Holiday travel tips to help families through airport security

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OTTAWA, Canada – Airports will soon be buzzing with thousands of travelers getting ready to visit family and friends or simply to escape the cold weather.

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OTTAWA, Canada – Airports will soon be buzzing with thousands of travelers 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.

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

1. Pack liquids, aerosols and gels properly

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

2. 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.

3. Ensure duty-free items are in a security-approved bag

If you have purchased any duty-free liquids, aerosols or gels (e.g. alcohol, perfume, cosmetics, hand cream), and you have a connection in a Canadian airport on your return trip, ensure that these items are packed in a sealed official security bag or placed into your checked baggage.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Dress comfortably

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

9. 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.

10. Have your boarding passes ready

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

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.