Special Items

We know there’s more to packing than just clothes. So, we’ve created a list of items to help address some frequently asked questions about what to bring and how to pack.

A list of miscellaneous items that may require special attention

We recommend keeping all fragile, valuable or expensive items with you in your cabin baggage, subject to carry-on baggage size and weight restrictions. This also includes travel documents, money and keys.

Battery-powered mobility aids and medical devices

Battery-powered mobility aids and medical devices collapsed Battery-powered mobility aids and medical devices expanded

If you are travelling with your own mobility aid or medical device you will be able to bring them free of charge in addition to the standard baggage allowance.

For battery acceptance details, please refer to the Batteries section on the Restricted and Prohibited Items page.

Battery-powered mobility aids

Non-spillable or lithium-ion batteries for battery-powered mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs) are accepted in checked baggage, but require special handling. We do not transport spillable (wet cell/acid) batteries, nor any battery that is damaged or leaking.

See our Mobility and Wheelchair Assistance page for more information.

Portable battery-powered medical devices

Batteries used to power portable battery-powered medical devices (e.g. a Personal Oxygen Concentrator (POC) or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)) may be carried onboard to power these medical devices, but are subject to approval prior to transport. See the Oxygen Needs page for more information.

Camera film

Camera film collapsed Camera film expanded

All undeveloped film and cameras containing undeveloped film should be placed in your carry-on baggage, as screening machines for checked baggage may affect film.

Film below ISO 1600 should not be harmed by carry-on screening machines, however you can also ask the screening officer to conduct a hand inspection, especially if your film has or may be screened by x-ray more than five times.

We recommend leaving your undeveloped film in the unopened manufacturer’s packaging and packing it in a clear plastic bag to facilitate inspection.

Security regulations in Canada and the U.S. allow for a hand search of photographic film and equipment if requested. However, airports in other countries may not honor this request.

Another option is to have your exposed film processed locally before passing through airport security on your return trip.

Computers and other portable electronic devices

Computers and other portable electronic devices collapsed Computers and other portable electronic devices expanded

As long as they meet size and weight restrictions, your electronic devices should be placed in your carry-on, with the following in mind:

  • During airport security screening you may be asked to turn on your electronic or battery-powered devices, such as cell phones, tablets, e-books readers and laptops, to demonstrate they are functional.
  • If you're not able to do this, you will not be able to take your device with you.
  • Any items in your carry-on baggage should be fully charged and switched on before you arrive at the airport.
  • If your device is not charged, please place it in your checked baggage.
  • If you are connecting, make sure that you do not deplete power in your devices during the first part of your journey as charging points at airports might be very limited and you may need an adapter.

Duty-free purchases

Duty-free purchases collapsed Duty-free purchases expanded

You can travel with duty-free liquids, gels or cream products of more than 100 ml in your carry-on, provided that they have been sealed at the point of purchase in a Security Tamper Evident Bag with the receipt inside.

Duty-free items in reasonable quantities do not count towards your carry-on baggage allowance for your next flight.

If you want to leave the airport and return later for your connecting flight, you can take your duty-free purchases with you as long as you don't open the sealed bag. When you return, you will need to go through security again. A receipt must accompany all purchases and the security bag must not be tampered with or opened prior to going through security at a transfer airport. You should be aware that the Security Tamper Evident Bags are valid for a maximum of 48 hours.

Porter is not liable for any products opened or confiscated during transit or disembarkation.

You may be asked to surrender you duty-free purchases if:

  • Either the bag or the product within does not pass required security screening.
  • The retailer did not use an official security bag.
  • The clerk improperly packaged the purchases at the point of sale or did not include the receipt.
  • The bag was opened after making the purchase and before screening.
  • More than 48 hours have passed since the purchase was made.

If your duty-free purchases do not clear security, you can:

  • Surrender them to the screening officer;
  • Transfer them to your checked baggage (when possible and if time permits);
  • Ship them via mail or courier. Please keep in mind that shipping options vary at different airports.

Food and perishable items

Food and perishable items collapsed Food and perishable items expanded

You can bring solid foods like sandwiches, fruit, nuts, etc. on board. However, liquid foods like soups, pudding, jams, sauces or yoghurt, are subject to the same restrictions as all other liquids in your carry-on.

Perishable items such as seafood (including shellfish such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, mussels, shrimp and ocean plant life such as kelp), raw game meat and other perishable foods will be accepted on Porter flights as long as they are properly packaged and meet the baggage weight and size guidelines.

