Make Christmas travel a merry and bright experience

Between now and Jan. 6 are some of the busiest travel days at Kelowna and other airports around the world.

Can holiday travel be merry and bright?

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) thinks so.

Between now and Jan. 6 are some of the busiest travel days at YLW and at airports around the world.

Here is some travel information to help you be prepared for one of the busiest travel times of the year:

Before you leave home, please remember to make sure you have all of your documentation required to travel.

Requirements can vary depending on whether you are travelling domestically or internationally so you might want to check with your airline.

Be sure to have government issued photo identification for all flights. Note that all passengers, including Canadian and U.S. citizens, are required to present a valid passport when travelling by air between Canada and the United States.

Specific documentation may be required for children under 18, especially if they are not being accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Confirm details with your airline or visit the federal government travel website for more information about travelling with children.

If you are not a Canadian or American and you are travelling to the United States, apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

ESTA is an on-line application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travellers before they are allowed to travel into the country. There is a computer available at the airport in the Airport Ambassadors’ office between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., however, it is best to apply in advance of your travel.

Airlines may be strictly enforcing baggage limitations. Please check with your airline to confirm your flight and verify that your luggage is within the size and weight restrictions for both carry-on and checked baggage.

Baggage fees may be applicable and collected upon check-in.

If you are travelling with pets, check with your airline because some carriers may have a pet embargo over parts of the holiday season.

Most major airlines offer customers the option of saving time by checking-in for their flights on-line up to 24 hours before departure.

Arrive early

Give yourself some extra time to park, check your baggage and clear security screening.

If you are bringing your own vehicle please be reminded that the Kelowna International Airport does not accept parking reservations, however, valet services are available.

If the regular parking lots are full when you arrive, follow the directions of parking attendants who will guide you to our overflow parking lots.

Consider getting a family member or friend to drop you off at the airport or use a shuttle or cab options.

Security screening

Travellers are reminded to keep in mind security measures when preparing to travel.

For the most current regulations regarding carry-on and checked baggage, please visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) website.

The following are some suggestions to help you move through pre-board security screening:

• Pack you own bags and try to travel light. Use CATSA’sPack Smart on-line tool to help you with your packing questions

• If you are travelling with gifts, it is recommended that they be unwrapped. If you are taking a wrapped item, it is best to place it in your checked baggage.

• Make sure you travel with government issued photo identification.

• Remember to put identification tags inside baggage as well as outside in case your tag comes off.

• Laptops, cell phones, and other electronics should have identification on them.

• Liquids, gels, and aerosols are permitted through pre-board security screening at Canadian airports provided that the items are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml/100 grams (3.4 oz) or less, and that the containers fit comfortably in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than 1 litre (1 quart). One bag per passenger is permitted. Anything larger than that should be packed in your checked baggage as there is no size or bag restrictions for liquids and gels packed in checked baggage.

• Knives or knife-like sharp objects will not be permitted through pre-board screening. Ensure no sharp objects, such as scissors, are in your carry-on bag. Take time when packing, and avoid bringing anything that could be interpreted as a weapon or a dangerous item.

• Travellers bringing electronic equipment as carry-on baggage should be prepared to declare them and demonstrate that they are in working order.

• Sports equipment such as skates, skis, snowboards, ski poles, hockey sticks and golf clubs are not permitted as carry-on items and must be transported as checked baggage.

• Avoid bringing non-permitted or dangerous goods by checking CATSA’s permitted and non-permitted items list.

• Get to boarding gate a little early if you have a wheelchair or stroller or require a little extra time to board.

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