Calgary

Airplane security no-nos: Knives, bullets and hammers top CATSA list

If you're packing your bags for holiday travels, please leave the hammers, guns and knives behind. Believe it or not, those are among the items that airport security has had to confiscate from travellers' carry-on luggage ... and with 15,000 passengers leaving the Calgary airport every day, every infraction can slow things down.

Passengers try to board planes with some crazy objects, slowing things down for everybody

Knives, guns and even this machete are among the items that airport officials have had to confiscate from passengers' carry-on luggage, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, which is trying to spread the word about banned items before the holiday peak travel times. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Knives, bullets, hammers, crowbars.

If you're wondering what these items have in common, you might be surprised to learn they're all things passengers have attempted to get through airport security in a carry-on bag.

"Swiss army knives, paring knives, multi-tool knives — we see a ton of them every day," Mathieu Larocque, a spokesman for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), said at Calgary International Airport on Monday.

Larocque says these kinds of infractions are often innocent mistakes, because many travellers simply don't know an item is prohibited or forget that it was in their bag,

Still, with the Calgary airport processing more than 15,000 travellers every day, Larocque said those mistakes quickly add up and slow down the security screening process for everyone.

Mathieu Larocque of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority says having banned items in your carry-on luggage slows things down for everyone. (CBC)

"One of the most common mistakes that passengers will make is with liquids, aerosols and gel restrictions," Larocque said.

"Passengers will forget a large bottle of shampoo, or water, or maple syrup in their carry-on baggage."

Each infraction grinds the line to a halt.

Additional banned items that CATSA says people tried to bring with them on flights. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

"It is not a huge percentage of travellers but every time you see an item that is not permitted in a carry-on bag, it means you have to stop the line to search the bag, remove the item and then offer the passenger the options."

Those options include leaving the security area and giving the banned item to a friend or popping it in your car, mailing it to yourself, putting it in a checked bag or tossing it in the garbage if you don't have time to exercise the other options.

Canadian airports post what's acceptable and what's not and CATSA has the complete list online.

Larocque said sometimes it's people who don't fly very often who forget the rules but for everyone's safety, they must still be applied.

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