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Quiz: Do You Really Know What Can Fly With You?

12 questions to test your airport security smarts

Waist down of a woman in skinny jeans and white flats pushing a cart carrying a large and small suitcase

Most travellers have reached the front of the security line, only to remember they are carrying a half-full bottle of water that now has to be chugged. Before hopping on a plane this holiday season, take this quiz to see how much you really know about what you can bring on board.

(Hint: all answers are based on what is permitted on flights within Canada, in accordance with federal government regulations.)


0–33% correct: Forgetful flyer

We have a feeling you’ve had to leave one or two things with airport security. But don’t despair; the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has a search engine to help you figure out what you can and cannot bring on a plane. Visit their What Can I Bring page to study up.

34–66% correct: Semi-frequent flyer

You’ve got your travel-sized deodorant and toothpaste (stored in a clear plastic bag, of course), but every once in a while, you forget to finish your coffee before reaching the scanner. If you find yourself wondering if something is permitted on board, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority answers questions about items not listed on their website via their Facebook and Twitter account (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Monday through Friday).

67–100% correct: Security savant

You know the drill: you’ve put liquids under 100 millilitres in a clear plastic bag, you’ve removed your jacket, and your laptop is out of your bag and placed in its own bin. It’s smooth sailing through security for you! If you want to up your security game, download the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Breeze Through Security app.

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Image credit: iStock.com/YakobchukOlena


A1: True. Though we wouldn’t recommend drinking it, shampoo is considered a liquid, right alongside coffee and bottled water.

A2: True. Zippo lighters and the like are considered “non-torch lighters” and are allowed in your carry-on. You’re also allowed to bring a disposable Bic-style lighter on board (but not the refillable kind). But remember, there’s no smoking on board—not even e-cigarettes. It’s not the 1980s!

A3: C. Yes, but only in your checked baggage. You can travel with bows and arrows for sporting use, as long as they are in your checked bag.

A4: A. Yes (with the approval of the airline). Rock stars and magicians rejoice! Dry ice can be carried on, as long as it’s used to pack “perishables that are not dangerous goods.” It must, however, be labelled “dry ice.”

A5: A. Yes. Both nail and cuticle clippers are allowed in your carry-on, as long as the blades are less than six centimetres (within Canada and to international non–U.S. locales). But we can all agree that clipping your nails in the cabin is a major air-travel faux pas.

A6: A. Yes. Knitting needles and crochet hooks of all sizes and materials can be carried on or checked.

A7: D. Bowling ball. Bowling balls are permitted both in your carry-on and checked luggage. Don’t forget to check the weight limits, though, before lugging it to the airport.

A8: C. Both the pole and the hooks. Fishing poles with or without hooks can accompany travellers on the plane. The hooks, however, can only come on board if they are shorter than six centimetres. Larger hooks need to be packed in checked luggage.

A9: D. Both. Canned tuna is considered a canned or jarred good that contains both “solids and liquid that clearly contain less than 100 millilitres of liquid.” Lobster is allowed both in your checked and carry-on luggage, but if it’s packed in liquid, it must be under 100 millilitres.

A10: C. Pudding. Considered a liquid or gel, pudding must be under 100 millilitres.

A11: B. Both medical and recreational (under the legal volume). Recreational cannabis (under 30 grams) and medical cannabis are both permitted in your carry-on and checked baggage. All cannabidiol oil must be under the magic 100 millilitres if you plan to carry it on.

A12: B. Yes, even with the liquid. Sleep well (and snore-free) knowing that the distilled water used in CPAP machines is one of the liquids exempted from the strict 100-millilitre rule.