Tips for getting through airport security quicker this summer

Today’s post comes to you by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. With the summer travel season quickly approaching, they wanted to share a few tips to help get travellers through security with ease.

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.

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  1. says: Rashad Pharaon

    I learned about knives the hard way. I had placed a large army dagger in the suitcase, kind of just temporarily as I was stuffing my bag, and forgot to take it out. You should have seen the guy’s face when he pulled out this thing that was half the size of a machete lol..

  2. Great tips and I love the infographic!! Another one I thought of – because I stupidly JUST did this flying from Siem Reap to Hanoi – is to make sure your nail scissors is packed in your checked luggage. I keep mine in my makeup bag and it always ends up getting confiscated. What damage I could possibly do with a nail scissors is beyond me, but still.