The list of airlines enforcing their carry-on bag rules more stringently has been increased once again. You can add Air Canada to the seemingly ever growing list. It’s not that Canada’s largest air carrier has changed its rules about the size of carry on luggage allowed in the cabin, the change is that they have become more serious about enforcing the restrictions that have been in place for years. The reason for the turn-around? Andrew Russell, reporting for Global News, says that some passengers believe it is another cash grab for the airline to profit from.
Here are highlights of his recent report:
Air Canada has started cracking down on passengers with oversized carry-on luggage, beginning with a trial program at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
Extra staff were posted at the airport’s departure areas Tuesday to check travellers’ luggage and ensure their bags will fit safely into the overhead bins.
The trial program comes less than a month after Air Canada announced passengers buying the lowest fare seats would have to pay $25 for their first checked bag on domestic flights and flights headed to the Caribbean and Mexico. The new fees will come into effect on Nov. 2.
Air Canada is following on the heels of WestJet, who announced on Sept. 15 it would charge $25 for the first checked bag.
Rick Erickson, an aviation expert based in Calgary, said the move brings Canada’s airlines in line with its U.S. and European competitors.
“[Air Canada has] made it pretty clear they’re going to watch closely people with their carry-on luggage who might want to circumvent, or say ‘How can I get around not paying the additional $25?” said Erickson.
Transport Canada allow passengers to carry two unchecked items like carry-on luggage, knapsacks, camera bags and some garment bags.
Air Canada states a personal item can measure up to 16 cm by 33 cm by 43 cm, and a standard item like a suitcase can measure up to 23 cm by 40 cm by 55 cm, including wheels and handles.
Some frustrated travellers at Pearson airport were irate with the new baggage fee, calling it a “cash grab.”
You can read the entire story, complete with supporting video, online at http://globalnews.ca/news/1591393/air-canada-begins-crackdown-on-carry-on-baggage/
Even if your carry-on luggage meets the size and weight restrictions, that does not guarantee you will be able to stow your small suitcase in an overhead bin close to your seat. Passengers who arrive toward the end of boarding on heavily booked flights may find that all the spaces have been used up. And the days of lightly booked flights with lots of empty seats seem to be mostly things of the distant past. Regardless, if you pack such necessities as identification, medication and communication devices in hand luggage small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, then you will be assured of easy access to your carry-on bag.