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Airport Security Measures for Flying to the U.S.

Wondering what the newest airport security measures are for Canadians flying to the U.S.? Here is what you need to know.

Airport security measures are constantly changing. And lately, there have been even more security increases for Canadians travelling to the United States. In April of 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially announced and implemented enhanced airport security measures for all travellers to the U.S. This new program comes in response to the discovery of a ‘spider web’ of threats to commercial aviation. The enhanced measures have been introduced in more than 100 countries, including for Canadian travellers visiting the U.S.

The complete details behind all of the new safety checks and airport security measures have not been shared with the public. But, there are still some steps you can take to prepare yourself for the new security measures. Before you pack your bags, here is what you need to know to make sure that your flight to the U.S. is as stress-free as possible.

New Airport Security Measures Mean Longer Waits

New airport security measures mean longer waits
Airport Security Measures for Flying to the U.S. | Skyscanner Canada

With enhanced airport security measures, Canadians flying to the U.S. should expect longer wait times due to extra screening. It’s recommended that travellers arrive at least two hours before their flight. For Canadian travellers who have flights before 10 a.m., it’s suggested that you arrive three hours before your flight, especially when using Canada’s busier hubs such as Toronto Pearson Airport. Once through security, it is also advised that you arrive at your departure gate 45 minutes early.

Make Sure Your Electronics Are Accessible

New airport security measures focus on electronic screening
Airport Security Measures for Flying to the U.S. | Skyscanner Canada

Many of the updated airport security measures are aimed at electronics. If you are planning on travelling with anything more than your cellphone, there are a few extra steps you need to take to make the process run as smoothly as possible.

Travellers are expected to make sure the device is fully (or near fully) charged in case they need to be inspected. Security is looking to make sure that your laptops or tablets are indeed laptops and tablets; so be extra sure to have a significant charge on your device’s battery to be able to prove this. They should also be easily accessible with any cases or covers removed in advance.

Increased Random Security Checks

new airport security measures mean more random security checks
Airport Security Measures for Flying to the U.S. | Skyscanner Canada

Random security checks are already common at Canadian airports. However, due to increased airport security measures, expect random security checks to be more frequent and more thorough. Random security checks will now include an examination of any electronics. It’s important to make sure your electronics are charged, easily accessible, and removed from any protective casing.

Travellers may also notice heightened security throughout the airport in the form of additional security officers and detection canines. However, plenty of these new airport security measures will be unnoticeable as well. Additional measures are expected to be introduced in the next several months with the possibility of existing measures becoming stricter depending on the risk of threat.

While these new airport security measures may be additional stressors for travellers, the purpose of these precautions is to increase passenger safety and decrease the risk of terror attacks. Your best bet for a smooth travel experience from a Canadian airport to the U.S. is to be patient and prepared. And understand that those that do not cooperate with the new regulations may not be allowed to board their flight.

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Disclaimer: Information correct as of July 30, 2019, obtained from Canadians should always check the latest requirements at and with destination authorities before booking a trip.