The TSA Tries to Numb Your Thanksgiving Travel Pain With Bad Jokes

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

It’s late November in America, which means Thanksgiving, that beautiful and patriotic celebration of gluttony and genocide, is almost upon us. That in turn means that airport lines will soon swell enormously and swallow every traveler whole.


To celebrate, the Transportation Security Administration has published a jocular blog post full of bad puns and winking warnings against bringing any prohibited items through security. “Let’s get the travel tips started by addressing the 15-pound turkey in the room,” Bob Burns of the TSA Blog Team writes. “Yes, your turkey can fly.” Bob also notes that you can bring your turkey in your carry-on or your checked bag, but cautions that “if you have a live turkey, you’ll need to contact your airline about their guidelines and possible restrictions.” Sound advice.


For those of you traveling with gifts, the TSA says it’s best to leave the wrapping paper at home: “We’re not the Heat Miser; however, we might have to unwrap gifts.” This is fine and all, but do people actually bring gifts for Thanksgiving? Am I supposed to do that? Has my family been skimping on Thanksgiving gifts this whole time?

Unfortunately, you can’t bring gravy (?) or booze unless it’s in a checked bag. Apparently, however, you can still bring alcohol in your carry-on if it’s in a bottle that holds 3.4 ounces or less, but you can’t drink it on board. (Does the bathroom count as “on board”?)

Here are the TSA’s other tips:

Tips for Pilgrims: Large buckles can set off our metal detectors and your blunderbuss must be packed in checked bags according to our packing guidelines.

Foods: Horns of plenty are permitted as long as they don’t have any of these food items (or weapons) within.

Traveling With Children: Did you know that children 12 and under can keep their shoes on? (Note: I didn’t, but also, just leave them at home.)


There is also an entire page devoted to turduckens. There isn’t much advice for dealing with the estimated 27.3 million other people traveling at the same time as you, however, so good luck with the angry hoards, lost bags, screaming children, delayed flights, sad phone calls, and suffocating sense of interminable misery.

Actually, writing for the TSA Blog Team seems like a fun job. Sign me up, Bob! Consider this my cover letter.



Sophie is a former news editor at Gizmodo.

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As far as gifts, if you’re visiting people who you won’t see over Christmas, you may have decided to do a gift exchange over the Thanksgiving weekend.

I didn’t realize opening those mini liquor bottles on the plane wasn’t cool, and no one has said anything to me the times I’ve done so. Why else would I bring it with me if not to get the free soda or cranberry juice and then add my own rum/whiskey/bourbon so it remains free?