TSA says yes to snow globes, reserves right to inspect cakes and pies

Finally, some good news for people who plan to board airplanes carrying cakes, pies or snow globes.

The Transportation Security Administration released on Tuesday updated tips for the millions of travelers expected to fly this holiday season.

According to the TSA's newly released guidelines, snow globes may now be carried on:

TSA allows small snow globes in carry-on luggage when packed in a passenger's plastic 3-1-1 bag. Snow globes that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces (approximately tennis-ball size) will be permitted if the entire snow globe, including the base, is able to fit in the same one clear, plastic, quart-sized, resealable bag as a passenger's other liquids.

Far more important, pies and cakes are allowed on—but the TSA reserves the right to inspect them:

Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection. If travelers are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel it is best to pack the item in checked baggage or ship it to a destination in advance.

Also, gift-wrapped presents are allowed as carry-on items, though not recommended:

In order to determine if the contents of a package are a threat, a security officer may need to unwrap and inspect the item.

The updated travel tips are part of the TSA's attempt to streamline the lines at security checkpoints. As part of that initiative, the TSA modified its screening procedures in March to cut down on the number of pat-downs for passengers aged 12 and younger, and 75 and older—though it did not eliminate them entirely.

[Related: Henry Kissinger receives full TSA pat-down at airport]

The TSA website includes a handy list of things (axes, hatchets, swords, nunchakus) that are prohibited as carry-on items; though, most are still allowed in a checked bag. A few notable exceptions: hand grenades, flares, gasoline and dynamite.

According to the trade association Airlines for America, nearly 24 million people are expected to fly between Nov. 16 and 27, up slightly from a year ago. And according to AAA, more than 47 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home over Thanksgiving, up about 1 percent over 2011.