Summer is the busiest time of year at Canada’s airports. To get your holidays off to a smooth start, these travel tips ensure that your experience at security screening is as hassle-free as possible.
Know what to take in your carry-on bags
- Before you arrive at the airport, review what you can and can’t bring on the plane. Check CATSA’s approved list of items for carry-on baggage.
- Sunscreens, lotions, and insect repellents are all permitted in carry-on baggage, providing they are in a container of 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less and placed in a 1 L (36 oz) transparent bag. Animal repellents such as bear spray are not allowed.
- Pack all medication in your carry-on baggage. CATSA recommends that the medication be properly labelled (a manufacturer or pharmaceutical label). Liquid and gel- based prescriptions must be presented to the screening officer separately for screening.
Dedicated security lines will get you through faster
- Families should look for the designated Family/Special Needs line (when available) that features larger screening equipment to accommodate items like strollers and wheelchairs, and screening officers trained to offer additional assistance to passengers needing more time to navigate security.
- NEXUS members can bypass the queue and go straight to the screening line. More information on obtaining a Nexus card is available from the Canada Border Services Agency.
Tips for all travellers at the security checkpoint:
- Have your boarding pass ready to show the screening officer.
- Remove coats, suit jackets and blazers and place them in the bins provided.
- Empty the contents of your pockets and place these items in the bin before walking through the metal detector.
- Keep all phones, MP3 players and GPS equipment in your carry-on bag. They do not need to be screened separately.
- Remove laptop computers and netbooks from their cases and place them in the bins provided.
- Avoid wearing shoes with metal arches, buckles, steel toes or shanks.
- Avoid wearing belts with metal buckles.
Tips for families travelling with small children:
- Baby food, formula, medications, water and juice are exempt from the 100 ml (3.4 oz) liquid restriction for carry-on bags, provided you are travelling with a baby under the age of two years and the amounts are reasonable for the length of your flight. These items must be presented to the screening officer.
- Remove infants from their stroller or carrier and hold them while proceeding through the metal detector.
- Let your child walk through the metal detector if they can do so on their own.
- Batteries for toys, cameras, gaming devices and other personal items are allowed in carry-on baggage, but restrictions apply. Check CATSA’s approved list of items for carry-on baggage.
Before you leave, check airport security screening wait times online.
Have a question while travelling?
Find security checkpoint wait times or check our list of permitted and non-permitted items on CATSA’s mobile site at: m.catsa.gc.ca.