Summer is the busiest air travel time in Canada. Whether you’re packing for a family vacation, visiting relatives or exploring new corners of the world, an easy and stress-free travel experience starts by preparing for the security checkpoint. These airport security tips from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) can help.
Airport Security Tips and Common Mistakes
One of the most common mistakes travellers make is bringing liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) exceeding the 100ml limit in their carry-on baggage. That includes sunscreen, tanning lotion or hand cream, alcohol, maple syrup, etc. To go in your carry-on LAGs must be in containers of 100 mL or less.
CATSA has some advice to help you and your luggage get through security quickly.
Liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on must be in containers of 100ml or less and fit into a 1L clear plastic bag. This includes everything from toiletries to water and homemade jam. Any larger containers, or containers which won’t fit into the plastic bag, need to be put in checked bags.
Exceptions to this policy are baby food, formula, milk, water and juice if you are travelling with your child younger than two years of age. Medications are also exempt from restrictions. Present these to the screening officer separately.
If you purchased presents to bring with you on your holiday vacation, don’t wrap them until you reach your destination, even if you do put them into your checked baggage. If their contents need to be inspected, your wrapping job will have to be started all over.
Having a properly packed bag is half the battle; knowing what to expect at the security checkpoint is the other. Being prepared for the process can get you in, out and on your way faster than you can say “vacation.”
How to Pack for Airport Security
What is and isn't allowed
If you’re going play on land or water, there are a few rules to watch for:
– Baseball bats, golf clubs and surfboards are only allowed in your checked baggage, but sports racquets are clear to fly in carry-on.
– Going fishing? Poles without hooks are fine in carry-on, but those with hooks and tackle need to be checked.
– Scuba tanks are permitted in checked bags. Consult your air carrier for other restrictions before getting to the airport.
Have a few souvenirs coming back with you?
– Gifts should not be wrapped as screening officers may have to open them for inspection.
– Jackknives, decorative or ceremonial knives and multitools with blades cannot travel in carry-on bags.
– Butterfly knives, switchblades and other illegal knives (and replicas) are prohibited and cannot go in carry-on or checked bags.
– While one lighter for personal use is allowed in carry-on, lighters are not permitted in checked baggage.
– Strike-anywhere matches are NOT permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.
– Flammable materials – for example, white gas or butane for camping stoves – are NOT permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.
Tips to Breeze Through Airport Security
Your carry-on bag and personal items such as a purse will be x-rayed. Your cell phone, loose change, wallet and watches should be put in a jacket pocket and placed in a bin. Your laptop will need to be removed from its case before being placed in a bin. Other electronics like tablets, cameras, or MP3 players can stay in your bag.
Have your boarding pass ready and make sure you give yourself plenty of time so you are not rushed during the screening process. For more tips on what you can pack and how to get through security screening smoothly, see or the mobile site, m.catsa.gc.ca.
Summer is the busiest air travel time in Canada. Whether you’re packing for a family vacation, visiting relatives or exploring new corners of the world, an easy and stress-free travel experience starts by preparing for the security checkpoint. These tips from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) can help.
For everything else, here are some tried-and-true tips for breezing through security to your summer destination:
Pre-Airport Security Checklist
- Check wait times online.
- Arrive early and allow for ample time to be screened. Keeping your boarding pass out helps the line flow quickly and smoothly.
- Small personal items like keys, coins, cell phones or tablets should be put into your carry-on at security to keep everything more organized.
- Laptops must be removed from your bag and placed in a bin.
- Bring your re-usable water bottle through security empty, then fill it up after for a refreshing drink on a hot travel day.
- When travelling with kids under the age of two, use the family Family/Special needs line.
- Remember that baby food, breast milk, formula, water, and juice are exempt from the 100 ml limit
Visit , CATSA_gc on , or for more information.