Lifestyle West Blog

Check It or Carry It? Plane Travel Facts You May Not Know

August 29, 2012

Changes in security and other airline restrictions can make it tough to know just what you should pack in your checked luggage and what you can carry-on. Here are some facts taken from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) that can help lessen the stress the next time you are packing for a flight.

Electronic Devices

It is recommended to keep expensive electronic items with you in your carry-on luggage to prevent damage in transit. These include things like cameras and camcorders, personal computing devices such as laptops, iPads or tablets, eReaders, gaming devices, MP3 musical players, or DVD players.

Knives or Tools

Knives of any kind are not permitted in your carry-on luggage. However, hunting knives, jack knives, Swiss Army knives, or kitchen knives are permitted in your checked luggage. Small tools with a head and shaft measuring 6 cm (2.4 in.) or less (measured from the joint to the tip) are permitted in carry-on or checked baggage. All types of hammers and saws are not permitted in your carry-on. Any multi-tool that has a knife is not allowed in carry-on. Some airlines may be picky about allowing nail-clippers as well, so you may want to consider putting them in your checked luggage just in case.

If you pack power tools, they should be in a case inside your checked luggage. If there is an on-off switch, tape the switch to the off position to prevent accidental power-up while in transit.



 Although smoking is definitely not permitted on any flight, a passenger can carry one disposable or Zippo-type lighter with him/her in carry-on luggage. Lighter fluid, gels, fuel or refills are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. If your lighter is shaped like a grenade or gun, it is best to probably leave it at home.

Matches are not permitted in checked or carry-on luggage.


 Spare batteries for personal use should be kept in their packaging if possible and can be brought in your carry-on luggage. Lithium ion batteries with an aggregate equivalent lithium content of more than 8 g but not more than 25 g (professional A/V equipment) may be carried in carry-on baggage if they are individually protected so as to prevent short circuits and are limited to two spare batteries per person.


Hockey Equipment

Because we’re Canadian, and hockey season is just around the corner, we thought you should know that your hockey skates are permitted in your carry-on luggage or in your checked bags. Your hockey sticks, however, must be checked. (Unless they are the little souvenir sticks found at gift shops... those are okay to bring on the plane!)


Liquids, Aerosols, and Gels

Lastly, we’d like to remind about packing liquids, aerosols, and gels in carry-on luggage. These are easiest items to forget in your carry-on luggage, especially when you usually carry moisturizer or hand sanitizers with you on a regular basis (ladies—you know what I’m talking about!) Get in the habit of carrying smaller bottles and lesser products in your purse and bags so that when it comes time to travel, you won’t forget about them and have to discard them.

Canadian airports offer CATSA-labeled plastic bags in which you may pre-pack your liquids before heading through the security check point (must be 100mL / 100g / 3.4 oz or less per item; up to 1L in total). Grab a couple extra bags to incorporate into your next packing ritual; this will help you avoid fumbling around with your bags the next time you're at the airport.


If you are looking for some ideas to help you reduce the amount of luggage you have overall, visit our article on Traveling Light.

When you are unsure of what you can check or carry-on, it is always a good idea to visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website or contact your airline carrier directly. We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to Kelowna at the Best Western Kelowna Hotel and Suites.


The award-winning BEST WESTERN PLUS Kelowna Hotel & Suites is known as a launch pad to the surrounding area’s 4 season outdoor playground in British Columbia, Canada. Winter sees world class skiing, and skating, while summer sun brings epic wine tours, golf, biking, and water sports. The Best Western is in the heart of beautiful Kelowna, BC and has 176 rooms and suites; plus conference center, mineral pool, spa and much more.



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