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Baggage allowances for checked and carry-on luggage in Canada

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Wondering what’s allowed in my carry-on? How many pieces of checked baggage can I bring? It’s always a good idea to know the baggage and carry-on luggage rules and regulations before your flight. This guide has all the information you need to know about baggage rules when flying with Canadian airlines, including Air Canada, Air Transat, Flair, Porter, Sunwing, Swoop, and WestJet.

Carry-on or checked baggage?

Whether you opt for a checked bag or carry-on only is totally up to you. It’s all about your own travel style–baggage rules permitting!

There are many benefits to travelling with a carry-on only, such as less wait times at baggage claim once you land and saving money on extra baggage fees. You can choose to travel with a carry-on backpack or a lightweight suitcase that fits in the overhead bins–whichever fits your own unique travel style! When you check your luggage at the check-in counter, this saves you the hassle of carrying it through the airport.

Travelling with a piece of carry-on luggage and a personal item are usually included in the airfare, and sometimes checking a bag comes with a fee. This depends on which airline you choose and where you are travelling to. Remember that fees may differ if you are flying with a low-cost airline and whether you’re travelling international or domestic. So, it’s always important to check with the airline before booking your flight.

Carry-on allowances on Canadian airlines

These are the standard carry-on baggage rules for Canadian airlines. While many airlines include this allowance with an economy-class ticket, others may charge additional bag fees. As a rule, maximum dimensions include bag wheels and handles.

AirlineAllowanceMax. DimensionsMax. Weight
Air Canada1 cabin bag
+1 personal item
55 x 40 x 23 cm
33 x 43 x 16 cm
Must be light
enough to store overhead unassisted.
Air Transat 1 cabin bag
+1 personal item
23 x 40 x 51 cm
16 x 33 x 43 cm
22 lbs/10 kg

Flair 1 cabin bag*
+1 personal item
22 x 40 x 55 cm
15 x 33 x 43 cm
22 lbs/10 kg
15.5 lbs/7 kg
Porter +1 cabin bag*
+1 personal item
40 x 23 x 55 cm
43 x 16 x 33 cm
20 lbs/9 kg
20 lbs/9 kg
Sunwing++1 cabin bag
+1 personal item
23 x 40 x 51 cm
11 lbs/5 kg
Swoop1 cabin bag
+1 personal item*
52 x 23 x 38 cm
41 x 15 x 33 cm

WestJet1 cabin bag
+1 personal item
53 x 38 x 23 cm
41 x 15 x 33 cm
Must be light
enough to store overhead unassisted.
Baggage allowances for carry-on luggage in Canada

*Additional fees apply.
+ Service suspended until October 7, 2020.
++ Service suspended until September 1, 2020.

Canadian airlines have strict baggage rules when it comes to checked luggage and carry-on bags. For safety reasons, carry-on bags need to be able to fit under the seat in front of you or above your head in the overhead cabin. If a bag is too large, it may be checked at the plane door. Carry-on bags may also be gate checked in instances when the aircraft is not large enough for all passengers to bring bags.

If your items exceed the maximum weights or sizes, call the airline as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Carry-on packing tips

You likely already know what you are not allowed to bring in your carry-on, but there are some items that must be placed in your carry-on, such as laptop computers. You should bring important items with your on-board such as house keys, medication, jewelry, and cash.

If airline staff requests that you check your carry-on at the plane door, make sure to remove your laptop computer and other personal items so you can bring them on-board.

During COVID-19, airlines are asking passengers to wear a face mask that safely covers your mouth and nose while on the plane. Many airlines will provide a face mask and hand sanitizer, but if you have your own, it may be wise to pack them in your carry-on (100 ml or less).

Airport security check. A traveller waiting for x-ray control for their luggage.
Baggage allowances for checked and carry-on luggage in Canada

Baggage rules and allowances on Canadian airlines

Like carry-on baggage, the cost and allowance for your checked luggage can vary based on a number of factors, including destination, country of origin, airline class, and flight duration. Most airlines measure checked bags based on linear dimensions, which can be calculated by adding length, width, and height together. Measurements include the wheels and handles.

