Canadian Press File Photo


In this file photo, travellers line up to check in at Vancouver International Airport on Aug. 10.


Not sure what you can or can’t bring on a plane following recent rule changes? You’re not alone. Travellers are “certainly finding (the new rules) confusing because they apply differently in every country,” said Christiane Theberge of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies.

Canadian officials have made major changes to what’s allowed in carry-on luggage since Aug. 10, when British authorities thwarted an alleged plot to blow up as many as 10 transatlantic jetliners. The U.S. and Britain have also been changing rules since the arrests.

Q: What can’t I bring in my carry-on luggage?

A: Liquids, gels and aerosols are forbidden from carry-on bags. That includes items such as beverages, shampoo, sunscreen, skin creams, toothpaste, hair gel and liquid makeup. Basically, anything that has a liquid or gel-like consistency is banned — so shoe insoles filled with gel, bras with gel inserts and over-the-counter gel tablets are all banned. Lighters are forbidden because they contain liquid.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the rules?

A: Yes. If you are travelling with a baby or a small child, formula and breast milk are permitted. Prescription medication with a name that matches the name on the passenger’s ticket or boarding pass, a limited amount of insulin and other essential non-prescription medication are also allowed.

Q: What about duty free?

A: Transport Canada has announced that the sale of liquids, gels and aerosols at duty-free stores is being restored for passengers on most international flights. In some cases these items must be put into checked baggage. Check details.

Q: Does the ban on liquids, gels and aerosols from carry-on luggage apply to all flights leaving Canadian airports?

A: Yes. Whether you’re flying from Toronto to Ottawa or Toronto to Paris, the rules apply.

Q: If I’m not sure about an item, how can I find out if it’s allowed in my carry-on baggage?

A: Websites for both the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority,, and Transport Canada,, have detailed info about what is and isn’t permitted. CATSA has also has a toll-free number (1-888-294-2202) to help passengers with their questions. Travel agents and your airline can also provide answers. If you’re travelling outside Canada, be sure to check if different rules apply in the country to which you’re travelling. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration,, and Britain’s Department for Transport,, can provide up-to-date information.

Q: If I’m flying out of Canada but catching a connection through London, do I need to abide by British rules?

A: Yes. According to Britain’s Department for Transport, British restrictions apply to passengers connecting to flights through a British airport. Under those rules, each passenger is permitted one piece of hand luggage up to a maximum length of 45cm, width of 35cm and depth of 16cm.

Q: Are laptops, cellphones, Ipods and other electronics allowed in carry-on luggage in Canada?

A: Yes. They were never included on Canada’s list of banned items. There were restrictions on electronics two weeks ago in Britain and the U.S., but they have since been lifted.

Q: Can I purchase a drink at an airport restaurant or newsstand after I go through security and bring it onto the plane?

A: No. You can buy a beverage but it will be served to you in a cup and you must drink it before boarding the plane.