by Victoria Simpson
The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are coming to town in just two days and with that, as we know, security measures are beefed up in and around the GTA. This includes Pearson International Airport. Getting through security there without delay can be a mission of details on a regular day but catching a plane on time shouldn’t be an elusive battle. With a labour disruption between airlines and a fueling company adding to delays and cancelling dozens of flights last Friday, knowing how to pack properly in order to zip through the scanner line can be helpful in these coming weeks.
Prescription medication is something that often comes under intense examination by officials at the airport. Don’t be caught red-handed. Here is a list of reminders of what to do with your medication, and how to pack it for compliance:
1) Confirm Your Medication’s Status
Is your inhaler a permanent resident? According to the government of Canada, in some countries drugs that are readily available in Canada can be considered illegal or may require a prescription elsewhere, which can raise suspicions with local authorities. Contact the foreign government offices accredited to Canada of the country you are planning to visit before you travel, to confirm your medication’s local status.
2) Carry It On
Don’t pack your medication in the suitcase that you are checking-put it all in your carry-on bag to facilitate screening. Presenting it to the screening officer separately from your carry-on baggage is also recommended. Draw attention to it by pulling it out and showing it to the officer.
3) Go Authentic and Original
Pack all medications in your carry-on baggage in their original, labeled containers. This makes it easier for airport security to see what it is, and to do so quickly.
4) Keep It Separate
Airport security advises using one container for each different medication. It should be this way already if you are following #3. Do not try to save luggage space by combining medications into a single container- this gets confusing and officials don’t allow it.
5) Consider Yourself Special
You ARE special, so go get in that line. Use the Family/Special Needs security line as the screening officers at these points are trained to offer additional assistance to travelers, if need be.
6) Carry Paper Prescriptions With You
Carry a copy of all your original prescriptions and ensure that both the generic and trade names of the medication are included in case of loss or theft. It is also recommended that you carry a doctor’s note describing why you are taking your medication.
7) Remember the Liquid Limit-100 ml
“Liquids, aerosols or gels are accepted in containers of 100 ml or 100 g that fit in a single clear plastic re-sealable bag that holds 1 liter or less.” Directly from http://www.catsa.gc.ca/medication-and-medical-items.Prescription medication (and baby formula and breast milk), is exempted from the liquid restrictions but must be presented to the screening officer separately from your carry-on baggage.
8) Feel the Freedom
It’s good to know that the limit of two carry-on bags does not apply to medical supplies, equipment and mobility aids, and so don’t be shy to load it up and bring it on.
9) Have A Great Time
So, maybe you’re sick or need medication but it’s vacation time and you are now being given orders. Have an amazing, awesome time! We won’t allow you back here if you don’t!