Saturday,  July 20, 2019  1:23 am

Caught with a carry-on: weight restrictions on Canadian airlines


Caught with a carry-on: weight restrictions on Canadian airlines
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch: christine@paxglobalmedia.com.

Last weekend, I was on my way home from a holiday in Europe, and much to my surprise, I didn’t buy anything, except a few gifts at the duty-free in London-Gatwick.

So, it was a bit of a surprise, that as I was about to pass through security, a very kind airline staff member told me that I’d have to weigh my carry-on before proceeding, and if it was above a certain limit, I’d have to count it as a checked bag —at a cost of £50!

READ MORE: The pros and cons of not checking a bag

Over the last few years, many airlines have updated their baggage policies to reflect changes made in their respective classes. It differs by airline, but generally, the rule of thumb is that passengers who are not checking a bag are entitled to one personal item, as well as one carry-on.

Travelling only with a carry-on has become increasingly popular for Canadian travellers, given the increase in checked baggage fees over the years. Weight and size restrictions differ by airline and understanding the limitations will better prepare travellers for their return flight home—unless they feel like parting with a few extra pounds to avoid the fees.

We’ve rounded up the baggage rules for Canada’s four leading airlines, to make sure your clients are properly packed before they fly.

Air Canada

According to Air Canada’s website, regardless of where you’re going, and regardless of class, travellers can bring one standard article and one personal article.

The maximum size requirements for the standard article must be 55 cm (21.5 inches) x 23 cm (9 inches) x 40 cm (15.5 inches) and the personal item must be 33 cm (13 inches) x 16 cm (6 inches) x 43 cm (17 inches), including any wheels or handles.

Air Canada doesn’t implement a weight restriction on its carry-on baggage, so long as travellers can lift it into the overhead bin unassisted.

For most people, this combo could consist of one roller bag and a backpack, or a roller bag and a purse, but pet carriers, briefcases, and camera bags are all acceptable carry-on baggage, too.

For more information on Air Canada’s carry-on policies, click here.

A backpack, or camera bag are both examples of a personal item.

Air Transat

As of Oct. 2, 2018, Air Transat updated its policy surrounding carry-on baggage and checked baggage. Depending on where travellers are flying to, there are different allocations.

For bookings made as of Oct. 2, the following rules apply for any carry-on luggage:

Between Canada and U.S., domestic flights within Canada

For flights between Canada and the U.S., as well as any domestic flights within Canada, travellers are allowed one carry-on item and one personal item, so long as the following are met:

  • Weight: 10 kg (22 lbs) for Economy class; 10 kg (22 lbs) for Option Plus; 15 kg (33 lbs) for Club Class
  • Dimensions: 23 x 40 x 51 cm (9 x 16 x 20 in) (including wheels and handles)
  • Personal item must not exceed dimensions of 16 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 x 13 x 17 inches)

Between Canada and South destinations

For flights between Canada and any destinations to the South, travellers are allowed one carry-on item and one personal item, so long as the following are met:

  • Weight: 10 kg (22 lbs) for Economy class; 10 kg (22 lbs) for Option Plus; 15 kg (33 lbs) for Club Class
  • Dimensions: 23 x 40 x 51 cm (9 x 16 x 20 in) (including wheels and handles)
  • Personal item must not exceed dimensions of 16 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 x 13 x 17 inches)

Between Canada and Europe

  • Weight: 10 kg (22 lbs) for Economy class; 10 kg (22 lbs) for Option Plus; 15 kg (33 lbs) for Club Class
  • Dimensions: 23 x 40 x 51 cm (9 x 16 x 20 in) (including wheels and handles)
  • Personal item must not exceed dimensions of 16 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 x 13 x 17 inches)

All travellers who made bookings with Air Transat prior to Oct. 2, 2018, regardless of class, who are travelling between Canada and Europe are entitled to one free checked luggage, as well as one standard item and one personal item.

Travellers should note that as of Oct. 2, 2018, the total combined weight of both the carry-on item and personal item must not exceed 10 kg.

For more information on air Transat’s carry-on policies, click here.

WestJet

Travellers who choose WestJet are automatically entitled to one free carry-on bag and one personal item, regardless of class.

There is no weight restriction for carry-on items, but the airline states that they must be light enough to be lifted into the overhead compartment without assistance. Any bags that don’t fit will be checked.

The carry-on item must be within 53 cm (21 inches) x 38 cm (15 inches) x 23 cm (9 inches) and the personal item must be within 41 cm (16 inches) x 33 cm (13 inches) x 15 cm (6 inches).

For more information on WestJet’s carry-on policies, click here.

Sunwing

Travellers aboard Sunwing are allowed one carry-on item and one personal item on board, however, the weight of the carry-on cannot exceed 5 kg (11 lbs) and must be no larger than 23 cm x 40 cm x 51 cm (9 inches x 16 inches x 20 inches).

Any items that are too heavy, or too large, will be subject to checked baggage fees.

For more information on Sunwing’s carry-on baggage fees, click here.


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