If you think Santa’s list is long, you should check out the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s (CATSA) What Can I Bring list. It’s basically a naughty-or-nice list for aviation security – a searchable database saying what can and cannot pass through airport security in your carry-on or checked luggage. It has hundreds of items, so here’s a seasonal selection of what’s ho-ho-ho and what’s no-no-no.

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The Naughty List

  • Replica weapons: This shouldn’t be too surprising, but if you’re helping Santa to bring toy guns, replica knives or anything similar this holiday season, you’ll have to mail it to your destination or pack it in your checked baggage.
  • Liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) in containers of more than 100 ml: Pack your egg nog in your checked bag if the container is larger than 100 ml. Passengers are allowed to bring only as many smaller containers as can fit inside a 1L bag (which is available at the checkpoint). Check CATSA’s website for more info.
A Naughty-or-Nice List for Aviation Security

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Wrapped gifts: Leave your gifts unwrapped when bringing them through the security checkpoint, in case their contents need to be inspected. In some airports, gift wrapping services are available after security during the holiday season.

A Naughty-or-Nice List for Aviation Security

Don’t wrap your gifts before you fly!

The Nice List

  • Electronics: Portable electronic devices are allowed in your carry-on, so feel free to load up your tablet with holiday movies to watch on the plane. However, you may be asked to remove your device’s protective case, and to power it up at the checkpoint. CATSA’s security-screening page has everything you need to know about screening procedures.
A Naughty-or-Nice List for Aviation Security

Did you know small electronics can stay in your bag before screening?

  • Medications: Does it feel like your immune system is already on holiday? Medications, even non-prescription ones like cough syrup, are permitted in your carry-on, and they’re exempt from the 100-ml naughty-list rule. For more info, check out CATSA’s special medications page.
  • Baby food/drinks: We all know the holidays can be hard on parents, but air travel doesn’t have to be. Things like baby food, juice, formula and breast milk for children under two years old are also exempt from the 100-ml rule, and so are ice packs used to keep them cold.

They’ve checked their list more than twice (take that, Santa), but if you still don’t find the item you’re looking for on CATSA’s What Can I Bring list, you can send a picture or a question to them on Facebook or Twitter. Happy holiday travels!

Check out this video CATSA has put together which explains traveling over the holidays.

This post is kindly brought to you by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

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