Knives, scissors and toothpaste among items taken from travellers at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario

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Published March 5, 2024 at 3:21 pm

Items confiscated at Pearson Airport in Mississauga March 2024.
Some of the various items taken from travellers recently at Pearson Airport in Mississauga. (Photo: Pearson Airport X)

Folding knives, steak knives, scissors, tubes of toothpaste and toy stuffed animals are just a few of the items recently taken from the carry-on bags of travellers by security officials at Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

And, for good measure, add to the list screwdrivers, assorted toiletries and medicines, and an item that appears to be a brass knuckles-type weapon with dagger-like extensions.

With March break, one of the busiest travel times of the year at Pearson, only a few days away, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority officials say it’s a good time to remind travellers of what they can and cannot bring on board aircraft.

Our friends at (the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) are back with a selection of items that travellers packed, but didn’t get to take onto the plane,” Pearson Airport officials said in a post to X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday that was linked to a CATSA photo of confiscated items. “Screening is an important part of ensuring the security of air travellers, airline staff, airport employees and others who work in and travel through our country’s airports.”

Officials add travellers should check out CATSA’s online information to see what they can and cannot taken with them onto their flights.

The post and accompanying photo drew responses from commenters that ranged from witty remarks to mild bewilderment.

“We can rest easy. They got the toothpaste,” joked one person.

Another commenter wondered “what was wrong with the stuffed bear,” to which another person replied, “maybe the bear had drugs in it.”

One other person wondered about the kitchen utensil.

“Who the hell packs a steak knife?” they asked.

CATSA officials offered a similar reminder/explanation to air travellers just before this past Christmas, noting knowing what they can and cannot bring with them can save travellers and others a lot of time.

“Your carry-on baggage and bins will go through the X-ray machine so that a screening officer can examine their contents. Sometimes carry-on bags require an additional search if screening officers see items that aren’t permitted,” CATSA officials said in an earlier online update of items that are and are not allowed on board flights via carry-on.

“The final decision rests with the screening officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint,” officials continued, adding many items can look harmless enough while posing an unintended danger due to sharp component parts.

CATSA officials note that if a traveller is found to have an item or items in their carry-on bags that are not permitted on the aircraft, they have several options:

  • if you have time before your flight, you can consult with your airline and put the item in your checked baggage
  • you can consult with an airport representative as some airports offer a service which lets passengers mail the item to their home or office
  • you can place the item in your vehicle or give it to a family member or friend
  • you can choose to abandon the item (it will not be returned to you)
  • you can turn back from the screening checkpoint and not board your flight

In addition to checking online ahead of time for a list of permitted items, travellers are also provided the following advice:

  • ensure you can easily remove your laptop computer, video and film cameras from your carry-on
  • place personal toiletry items in a clear plastic bag. Only bring liquids, aerosols and gels that are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 ounces) or less. All items must fit into one transparent, closed and resealable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than one litre
  • certain powders and granular materials (baby powder, inorganic baby formula, foot powder, some cooking powders and seasonings, sand) in your carry-on are limited to a total quantity of 350 ml or less
  • exempted liquids — medication, liquid baby formula or breast milk — should be packed so they can easily be removed from carry-on baggage for inspection
  • avoid packing gifts and souvenirs containing liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on. These include liquor, wine, beer, snow globes, cans of condensed soup, maple syrup, perfume and lotion. Put them in checked baggage or ship them separately
  • fragile items such as prescription eyewear and sunglasses, dishes, figurines and glassware should be properly packed inside your carry-on bag so you can ensure the item does not break
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