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How to breeze through airport security this holiday season

Passengers at the Calgary International Airport terminal on July 14, 2014.

ronniechua/Getty Images

1. Keep presents unwrapped

This is one of the main rules the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) wants travellers to follow this time of year. If items have to be inspected, you don't want your expert ribbon work going to waste.

2. Have electronics handy

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Laptops must be removed from carry-on baggage, but any jumble of electronics and wires can trigger a secondary inspection, so make sure video games, chargers and the like are easily accessible. (And remember, no lithium batteries in your checked bags.)

3. Watch your liquids

Packing edible gifts? Remember that non-solid food counts toward to your liquid allowance. So jams, jellies, nut butters, syrups and spreads must be in bottles no larger than 100 millitres each, and all liquids must fit into a clear one-litre bag.

4. Be prepared

Outerwear has to come off, so CATSA suggests making sure children are sporting easy-to-remove winter jackets and hats. Don't be the person who holds up the line over a finicky zipper.

5. Learn the new rules

As of this past month, blades of up to six centimetres will be permitted as carry-on luggage on domestic flights. Also, powders – such as bath salts, sand and other inorganic materials – are now allowed (up to 350 ml).

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