AirlineFirst Bag AllowanceDimensionsWeight
Air Canada$31.50
Economy standard fare
158 cm50 lbs/
23 kg
Air Transat $25-$70 *
Eco budget fare
158 cm50 lbs/
23 kg
Flair$30 online*
$40 airport check in*
$50 at gate*
Economy basic fare
158 cm50 lbs/
23 kg
Porter+$27.50-$42.55 at time of booking
$32.50-$48.30 added to booking
$37.50 -$54.05 at airport check-in
$42.50-$59.80 at the gate
Economy basic fare
158 cm50 lbs/
23 kg
Sunwing++Free
Economy basic fare
158 cm50 lbs
23 kg
Swoop$36.75-$56.50 initial booking*
$47.25-$67.80 at check in*
$57.75-$79.10 at the gate*
Economy basic fare
157 cm50 lbs/
23 kg
WestJetFirst bag $30 – $60
Economy basic fare
157 cm50 lbs/
23 kg

*Applicable taxes may apply.
+ Service suspended until October 7, 2020.
++ Service suspended until September 1, 2020.

Checking in with a bag

If you plan to check a bag, it is important to arrive at the airport early enough to get the bag on the plane. Baggage check often closes 30 minutes prior to take off, which means you need to plan enough time to get to the service counter. This is especially true at busy times of the year like major holidays and spring breaks.

If you pay for a checked bag online ahead of time, it will save you time (and often, money) at the service counter.

Checked luggage packing tips

  • Check the weight of your luggage prior to leaving the house or upon arrival at the airport.
  • Place your heaviest suitcase on the conveyor belt at the service desk in case it is too heavy and you need to move items to other suitcases.
  • Remove all old airline tags from your luggage.
  • Do not wrap straps or cords around your luggage.
  • Always include an identification tag on the inside and outside of the bag with relevant contact information. If your cell phone is going to be off for your trip, then don’t write your cell phone number as the contact information.
  • Learn how to pack like a pro with these five packing tips.

Baggage allowances: FAQs

What’s the difference between a personal item and your carry-on?

When it comes to personal item vs. carry-on, the rules and specifics vary according to the airline. As a general rule, a personal item is a piece of luggage that can fit under the seat in front of you (such as a small purse/laptop bag) and a carry-on bag is a larger travel item which can fit in the overhead bins.

What are the baggage allowance policies for music equipment?

Musical equipment articles typically count as one checked bag towards your luggage allowance. If you want to bring it on the plane with you, it must meet the carry-on size and weight requirements. If it is a large instrument, you can purchase an extra seat to accommodate it (most often a discounted fare). There are music equipment limitations on each flight, so make sure to arrange it with your airline ahead of time if you need to purchase an extra seat.

What are the baggage rules for sports equipment?

Sports equipment like bicycles, snowboards, climbing gear, hockey equipment, and more are allowed in your checked luggage as long as they are packed properly. There are detailed baggage rules for different types of sports equipment, and there are sometimes extra fees (or “handling charges”) associated with sports equipment. For this reason, it may be a good idea to compare the price of flying with your equipment versus renting equipment once you land. Always make sure to double check with your airlines specific baggage allowance policies before you trip.

What are the baggage policies for strollers and car seats?

Most airlines accept strollers and car seats without charging additional fees, but make sure to check your airline’s baggage rules to be certain. Small, collapsible strollers can often be checked at the plane door, while larger strollers need to be checked at the service desk. Car seats can be checked at the service door or brought on board if it is an approved child restraint device and you have purchased a seat for your child.

woman with a mask at the airport sitting on her luggage
Baggage allowances for checked and carry-on luggage in Canada

Travelling with kids? If you’re looking for gadgets that will make travelling with children easier, check out our list of travel gear for kids.

For more baggage allowance information, read our guides to Air Canada Baggage Rules, Air Transat Baggage Rules, and WestJet Baggage Policy.


Disclaimer: Information correct as of August 28, 2020, obtained from Air Canada, Air Transat, Flair, Porter Airlines, Sunwing, Swoop, and WestJet websites. Always check the latest guidance from your airline before booking a trip, as well as current travel advisories.

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