Security Screening Wait Times

CATSA encourages all passengers to arrive at their departing airport well in advance of their flight. Many airlines advise passengers to arrive two hours in advance for domestic flights and three hours in advance for US and international flights.

Be prepared for screening - LAGS

Be prepared for screening. Please ensure that all liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry-on baggage are in containers of 100ml or less and placed in a clear, 1L resealable bag. Click here for more information about carry-on baggage requirements.

Permanent closure of CATSA’s mobile app

Please be advised that CATSA’s mobile app was permanently closed on March 29, 2023, following a value assessment review.

Duty-free Purchases

Duty-free Purchases as Carry-on Baggage

Since January 31, 2014, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority accepts, subject to screening, duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels purchased from any airline or airport retailer that are properly sealed in official security bags and accompanied by an itemized receipt.

These do not count as part of your carry-on allowance.

Screening officers may open your security bag to screen its contents, then re-seal it after inspection.

You may be asked to surrender your duty-free purchases if:

  • either the bag or the product within does not pass required security screening;
  • the retailer did not use an official security bag;
  • the clerk improperly packaged your purchases at the point of sale or did not include an itemized receipt;
  • you opened the bag yourself after making the purchase and before screening; or
  • more than 48 hours have passed since you made the purchase (official security bags are only valid for two calendar days).

Connecting international flights or multiple airport transfers

Please note that duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels may be intercepted if you pass through pre-board screening at a connecting airport in another country or at multiple airports over a two-day period.

If your duty-free purchases do not clear security, you can:

  • surrender them to the screening officer;
  • transfer them to your checked baggage, if possible and time permits;
  • ship them via mail, cargo or courier. Please keep in mind that shipping options vary at airports.

Official Security Bags
Duty-free bag

These are sealed clear plastic bags with special security features that hold goods purchased from airline or airport retailers after security screening. They are designed to make it easier for you to carry liquids, aerosols and gels through screening.

Official security bags are used in several—but not all—countries around the world. Wherever you travel, check first to make sure your bag has the security features shown in the image here – typically a checkmark and arrow in a circle as well as a red border - when you make your purchase. If it doesn’t, it will be rejected.