? Pumpkin pie? Those are all fine to carry on, says TSA.
Canned pumpkin and yams? Cranberry sauce. Maple syrup? TSA says those belong in checked luggage or on the shopping list of someone who’s driving.
“Here’s some food for thought,” says TSA. “If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint. However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.”
Not sure if your food item is OK for carry-on? Check the TSA homepage, which has a helpful “What can I bring?” feature. Type in the item and find out if you can carry it through a checkpoint or if it should be checked. You can also tweet to @AskTSA to ask how best to travel with a specific food item.
Severe winter storms are already wreaking havoc with Thanksgiving travel plans across the country.
Denver International and many other airports are taking out their snowplows and de-icing gear and advising travelers to be sure to check the status of their flights before leaving home.
Many airlines are offering fee-free flight changes, waivers on fare differences for rebooked flights and refunds left and right.
In some cases, they are encouraging passengers to switch to flights leaving a day or two early.
At 9 p.m. on the west coast, these are some of the airlines issuing travel alerts. No doubt there will be updates and more alerts by morning and over the next few days. So, if you’re scheduled to fly anytime over this holiday, be sure to check your airline’s website and sign up for alerts about your flight.
American Airlines has a travel alert for passengers scheduled to fly November 27 to/through or from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Frontier Airlines has canceled many flights through Denver and Colorado Springs, CO on Tuesday, November 26. Advisories for rebooking and refunds are on their site.
JetBlue has posted travel alerts for flights in and out of Denver International Airport on Tuesday, November 26.
Southwest Airlines is warning customers that flight schedules may be “disrupted,” as in delayed, diverted, and/or canceled on Tuesday, November 26 in Denver and on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 26 and 27 through Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Airlines’ winter weather alert also applies to flights in and out of Denver
on Tuesday 26.
Bottom line: even if the weather looks great where you are – or where you’re headed to, bad weather in other parts of the country can still disrupt your travels. Check flights, check again and, as always, pack lots of patience when you go to the airport this time of year.
As of Tuesday evening, pretty much every North American airline has a travel advisory posted on its site. International airlines with flights to and from the U.S. are likely alerting their customers to cancellations as well.
Below are links to the travel alerts, coverage dates and fee waiver policies as of Tuesday evening, November 25th for many major airlines. If you’ve got a trip planned, be sure to check the airline’s website, Facebook page or Twitter feed – and those of your airport – for the latest news.
The CDC studied five large hub U.S. airports with designated smoking areas accessible to the public (Denver International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Las Vegas’ McCarran International, Salt Lake City International, and Washington Dulles International) and also found that air pollution levels inside designated smoking areas were 23 times higher than levels in smoke-free airports. In the study, designated smoking areas in airports included restaurants, bars, and ventilated smoking rooms.
Turkey dinner in the sky and at airports
Virgin America has a holiday turkey sandwich on the buy-on-board menu
If you end up spending your Thanksgiving Day in an airport or on an airplane, you may not have to give up on Turkey Dinner.
In Florida, the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, inside Orlando International Airport, is serving a mid-day Thanksgiving buffet and several restaurants inside Miami International Airport, including the Ice Box Café (Turkey Special with all the works, pecan pie and a glass of vino for $ 20, all week) and the Top of the Port restaurant in the Miami International Airport Hotel, are also planning to serve traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
At JFK International Airport in New York, passengers flying out of the JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) will be able to load up on turkey dinner in the Food Court Hot Bar. (Price is by the weight of your plate.)
In the air, Southwest Airlines is offering passengers a complimentary alcohol drink on Thanksgiving Day, Virgin America has a holiday-style turkey sandwich on its buy-on-board menu, but no other domestic airline I contacted is making any special note of the holiday.
But several international airlines are:
Etihad Airways, Air Berlin and Singapore Air are among those offering special Thanksgiving meals to passengers flying to and from US gateways.
And many airports have their holiday entertainment schedule underway:
On Wednesday, Nov 21 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will have a costumed character to read to children near the Red Balloon Bookshop across from Gate C12 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the hour and half-hour.
At Miami International Airport, there’s a whole bunch of activities going on Wednesday Nov 21 and again on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24th and 25th, including a caricaturist, opportunities to get your photos taken in a harvest background, craft projects for kids and giveaways.
San Francisco’s You Are Hear concert series is underway, with performers scheduled in various spots throughout the airport on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
There’s live music scheduled for several spots in Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports on Wednesday as well. Find details about those airport concerts here.