Pack Smart for Spring Break Travel

March 15, 2012   |  
Well prepared luggage reduce screening time

Calgary, March 15, 2012 – Whether planning a spring break ski trip or an escape to a sunny destination, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) offers passengers some helpful packing tips that will allow them to focus on their destination and eliminate some of the stresses of air travel.

The following rules apply at airport security checkpoints:

Liquids: Liquids, aerosols and gels such as sunscreen, hair gel, hand cream and perfume, should be packed in checked baggage. Liquid items are only allowed in carry-on luggage when packed in containers with a capacity of 100 ml or less. The containers must fit comfortably in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than 1 litre. One plastic bag per person is allowed and at the security checkpoint must be removed from carry-on baggage and placed in a bin.

Food products: Solid food may be packed in carry-on baggage. Food items that are liquid or gel-based are subject to the restrictions listed above.

Duty-free purchases: CATSA recommends that all duty-free purchases be placed in checked baggage.

Electronic Devices: The following items do not need to be removed from cases or bags to be screened:

  • Cell phones
  • MP3 music players
  • E-book readers
  • Portable DVD players
  • Tablets

Laptops and gaming consoles: These items must be removed from carrying cases and laptop bags and placed in a bin at the checkpoint.

Sporting equipment: Most sports equipment, including skis, snowboards and golf clubs, are not allowed as carry-on baggage. These items should be placed in checked or oversized baggage.

Dress for success: A passenger’s clothing can significantly affect the time it takes to get through screening. By following these tips, they can speed up the screening process and decrease the likelihood of setting off the walk-through metal detector:

  • Remove coats, jackets and blazers and place them in the bins provided.
  • Dress comfortably with easy-to-remove outerwear, jackets and belts.
  • Limit jewelry to small earrings, watches and wedding bands/engagement rings.
  • Wear clothing without snaps, metal buttons or studs.
  • Avoid wearing shoes with metal arches, buckles, steel toes or shanks.
  • Avoid wearing belts with metal buckles.
  • Remove hidden body piercings before you fly.
  • Be ready to empty all contents of your shirt and pant pockets and place these items in the bins before passing through the walk-through metal detector.

To make the screening experience as smooth as possible, air travellers should contact their air carrier for the amount and size of items permitted as carry-on. They can also consult CATSA’s “Pack Smart” web page and “Prep & Fly” travel tool to create their own personal packing checklist. This information as well as wait times at the screening checkpoints are available on CATSA’s website.


For additional information, please contact:

Mathieu Larocque