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Air Canada Has Some Strict Baggage Rules & Here's Everything You Need To Know When Packing

If you'll be flying with Air Canada soon, it's important to know ahead of time what you're allowed to take on your flight and what you should leave at home.

However, Air Canada's baggage policies can definitely be confusing, with many rules to parse through and take note of before your trip.

To make things easier, we've outlined some basic things to know about Air Canada's baggage rules, including what size your bags should be, where to pack certain items, and what you shouldn't bring on your flight to avoid any issues during your travels.

Here's what you need to know if you'll be flying with the airline soon.

How much baggage does Air Canada allow?

According to Air Canada's baggage policy, when travellers fly with Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express, they can bring on board one standard article, one personal item and your coat, small purse, special need or infant care item.

The standard article is your carry-on bag. This could be a standard carry-on suitcase or another bag of your choice, but it has to fit within Air Canada's outlined dimensions.

Checked baggage, on the other hand, works a bit differently. Your free checked baggage allowance with Air Canada depends on your fare, destination, the date you purchased your ticket and your loyalty program status.

Thankfully, the airline has a handy online tool where you can input your destination and the location you're flying from to see your allowance.

Generally, if you're flying internationally, you'll likely be allowed one free checked bag, with the second costing around $100.

For example, if you're flying from Toronto to Santorini, Greece, this summer, your first checked bag is free, while your second costs $100. Any additional checked bags after that are $225 each.

For other destinations, like many in the U.S., Air Canada charges around $30 for your first checked bag, and around $50 for the second.

If you're travelling between Canada and Mexico or the Caribbean your first bag will cost $30, while the second will cost $50.

What are the rules for carry-on baggage?

Your carry-on bag has to be, at maximum, 55 centimetres in height and 40 centimetres in length, with a depth of 23 centimetres.

No weight limit applies to carry-on luggage, but the airline says that your bag must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin without help.

Your personal item could be something like a camera bag, duffle bag, tote bag or backpack, but also must meet size restrictions. At most, your personal item can be 33 centimetres in height, 43 centimetres in length and 16 centimetres deep.

Air Canada has introduced automated carry-on baggage sizers at Montreal International, Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports to ensure travellers are meeting size requirements.

The airline says the new, touchless machines are easier and faster to use than the metal sizers.

If your bag doesn't meet the size requirements, you may have to check it, and may also have to pay to do so.

As for what to put in your carry-on, according to the airline, items like laptops, your car and house keys, medication, cash and other high-value items like jewellery and electronic devices should always go in your carry-on bag.

Liquids and gels in your carry-on must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less, and also have to be placed in a clear plastic bag no larger than 1 litre.

What are the rules for checked baggage?

Regardless of where you're going, your checked baggage must not weigh more than 23 kilograms, or 50 pounds, and must not exceed the maximum linear dimensions (which are calculated by adding together the bag's greatest outside height, width and length, including wheels and handles) per bag, which are 62 inches, or 158 centimetres. If your bag is overweight, you'll have to pay an extra $105, and may need to contact Air Canada Cargo if your bags exceed certain weight and linear dimensions. In terms of what you can and can't take with you in your checked baggage, while batteries and personal electronic devices must go in your carry-on, you can bring things like electric toothbrushes or shavers in your checked bag. Large liquids and gels can go in your checked luggage, provided that the total capacity you're bringing doesn't exceed 2 litres. Alcohol is also OK in checked baggage, as long as the alcohol content is under 70%. While Air Canada provides an overview of what you can and can't bring on board, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority provides a comprehensive list of what to pack in your carry-on, what to check, and what to leave at home. Can AirTags go in checked baggage? An AirTag is a great way to keep track of your luggage. According to Transport Canada, travelling with an Apple AirTag is OK, as the device complies with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. Under the regulations, baggage equipped with a lithium metal battery not exceeding 0.3 grams can be put in checked baggage or in the plane cabin. Other lithium batteries that comply with these requirements are also safe for travel. Apple AirTags meet these thresholds, but be warned — other luggage trackers may not. You also don't have to even let the airline know that you're using one, according to Transport Canada, as long as it meets those regulations.

Earlier this year, a flurry of stories circulated about Air Canada travellers using AirTags to locate their missing luggage, including one of a couple from Ontario who used an AirTrag to locate their luggage after it went missing from an Air Canada flight and was seemingly donated to charity. So it may be a good idea to use one if you're planning a trip. To help ensure your bag isn't lost, Air Canada says to attach identification tags to the outside of your bags and place their Baggage ID card inside them. You'll want to be sure to include your destination, your home address and contact information, in case your bag ends up somewhere else.

Bon voyage!

Story by Katherine Caspersz

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