Millions of holiday-seekers will be travelling by air this summer and for most, airport security is but a small blip on their radar. For savvy travellers, screening checkpoints are a waypoint in their journey from home to their ultimate destination. But for those less-travelled or who require assistance, such as families, seniors or passengers with special needs, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is offering some useful tips to ensure the passage through security screening is as smooth as possible.
Baby food, formula, medications, milk, water and juice are exempt from the 100ml (3.4oz) liquid restriction for carry-on baggage when parents are travelling with children under the age of two. There are no restrictions on snacks and solid food.
To avoid extra screening at the metal detector, wear clothes without metal accents.
Going somewhere sunny? Bring your suntan lotion, but leave it in your checked bags. Other containers with liquids, aerosol and gels (water, shampoo, hand cream, cosmetics, etc.) that are more than 100ml must also go in checked bags.
Electronic items like tablets and smart phones can be left in your carry-on bags for inspection, but laptops must be removed from their carrying case and placed in a bin.
Have your boarding pass ready to present to the screening officer.
Medications in liquid or gel form - prescribed or not - are allowed in carry-on baggage. To ensure quick screening, make sure they are clearly labelled and presented to the screening officer separately.
Remove outerwear, including sport coats, jackets and blazers, and place them in the bins.
Containers with more than 100ml (3.4oz) of liquids, aerosol and gels must go in checked bags. These include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, creams, perfumes, colognes, aerosol and shaving cream.
Special Needs/Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions can be difficult to explain; showing supporting documentation, like a doctor’s note, to the screening officer may help.
Let the screening officer know your level of ability (e.g. if you use an airline wheelchair to get through a large airport but can walk short distances on your own). This will help them identify which method of screening best suits your needs. Remember, you may request a private search at any time.
You can bring medical supplies, equipment and mobility aids in addition to your limit of two carry-on bags.
Medications are exempt from liquid and gel restrictions. Just make sure they are properly labeled.
In major airports, look for Family/Special Needs lines. They provide more room to maneuver, which helps those travelling with items like wheelchairs and strollers, and are staffed with screening officers who are trained to provide extra assistance.
For more information on the screening process, visit catsa.gc.ca or contact us on Twitter (@catsa_gc).