Airport security re-screening
July 27, 2011 12:30 PM   Subscribe

When transferring between connecting flights in Canada, do you need to go through security screening again?

My dad is flying from Vancouver to Saskatoon, and he may be changing planes in Calgary. He wants to know if he'll have to go through security again in Calgary... if so, he'll pay more for a direct flight to avoid it.

I'm guessing they won't do this, at least not on domestic flights. But I haven't flown in a long time myself, so I can't be sure.

Thanks for your help!
posted by problemspace to Travel & Transportation around Canada (10 answers total)
If you leave the secured area, yes. Otherwise, no.
posted by Jairus at 12:31 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not in my experience, unless he leaves the terminal.
posted by OLechat at 12:32 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had connecting flights in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. I've never had to go through security between flights.
I'd bet the airline customer service line could answer his question definitively before he books a ticket.
posted by beau jackson at 12:51 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Definitely not. I've connected in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, St. John's, probably other places. Security at the departure.

The two exceptions are if he leaves the secured area, but that will be clear to him (big signs, etc), or if he were switching to an international section (I think, but is irrelevant in this case.)
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:16 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I went through Canada to go on a connection flight to Italy all I had to do was walk through a Canadian customs guy. Piece of cake, and I only wish US customs were as friendly and easy to deal with as their Canadian counterparts.
posted by handbanana at 1:22 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Domestic, no. Transborder (i.e. to the US) or international, yes.

The exception is if he's switching airlines; WestJet flies out of concourse D and Air Canada out of A. I'm pretty sure there isn't a secure transfer between these terminals, so he'd have to go through security (and walk from one end of the airport to the other, which isn't terribly long but would still be annoying).

That said, I'm 98% sure (and your dad is 100% sure no doubt) that he's just doing a WestJet connection, so that's a short hangout in concourse D, which isn't that bad a place, IIRC. Wifi's free, so there's that.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:58 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would say only when switching concourses...and then only maybe.
posted by CodeMonkey at 2:27 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone! I'll tell my dad not to worry then, and to just stay within the secured area. You're right Homeboy Trouble, it's just a WestJet-to-WestJet connection.
posted by problemspace at 4:21 PM on July 27, 2011

If the turn around is quick enough, and they're taking the same plane onwards, he might be able to even stay on the plane!

(Also note that if he goes outside (the secure area) at all (to smoke or whatever) he'll need to come back in through security.)

It might be helpful to remember the liquid rules still count for domestic Canadian flights as well as international ones. (that's the "you're allowed just one ziplock full of your liquids" rule for hand luggage.)

(I flew WestJet through Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary recently)
posted by titanium_geek at 6:41 PM on July 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually, I have left the secure area of the Calgary airport once without realizing it. (Luckily, I had lots of time to get back!) The signs are there, but they are not super large and if you're a bit spacey, you could miss them. Just tell your dad to look for signs before going though any doors, even ajar ones.
posted by Kurichina at 9:11 AM on July 28, 2011

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