Breeze through airport security this summer

With the summer holidays fast approaching, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority asked me if they could share some tips to help travellers get through security lines with more ease over the holiday season. 

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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.

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.


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.
  • Going camping? 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.


For everything else, here are some tried-and-true tips for breezing through security to your summer destination:

  • 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 familyFamily/Special needs line.
  • Remember that baby food, breast milk, formula, water, and juice are exempt from the 100 ml limit.

Visit, CATSA_gc on Twitter, or for more information.


  • Muslimah says:

    Wow! Excellent post regarding airport security this summer. Really very useful and informative post. I like it. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Derek says:

    I went through airport security last week and it’s always trouble for me. They always want to search my carry on bag. Lol if only I read this before, I could have saved myself some hassle.

  • roamy says:

    Went through airport security in London early February, simply said it way awful, I was “just” on transit from Zurich, so it should not have been a big deal but it was, the screening taking forever for everyone. Was so mad I promised myself I will have to have a very good reason to fly BA in the future, a promise I will keep.
    So we should bring to the airport patience because no matter the good mood you have, they will ruin it.

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