Winter Travel Tips to Help Families Through Security

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This post is brought to you by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

Airports will soon be buzzing with thousands of travellers getting ready to visit family and friends or simply to escape the cold weather. Regardless of your destination, you will have to go through security.

Winter Travel Tips

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has 10 tips to help you and your family breeze through the checkpoint.

Leave gifts unwrapped

If you’re bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped as their contents may need to be inspected. During the holidays, some airports offer post-security gift wrapping service.

Bring solid snacks for the family

While you can’t bring yogurt or peanut butter, you can carry solid food items, such as sandwiches, granola bars and fruit through security when travelling within Canada. You can also bring an empty refillable drink container to refill once you pass through security.

Pack liquids, aerosols and gels properly

Only liquids, aerosols and gels that are 100 ml or less are permitted in your carry-on. Place these items in a single 1 L clear, resealable plastic bag so the screening officer can easily see the contents. Any containers over 100 ml should be placed in your checked baggage.

Know the age restrictions for baby food

Beverages and food (e.g. breast milk, formula, juice, purées) for children under the age of two are exempted from the liquid, aerosol and gel restrictions. These items should be packed so that they can easily be removed from your carry-on baggage for inspection.

Have medications ready for inspection

Prescription and essential non-prescription medications (e.g. cough syrup, decongestant spray, contact lens solution) are allowed. You can bring them in quantities greater than 100 ml in your carry-on but must show these items to the screening officer for inspection.

CATSA Shake Things Up

Keep small electronics in your carry-on

Bringing your children’s electronic games is a good way to keep them busy at the airport. Small electronic items, including MP3 players (e.g. iPod) and tablets, can remain in your carry-on bag.

Dress comfortably

Make sure you and the little ones can easily remove any bulky outerwear, including winter jackets and boots with large buckles. These items must be placed in bins provided at the checkpoint for screening.

Use the Family/Special Needs lane

Check if the Family/Special Needs lane is available when you arrive at the checkpoint. It’s designed to accommodate larger items (e.g. strollers, car seats) and is best for passengers needing more time or help at the checkpoint.

Have your boarding passes ready

Remember to have all family members’ boarding passes ready to present to the screening officer for verification.

For more info

If you need more information, you can contact CATSA directly at 1-888-294-2202 or via:



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5 Responses

  1. Indrajit Gahlot

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips. I am planning to travel overseas in the next month for my further studies. I will definitely follow these tips while packing my luggage and travelling to save time and energy!


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