How to pack

  • Perishable foods must be suitably packed in leak-proof containers that are able to withstand normal handling without refrigeration and changes in pressure and temperature.
  • Seafood, whether fresh, salted or frozen must be packed in durable, watertight containers and have a double leak proof barrier, e.g. a leak proof, tear-resistant, polyethylene bag wrapped in absorbent material in a leak proof box.
  • Styrofoam coolers or other plastic foam containers carrying items that may leak during transit will not be accepted as checked baggage.
  • Porter airplanes do not have refrigerators on board, so plan for methods to keep your perishables cool, if required.
  • If your carry-on items require refrigeration, they should be packed with an acceptable coolant, such as a gel pack under 100 ml or frozen vegetables. Your perishable items cannot be packed with wet (regular) ice or brine.
  • If you are planning to use dry ice to keep your perishables fresh, please note that it falls under Dangerous Goods for air transport and must be declared at check in to ensure that the packaging meets all safety regulations and standards. For more details, refer to the Dry Ice section on our Restricted or Prohibited Items page.

Changes in air pressure, long flights or delays may compromise perishable items. Porter assumes no liability for any perishable items or the damage they may cause.

Bringing food into other countries

Import and export of meat, fresh fruit, vegetables and other related products are strictly regulated by many countries. The destination country you are travelling to may restrict the types of food allowed into the country.

For information on what food you can bring into Canada, please visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines website.

If you are a hunter travelling with bounty from Canada to the United States, you will require a permit to transport game meat. For more information, please visit the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines website.

Hunting trophies, antlers and horns

Hunting trophies, antlers and horns collapsed Hunting trophies, antlers and horns expanded

Antlers and horns are permitted as checked baggage only.

All items exceeding the standard weight and size restrictions will be subject to overweight / oversize baggage fees.

Antlers or horns weighing more than 32 kg (70 lb) and/or exceeding 292 cm (115 in) combined height, length and width will not be accepted.

How to pack

Antlers or horns must be clean and free of noticeable odors, undried pieces of hide, flesh and sinew. Antler tips must be padded to prevent punctures and then suitably wrapped for shipping in plastic covering or shrink wrap. Packages with leaking contents, or those that are not fully enclosed in a suitable shipping container may be refused for transport.

Hunting abroad

Hunting trophies and wild game are subject to requirements and restrictions enforced by federal agencies. We recommend that you check directly with the appropriate agencies that regulate the importation of wild game and trophies before you travel. This refers to the export regulations of the country you are visiting and the importation in the country you are returning to.

Bear in mind that the laws are subject to change, don't assume that last year's rules apply. Get informed, be prepared, and your border crossing experience will be a lot less stressful.

Exotic animal trophies

Lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo trophies will not be accepted for transport on Porter Airlines.

Media audio/visual equipment

Media audio/visual equipment collapsed Media audio/visual equipment expanded

If you have a crew travelling with audio/visual equipment, we recommend contacting our Call Centre in advance to advise of the additional baggage. That will also help us to alert the airport of extra baggage pieces heading their way.

In carry-on baggage

A bag containing media camera equipment will count as one piece of your standard carry-on baggage allowance. They are exempt from the sizing device restriction imposed on other carry-on baggage, however, if carried onboard, must be stowed in accordance with Transport Canada and FAA safety regulations. Camera equipment cannot be secured in a seat.

In checked baggage

When presented by a representative of a network or local television broadcasting company, sports organization or a commercial filmmaking company, camera, film, video, lighting, and sound equipment will be accepted at standard checked baggage service charges.

The maximum size and weight allowances are subject to Porter’s standard baggage policies. Checked baggage weighing more than 32 kg (70 lb) and/or exceeding 292 cm (115 in) combined height, length and width will not be accepted.

All Porter Airlines policies regarding the transportation of dangerous goods, batteries and improperly packed items will also apply.

Medication and medical items

Medication and medical items collapsed Medication and medical items expanded

Your health and peace of mind are important to us, so there’s no problem with bringing medication with you on board. However, to ensure a smooth journey, please take note of the following recommendations in regards to your prescription and essential non-prescription medication:

  • For optimal safety and health, always carry your medication with you in your carry-on luggage, rather than in checked luggage.
  • Porter aircrafts do not have refrigerators on board, so plan for methods to keep your medications cool, if required. You can use gel packs or frozen vegetables, but not wet (regular) ice.
  • Make sure you have a letter from your medical practitioner confirming the type of medication with prescribed doses, what the medication is for and any other medical items required, such as syringes or EpiPens.
  • The prescription medication must be in its original packaging, pharmaceutically labelled to clearly identify it as being prescribed for and belonging to you.
  • Carry a repeat prescription so your medication can be replaced in the event of loss, damage or insufficient supplies.
  • If you use needles or syringes to take medication, you must have appropriate medical records with you to explain your medical condition and the need for the medical procedure to security. Please alert our cabin crew if you have used any needles during flight so they may provide you with a disposal container.

Musical instruments

Musical instruments collapsed Musical instruments expanded

Porter accepts properly packaged musical instruments as either checked or carry-on baggage, depending on its weight, size and shape.

