Planning to fly with Air Canada in the near future? If so, then you’ll enjoy their relatively low fares to more than 200 destinations around the globe. Before you pack for your Air Canada flight, however, it’s a good idea to become familiar with their baggage fees and policies so you can plan and budget accordingly for your trip. Fortunately, Air Canada’s policies and fees regarding baggage are pretty straight-forward, similar to United Airlines baggage fees—but there are still some things you need to know.
Air Canada Checked and Carry-On Allowances
Air Canada is known for their relatively simple and generous baggage allowances for both checked and carry-on bags, though travelers should be aware that policies can vary a bit depending on your destination.
Checked Bag Allowances and Fees
When you fly Air Canada, your first checked bag may be included if you’re flying from Canada or the United States to/from Europe. Otherwise, you will generally need to pay for your checked bags. For example, if you’re flying from the United States to or from Canada, you can expect to pay $30 for your first checked bag and an additional $50 for a second bag. The same applies to flights going from the United States to Mexico or vice versa.
Domestic flight passengers within Canada, on the other hand, will pay $31.50 for their first checked bag and an additional $52.50 for a second bag.
On flights where your first bag is included, you can expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $100 for an additional bag, depending on your destination.
All checked bags must weigh no greater than 23kg (50 pounds) and measure no larger than 158 linear centimeters (that’s 62 linear inches).
Carry-On Allowances and Fees
Air Canada allows one free personal item and one free standard carry-on bag with all flights, regardless of destination. Keep in mind, however, that all personal items must measure no greater than 13″ x 17″ x 6″. Standard carry-on bags cannot measure any larger than 21.5″ x 15.5″ x 9″.
What About Infants, Strollers, and Baby Gear?
If you’re traveling with an infant under the age of two, he or she may travel in your lap at an additional charge. In terms of luggage, you may also bring one additional standard-sized carry-on, such as a diaper bag or other small piece of luggage at no charge.
If you have a small stroller, it may be checked for free at the gate or baggage counter. If you’re traveling with a larger stroller (more than 10 inches in diameter when collapsed), you will need to checked it at the baggage counter rather than at the gate. Keep in mind you won’t have to go through this if you start flying on a private jet.
Charges For Additional and Overweight/Oversized Luggage
All checked bags flying on Air Canada must not weigh more than 50 pounds or measure more than 62 linear inches. Take the time to measure your bags (including handles and wheels) ahead of time to ensure they are not too large. If you’re cramming a lot of luggage into a checked bag, you may also want to use a luggage scale to weigh your bag before you depart for the airport.
This is especially important if you want to avoid potentially hefty oversized or overweight baggage fees. These fees can vary depending on your destination. However, you can expect to pay about $100 for an overweight bag and an additional $100 for an oversized bag. Bags that weigh more than 70 pounds or measure greater than 115 linear inches may not be allowed to be checked at all.
Saving On Air Canada Baggage Fees (Or Avoiding Them Altogether)
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want is to spend money on baggage fees. Free up spending money for your trip by taking some steps to save on your baggage fees with Air Canada or possibly even avoid them altogether.
Seek Reimbursement From Your Credit Card Company
Some credit card companies offer reimbursement options for travelers on their eligible baggage fees. This is especially common for travel credit cards. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer any kind of reimbursement or account credit for your baggage fees; you may be able to charge these fees to your credit card and apply for an account credit after your trip.
Be aware that many credit card companies that do offer this perk will only reimburse for standard baggage fees, so if you incur any oversized or overweight fees, these may not be eligible.
Book the Appropriate Fair
When you book a flight with Air Canada, you have different fare options to choose from, including Flex Fares and Latitude Fares. Both of these offer free checked baggage, with limitations. For example, Latitude Fairs allow you to enjoy two free checked bags, regardless of your specific route. If you book a Flex Fair, you’ll enjoy one free checked bag on any domestic route.
If you’re a part of Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyaltyy program, you can also enjoy free checked baggage (among other perks) by redeeming some of your accumulated points.
Limit Your Luggage
Depending on your destination, you may be able to avoid checked baggage fees with Air Canada altogether by simply limiting your luggage to your carry-on. This may be easier if you’re taking a shorter trip, but since Air Canada offers a free personal item and standard carry-on item for all fares, it’s something to consider.
Air Canada Baggage Policies: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Air Canada baggage fees and policies.
Can you pre-pay for baggage on Air Canada?
Yes, you can pre-pay for your baggage and save yourself the hassle of doing so at the check-in counter or gate up to 24 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure. You can do this through the Air Canada website or their mobile app at the same time you check in for your flight online.
Another option is to pre-pay at one of the self-serve kiosks as close as 45-60 minutes before your flight’s schedule departure. These same kiosks also allow you to add and pay for additional luggage as needed up to 12 hours before your departure, should your baggage needs change.
Are there restrictions for carry-on baggage?
Air Canada allows all passengers, regardless of fare or destination, to bring along one free personal item and one free standard-sized carry-on item. There are no posted weight restrictions on these items, but there are size restrictions. Specifically, personal items must not measure any greater than 13″ x 17″ x 6″ and standard items may not be larger than 21.5″ x 15.5″ x 9″. When measuring your baggage, be sure to include any wheels, handles, or other accessories in your measurements.
If you bring a carry-on that is too large to the gate, you will be asked to check it and will need to pay the appropriate checked baggage fees for it.
Your personal carry-on should be able to be stowed completely underneath the seat in front of you during your flight, whereas your standard carry-on can be stored in the overhead compartments.
Do baggage fees vary by destination?
Yes, Air Canada is one of many airlines that charges different fees for checked baggage based on the destination. For United States flights to/from Europe, as well as Domestic United States and Canada to/from Europe flights, the first checked bag is included for all passengers. However, fees for a second checked bag can vary from $70 to $100.
For other flights, you can generally expect to pay around $30 for your first checked bag and about $50 for your second checked bag.
What’s the best way to save on Air Canada baggage fees?
Air Canada charges pretty hefty fees for overweight and oversized luggage, so one of the best ways to avoid adding to your baggage costs is to weigh and measure your luggage before your flight to make sure your bags are not too large or heavy. If you don’t want to check in a bag, check the best carry on luggage to take on your next flight. Specifically, checked bags with Air Canada should not weigh more than 50 pounds or measure greater than 62 linear centimeters.
You can also save on your Air Canada baggage fees by booking an appropriate fair, such as a Flex Fare or Latitude Fair, which may include one or two free checked bags (among other perks).
Depending on the credit card you use, you might also be able to seek reimbursement or an account credit from your credit card company for your eligible baggage fees to help offset some of your travel costs.