Are you flying this winter with kids, pets and gifts in tow? Air travel can be tricky, and even more so during the holiday season. Before you start packing, here are some tips to help you journey through the airport like a pro from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
Leave gifts unwrapped
Gift wrapping can be an art, with ribbons, bows and holiday-themed paper. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by taking wrapped gifts through airport security. Screening officers may have to open them to see what’s inside, so leave the gift wrapping on your to-do list for when you reach your destination.
Keep valuable items close
If you are planning to pop the question over the holidays, or you are gifting something special, keep the valuable item close. Pack fragile or valuable items in your carry-on baggage.
Consider the toys
Most toys and games are welcome on your flight. But, whether you’re keeping your kids entertained or surprising them with a toy at your destination, check out the rules for bringing batteries on board before you fly. Some go in checked baggage, some in carry-on and some are not allowed to fly at all. And if you have any toys that look like weapons, such as water guns or toy grenades, it’s best to leave those at home.
Lose the layers
Canadian winters are famous for freezing temperatures and an abundance of snow, but bundling up at security will slow you down. Jackets, scarves, hats and bulky winter boots will need to be removed before you reach the checkpoint.
Find a line
When you arrive at the security checkpoint, find out if a Family/Special Needs line is available. It offers better maneuverability for wheelchairs and strollers, and screening equipment that can accommodate larger items. Screening officers are also at the ready to offer additional assistance if you need extra time or help with your belongings to get through security.
Festive food for the flight
As the holiday season gathers steam, travelling with homemade desserts and meals is common. And it can keep little tummies happy. Just remember, solid snacks are ready for take-off, but anything in liquid form must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less and fit in a clear, resealable one-litre bag. This includes hot cocoa, spreads, gravy and soup.
If you’re travelling with an infant younger than two years of age, baby food, milk, liquid formula, water and juice are allowed in greater quantities. You can bring more than 100 millilitres of breast milk whether your child is travelling with you or not, along with ice packs to keep it cool.
Find more travel planning tips at catsa.gc.ca