Travelling with the family can be challenging, especially when you get to airport security. Following these tips from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will not only help bring the stress level down, but also get you through the checkpoint faster and easier.

Download CATSA’s app

Go to CATSA’s website ( and download their “Breeze through security” mobile app. In addition to wait times, you’ll find information on what you can and can’t bring through security and helpful tips about the screening process.

Remember the 100ml rule

Put large containers of liquids, aerosols and gels in your checked baggage. Only amounts less than 100 ml, placed in a 1 L clear, re-sealable plastic bag, are permitted in your carry-on baggage. This includes beverages and non-solid food (e.g. yogurt, pudding and peanut butter). However, beverages and food for children under the age of two are exempt from these restrictions (e.g. breast milk, formula, juice and purees). Keep these items within reach as they need to be inspected separately.

Leave gifts unwrapped


If you’re bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped in case their contents may need to be inspected. Some airports have gift-wrapping services located past security during the holiday season.

How to pack your electronics for airport security

Bringing your children’s electronic games is a good way to keep them busy at the airport. To save time leave small electronic devices like tablets, e-books, cameras and handheld video games in their cases or in your carry-on baggage for screening, then simply place the case or baggage in the bin. If you travel with large electronic items like laptops, DVD players, netbooks, notebooks or game consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, etc.) you need to remove them from your carry-on baggage and place them separately in a bin. Make sure there are no other items on top or underneath.

Choose easy-to-remove outerwear

Make sure the little ones can easily remove winter jackets, boots and hats. These items must be placed in bins for screening.

Look for the Family/Special Needs lane

If you need help at the checkpoint, look for the Family/Special Needs lane. It features screening equipment that can accommodate larger items, like car seats and strollers, and screening officers who offer additional assistance.

Have your boarding passes ready

Remember to have all family members’ boarding passes ready for inspection.

If you have more questions about the screening process,  you can find answers online at, on the go with CATSA’s mobile app or on social media (Twitter: @catsa_gc, Pinterest: CATSAGC). You can also watch short info video on CATSA’s YouTube channel. Bon voyage!

18 Replies to “This winter get your family through airport security quickly”

  1. These tips are so important. I can’t stand going through security at airports. It makes me so nervous. I never know what they want to see, do I have to take my shoes off, etc. ARGH! Thanks for the post. It has helped.

  2. Thanks for the tips! My brother had wrapped gifts when travelling… he said he felt like Santa the way the opened them and checked them out lol

  3. This is so true, I once went to the airport with my presents all nicely wrapped, they were lead crystal vases in my backpack, 3 of them. I’d never even thought about them not being able to ‘see’ through them! Needless to say each and every one lost the gift wrapping so they could be inspected, sigh!

  4. Thanks for the reminder about leaving gifts unwrapped. I can see myself thinking I was so efficient having them all wrapped before leaving home, and then having to unwrap them all at airport security(lol)!

  5. Good tips! Great for people who are not used to travelling often or with kids… As someone who flies a lot (and with the kids), I really appreciate it when others are prepared for Airport Security.

  6. I find that travelling with kids is SOOOO stressful, anything that can help make the transition more smooth is worth trying!!! Thank you! 🙂

  7. The Family/Special Needs lane is something I would definitely utilize! And this is all great info to be aware of because we would be travelling with a lot of electronics so good to know all this.

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