Tips for a Stress-free Screening

Whether you are at a regular screening line or at a CATSA Plus screening line, below are tips to make the screening process less stressful and more efficient for everybody.

Tips for Screening

  • Tag your carry-on and checked baggage with your contact information.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get through pre-board screening, especially during peak travel periods (early morning, noon, and early evening).
  • Leave empty baggage carts outside of the screening checkpoint.
  • Have your boarding pass ready to present for verification.  You may need to show photo identification. At some airports, the validation of your boarding pass will be done automatically by a scanner.
  • NEVER joke or make “small talk” about bombs, firearms or other weapons while going through pre-board screening – you could be charged with an offence under the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations.
  • Understand what to expect during a physical search.

Tips for Screening at CATSA Plus

CATSA Plus definitely looks different from the regular screening lines but the rules for screening are the same. For example, passengers should still be prepared to take out their 1 L bag of liquids, aerosols and gels, and their laptop, and put them into bins. 

However, with several people going through screening at once, it is a different experience than going through a regular screening line. The tips below can help you move more easily through CATSA Plus.

Loading the bins:

  • Before you get to the bins, place your valuables (e.g. money clips, watches and passports) and other small items in a jacket pocket or inside your carry-on bag, instead of leaving them loose in the bin.
  • You control the order in which you place your items in the bins, so if you have something that you want to keep an eye on, you should place it in the last bin you send to the X-ray.

After X-ray screening:

  • Take your bins from the screening line to the large tables provided and repack your belongings.
  • If you do not see all of your bins, then one (or more) required additional screening. Bins that undergo additional screening are automatically re-directed to a separate search line. You can repack your other items while you wait for the screening officer to call you to the search table.
  • All your bins are tracked by CATSA to ensure the safety of your belongings. 
  • If you have a common type of laptop, tablet or cellphone, we suggest you personalize it with a decal or label. This helps avoid mix-ups with someone else’s belongings while you are repacking.
  • Return your bin to the end of the line before you leave the checkpoint.

Always make sure you have all of your items with you after screening, at CATSA Plus or a regular line.