Are you travelling over the holidays this year? During the Christmas season, thousands take to the skies to celebrate with friends and family. It’s the time of year to reconnect with our loved ones. That being said, there are some restrictions on what can be brought on board a plane. In advance of the busy travel season, I’m pleased to share with you a few simple tips to get through security hassle-free, presented by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
1. Avoid wrapping presents. Officers may have to unwrap them for control purposes. Wait until you arrive at your destination, or take advantage of some airports’ gift-wrapping services located past security.
2. Avoid bringing presents that contain liquid, aerosols or gels in your carry-on luggage. This includes: alcohol, wine, beer, snow globes, canned soup, maple syrup, perfume and lotions. Put them in your checked baggage or send them separately.
3. Flying with the kids? Snowy weather and bulky outerwear can make flying in winter a hassle, especially if you have children. The tips below will help you and your family at the security checkpoint.
• Make sure your family wears easy-to-remove outwear and avoid clothing with metal snaps on your travel day.
• Keep the kids happy by packing their favourite snacks – solid foods like fruit and chocolate are allowed in your carry-on bag. Liquids and gels are restricted to 100mL unless you’re travelling with a child under the age of two, in which case you can bring more than 100mL of baby food, formula, milk, water and juice.
At the airport
• Use the Family/Special Needs screening line for more assistance. You will find one at most major airports.
• Let a screening officer know if anyone in your family requires extra time or help during security screening.
• Make sure your family knows they will need to remove their winter outerwear for screening – coats, hats, etc.
4. Going South? If you are flying somewhere warm this winter, CATSA recommends these tips to make getting through the security checkpoint quicker and easier:
• Pack your sunscreen and all other liquids, aerosols, and gels in your checked baggage. If you need to bring some of these items in your carry-on bag, they must be in containers of 100mL or less and packed together in a clear, resealable 1L plastic bag.
• On your travel day, avoid wearing clothing with metal buttons and snaps, and dress comfortably with easy-to-remove outwear, belts and shoes.
At the airport
• Have your boarding pass out and ready to show the screening officer.
• Put your sunglasses in the bin carefully so that they do not fall out during screening.
• Remove everything from your pockets and put the contents in a bin before going through the metal detector.
5. Bringing sports equipment? If you are bringing sports gear on a flight to hit the slopes, the ice, or the trails this winter, the following information will be useful. Ice skates are the only winter sports items that are allowed in your carry-on baggage. For bigger items, like snowboards, skis and hockey sticks, you will have to include them with your checked baggage. Different airlines have varying restrictions on the size, weight and packing of these items, so it’s best to check with them prior to travel.
Be prepared, have fun and travel safe this winter. For more information and tips on preparing for security screening, visit www.catsa.gc.ca or on Twitter, @catsa_gc.
Great tips! I don’t travel much so I don’t really know much about the strict regulations! I will definitely keep these in mind!
Please do, Jenny!
So much to remember and do
There is, if you don’t travel frequently. After a while it becomes second nature :)
Great tips! It can be confusing with the rules of WHAT is allowed and what ISN”T allow to be carried on a plane – what needs to be in the little baggie. Of note: I have asthma and use a daily medication that is in a power disc form. I had the medication is the box with the prescription on it – but NOT in the little bag. I got heck from security for not having ‘aerosol’ in a bag.
LOL. Okay, I’ll make it easy for you. ALL liquids, gels and aerosols should be together in a big ziploc bag. Make sure that EACH container is labelled as no more than 100ml, and make sure that there isn’t more than 1000ml (1 litre) in total.
You can bring on ANY medication or ANY size as long as it’s attached to a clearly visible prescription.
I learned the hard way that the bottles have to be labelled as 100ml; I probably had about 50ml left of my favourite perfume, and years ago, threw it in my carry on. However, since it was in a 200ml bottle, they made me toss it :( Live and learn!
What a shame,knowing the rules makes traveling so much less stressful !
Great tips. I always try and do what I can to avoid issues with airport screening and security. It always makes you nervous going through.
I think it’s human nature to be nervous going through, especially since we have a plane to catch!
awesome tips lena!
Excellent tips ! Not that I travel right now, but this will be good to keep in mind for when I do :o) Things have changed so much in 10 years !
They have!! Lots to remember – that’s why checklists help!
Good advice! Another I would add is to always do online check-in 24 hours before your flight. Saves a little bit of stress knowing that you all have seats together. I often will pay the premium $30-$50 depending on airline just so that I can get this out of the way. There are too many other things on my plate when traveling with two little ones to have to worry about seating too…
EXCELLENT tip! I always check in online – and often change my seat then to get closer to the front of the plane :)
These are wonderful tips Lena! I’m sharing the entry with my sister in law. She and my brother are travelling out of province for a few weeks & taking 2 very busy girls with them!
Nice! Hope they have a great trip!
Wonderful tips! Another one of my favorites for ski clothes is to use either a Space Bag or the new large Ziploc bag that you can shrink in size. You use a vacuum to suck out the air from the bag saving a ton of room in your suitcase. When at the hotel, just ask to borrow a vacuum from housekeeping. Safe travels this holiday season!
That is a phenomenal tip, thanks for sharing Colleen!
Thanks for sharing those travel tips Lena! Another one I follow before flying somewhere is to bring half the clothes, twice the money and lots of film. ;) I also like a tip you gave before going back to work from a vacation. Leave a day between them in case there’s a flight delay or to give yourself time for other things.
Yes, I am a huge fan of giving myself an extra day when I return from vacation. And I like your tip to bring half the clothes and twice the money! Makes sense to me!
Great tips for travelling. Thank you.
Chandra Christine O'Connor
not that I plan on flying anywhere but I would have never thought of not wrapping gifts, I would have had them all wrapped and fancied up. Good to know not to do that.
Well then I’m so glad I pointed that out to you! :)
Great tips! I need to pass these on to my girlfriend, for whom the security check is a nightmare because of the sheer amount of stuff she wears and puts in her carry-on and purse. Going through security check with her evokes feelings of amusement, love, and embarrassment.
Ah, I used to have an ex-boyfriend like that. Once he pack SCISSORS into his carry on! I was like – for real???
Judy C (Cowan)
No plans for travelling in our near future but thanks for the great tips.
You’re welcome Judy!
Great tips! I’m not much of a flyer, but when I have to do it, I will. Thanks for this list!
You’re welcome Anne!
I just recently went to NYC and wish I had this to print and hand out to people. lol. Great tips! Definitely sharing with friends and family.