Airport Tips to Help You Get Through Security Quicker

It’s summer, you’ve been planning your big vacation for a while, and all you can think about is getting to the lake/beach/mountain – it’s understandable! But with your mind’s eye fixed on your destination, it’s easy to forget about the journey. Particularly security screening at the airport. The good news is that being prepared can help you breeze through the screening checkpoint. Thus, leaving you more time to shop, eat or just relax before your flight.

Airport: What Can I Pack and Bring?


The first step is doing your homework. So you know what goes in your carry-on and what goes in your checked baggage. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has some handy tools on its website, including a searchable “What can I bring” list. The list lets you know where to pack your items and what can and can’t fly. It also has a travel checklist generator and tips for all sorts of challenges –  from what to do with large sports equipment and medical supplies to travelling with pets.

According to CATSA, one of the biggest hold-ups at security is having too many liquids, aerosols and gels. Containers over 100 ml and 1-litre bags that are overstuffed with smaller containers (no seal; no deal) will need to be checked. As for that cup of java or water bottle in your hand. If it’s over 100 ml, be prepared to chug.

There are some exceptions. For instance like liquids for kids under two years old and medication. You can check out more here. In all cases, the containers should be taken out of your carry-on bag. And to be ready to present to the screening officer for inspection.

Prepare for the Screening at the Airport

Once you hit the front of the line, it helps to have your boarding pass ready to show to the screening officer. You can also speed things up if you put any loose change, keys and small electronics (smartphones, cameras, tablets) in your carry-on bag. So you can just drop it in the bin. If you’re travelling with a laptop or other large electronics (gaming console, DVD player) you’ll need to put them in a separate bin. For more information on what you can put in the bins at the checkpoint, you can find it here.

Mobile App and Social Media

If you’re still wondering what to do with an item or want more information about security screening, you can always send questions to CATSA on Twitter or Facebook.

Lastly, travel is all about being mobile, so you should definitely download CATSA’s free mobile app. It’s available on Android, iOS and Blackberry. And can help you with all this and more, including wait times for security at most major airports.


Wishing you a great summer of travel!

This article is brought to you by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to help you avoid delays during the summer travel season.

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  1. says: Samuel

    Does Canada have the equivalent of Global Entry like in the U.S? We use that here and it cuts down the time you spend waiting on security lines to get to your gate or clearing customs when you coming from another country.

  2. says: Alessandra

    Great tips!
    Airport security is the worst but it’s smart to remember that it’s in our power to make the whole experience a little less hellish!

  3. says: Luminita

    Great tips. They should apply for almost any destination, although it’s always a good idea to check beforehand what you can and can’t bring with you when entering a foreign country.

  4. says: Jamie

    Good common sense tips! I just avoid liquids if at all possible – for weekend trips, it’s easy enough to put toiletries in airline-approved containers, otherwise that stuff is getting checked!

  5. says: Sarah Carter

    Great tips – the hardest part I find it when you’re travelling with other folks who don’t travel very often… and my inner self is screaming at them to empty their pockets and shaking my head wondering why they thought that 1 litre of shampoo was really hand luggage 🙁

  6. says: Nick

    Tips are good, but much depends on a country you flying to. For example, Israel security control it one of the hardest to pass, if not the most. Egypt or Poland instead are VERY loyal.

  7. says: Dennis

    Going through airport security is one of the things I dread most about going away. I usually play my psp 2000 to make time go by faster. I’m glad you shared the CATSA app link!

  8. says: Zascha

    Very nice screening tips! Sometimes we’re so giddy to get to our destination that we forget that we actually have to get through the airport security first!