How to fly with a pie?
Traveling back from Michigan, I found myself wondering what the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)’s stance is on whole pies. This wasn’t just any pie, either; I was packing a Michigan Montmorency cherry crumb pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company, the only “souvenir” my friends in New York City requested.
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Flying out of a Michigan airport, with a beloved Michigan pie, I took my chances. The expected jokes about “confiscating” the pie was all the extra security I encountered, and soon, I was happily at 38,000 feet, logging into the in-flight Wi-Fi for the express purpose of sending pie selfies. As one must.
But was this just a case of Midwestern decency, or an isolated incident?
Luckily, the answer exists in black and white on the TSA’s website under its strict guidelines for traveling with packed foods. Both pies and cakes, even with a filling that may qualify as gel-like, get a green light for carry-on and checked luggage. We can think of more than a few pies we’d be willing to haul home, like Leoda’s famous banana cream pie on Maui and the maple custard at The Pie Hole in Los Angeles.
Although Pennsylvania’s beloved “Shoofly” pie is fit to fly, the TSA site, however, does include a disclaimer: “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”