In carry-on baggage

Seats cannot be purchased for musical instruments, however small musical instruments (e.g. clarinet, flute, oboe, trumpet, guitar or violin) may be permitted as part of your standard carry-on baggage allowance as long as:

  • They are in its hard-shell case for appropriate protection.
  • They do not weigh more than 9 kg (20 lb).
  • They fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.

Due to cabin storage space limitations, we cannot guarantee that a musical instrument can be accommodated on board. Storage is provided on a "first come, first serve" basis, so it is always a good idea to arrive for boarding early.

Your instrument may need to be checked at the gate and transported as checked baggage if the airport agent or cabin crew determines that it cannot be safely stowed in the cabin. For this reason, musical instruments should always be properly packed in a hard-shell case specifically designed for that type of instrument. Musical instruments checked at the gate must be retrieved at the gate upon arrival at your destination.

In checked baggage

We know how important your musical instrument is to you, and we'll treat it with special care. If you are checking in a large instrument, please allow some extra time so that it can be safely and securely handed over to our baggage staff.

If your instrument weighs more than 23 kg (50 lb), overweight baggage charges will apply. The maximum weight of musical instruments we can carry is 32 kg (70 lb).

How to pack

We're happy to accept musical instruments as checked baggage, provided each piece is properly packed in a hard-shell case. While soft or polyfoam cases generally provide adequate protection for day-to-day handling, they're not well suited for air travel.

Your instrument should fit snug in its case. If there's any noticeable wiggle room, it's a good idea to fill the open space with rags, towels, or T-shirts to prevent the instrument from moving around. Mark the instrument case FRAGILE, even if it’s shaped like a musical instrument.

Urns with cremated remains

Urns with cremated remains collapsed Urns with cremated remains expanded

Non-cremated remains

Porter does not offer the services of transporting human remains as air cargo.

Urns with cremated remains

Here is what you should know if you are travelling with a cremation urn:

  • Cremated remains need to be transported as a carry-on and will not count towards your carry-on baggage allowance.
  • Urns need to be declared at the security checkpoint along with appropriate documentation (such as a document from the funeral home or a death certificate) in order to be screened.
  • Security officers are not permitted to open containers containing human remains, therefore the container used for transport must be specially designed to be easily x-rayed. Please visit the CATSA External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines website for details on acceptable containers.
  • For travel outside of Canada, you should check with a local consulate or funeral home beforehand.

Note: You may take cremated pet remains onboard as carry-on under the same conditions.

Valuables and fragile items

Valuables and fragile items collapsed Valuables and fragile items expanded

Porter recommends that you carry your valuable or fragile items in your carry-on baggage, subject to cabin baggage size and weight restrictions. If you choose to pack your valuable, fragile or irreplaceable property as checked baggage, Porter assumes no liability for the loss of, damage to or delay in delivery of such items.

When transporting fragile items, it is your responsibility to ensure safe packaging with adequate cushioning material to prevent any breakage.

Do not place the following in your checked baggage:

  • Antiques
  • Essential medication
  • Eyeglasses
  • Heirlooms
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Money
  • Official documents
  • Samples
  • Travel documents and identification

For more information on Government of Canada security requirements please visit www.tc.gc.ca External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines or www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines or phone 1-888-294-2202. For more information on U.S. Government security requirements please visit to http://www.tsa.gov External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Wedding dresses

Wedding dresses collapsed Wedding dresses expanded

We say yes to your dress! You can bring your wedding dress onboard with you as your personal standard article allowance.

Unfortunately there are no closets in the cabin that can hold the dress, so please wait until all other carry-on baggage has been stowed in the overhead compartments and then place your beautiful dress on top.

We do not recommend packing your dress in your checked baggage.

How to pack

  • Carefully pack the dress into a full-length, sturdy travel garment bag.
  • Stuffing the dress with acid-free tissue paper or plastic dry cleaner bags helps the dress retain its shape.
  • Label your garment bag with your name, email, phone number and address for both your home and destination.

Set a reminder on your phone to retrieve your carry-on upon landing. It has happened on a few occasions that the bride-to-be got so overwhelmed by the upcoming nuptials that she completely forgot about her most important baggage item – the dress!

Going through security

Allow extra time for going through the security checkpoint. Security officers may need to open and unpack your dress for screening and you may need some additional time to repackage it properly. Adding 30 minutes onto the recommended check-in arrival time for your flight is usually sufficient, although you may need more than that at busy airports.

Wrapped gifts

Wrapped gifts collapsed Wrapped gifts expanded

Wrapped gifts are allowed, but not encouraged.

Wrapped packages are inspected just like any ordinary suitcase or bag—thin, decorative wrapping paper and ribbons aren’t likely to confuse the screening machine. But a package, whether intended to spread holiday cheer or not, is still subject to search and may be opened at the security checkpoint if its contents look suspicious. So, it may be a good idea to wait until you get to your destination to wrap your gifts.

If you have any doubts about the size or contents of your gifts, consider placing them in your checked baggage or shipping them instead.