Air Canada Baggage Fees Guide (Carry-on, Checked, International) [2021]

Our northern sibling’s airline, Air Canada, is not exempt from the norm of baggage fees. While carry-ons and personal items are free for all, checked bags might be subject to fees flying on Air Canada.

In this article, I will go over the allowances and fees associated with carry-on and checked baggage flying within the Americas and internationally. I then will also give a few tips on how to avoid baggage fees on your next Air Canada flight.

What are Air Canada baggage fees?

Air Canada allows one free personal item and carry-on luggage for all their fares. For the two lowest fares, Basic and Standard, fees for checked baggage start at $30. For international Basic fares, fees could be as high as $70. Checked baggage is only free for certain fares, classes, or elites. I go into more detail down below.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

How can I avoid baggage fees of Air Canada?

There are a few different ways that you can avoid checked baggage fees with Air Canada.

Fare options

There are seven different fares offered by Air Canada called Basic, Standard, Flex, Comfort, Latitude, Premium Economy, and Business Class. The differences between these fares are pretty big like seat selection at booking, cancellation flexibility, seat pitch, or even lie-flat seats, but another difference will also be baggage allowance.

There are two fares that restrict baggage while flying Air Canada. Basic will always require a checked baggage fee. Standard fares require you to pay a fee for certain destinations, like flights within the Americas. Both of those fares will also be restrictive in other areas, but all other fares will offer a certain baggage allowance without any fee.

Fares that offer a baggage allowance (max weight 50 lbs and max linear dimensions 62 inches):

  • Standard only on international flights excluding USA, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America: 1 bag
  • Flex: 1 bag
  • Comfort: 1 bag
  • Latitude: 2 bags
  • Premium Economy: 2 bags
  • Business Class: 2 bags

For your reference, when flying Basic or Standard fares within Canada, USA, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America the first bag is $30. When flying Basic fare on international routes not mentioned above, the first bag is $70.

Airline elite status

For the well-traveled with Air Canada or any Star Alliance airline, you have your own benefits like baggage allowance when flying Air Canada.

Here is the baggage allowance for Air Canada or Star Alliance elite members (max linear dimensions 62 inches):

  • Star Alliance Gold: 1 bag up to 50 lbs
  • Prestige 25k: 2 bags up to 50 lbs
  • Elite 35k: 3 bags up to 70 lbs
  • Elite 50k: 3 bags up to 70 lbs
  • Elite 75k: 3 bags up to 70 lbs
  • Super Elite 100k: 3 bags up to 70 lbs

As an elite, you can get many different benefits like lounge access, fast track, and preferred seats.

Credit Cards

You can utilize certain credit cards to reduce or eliminate your baggage fees on Air Canada.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the hottest travel rewards credit cards. It earns 3X the points on dining and travel and comes with a host of valuable benefits. One of these perks is a $300 travel credit that can be used on anything that codes as travel, including your baggage fees. You also have travel insurance built into the card which includes delayed baggage insurance.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


One of my favorite cards to use to cover miscellaneous travel purchases is the Capital One Venture card. It’s a popular credit card that comes with a bonus of 50,000 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

It earns 2% cashback on all purchases toward travel, and the points can be used to cover virtually any travel purchase. The cashback you earn can be used to erase any travel purchases you made, including baggage fees.

Air Canada personal item and carry-on restrictions

When flying Air Canada in any cabin, you are allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on each.

Personal item

You can bring one personal item onboard with you when flying Air Canada. If it fits under the seat in front of you or can be stored properly in business class (in the storage compartments or in the overhead bin) it would be okay as a personal item. There is no weight limit, but personal items must not exceed:

  • 36 linear inches
  • 17 inches Length 
  • 13 inches Width 
  • 6 inches Height 

Some examples of personal items would be a briefcase, purse, laptop, and small backpack.


When you fly Air Canada, you can bring one carry-on and it cannot exceed:

  • 46 linear inches
  • 21.5 inches Length 
  • 15.5 inches Width 
  • 9 inches Height 

Air Canada doesn’t impose any weight limit for carry-on bags, but be aware you are responsible for lifting your own bag into the overhead bin.

For your carry-on item, you can bring a suitcase, bag, garment bag, carry cot, pushchair or child seat for infants, and any required mobility aids, such as a wheelchair. Some items will be gate checked for free. As long as it doesn’t exceed the dimensions above, you will be fine.


The same TSA standards apply to Air Canada flights arriving or departing from the US. You can review a list provided by the TSA of permitted and prohibited items which may be included in carry-on baggage including the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.

Air Canada checked baggage fees

Air Canada checked baggage fee structures are much more simple than one might think. Air Canada has two fees for the first bag associated with two different fares. For the second bag, it’s still fairly simple and much easier to understand than other fee structures like Lufthansa.

FareCanadaUnited StatesSun Destinations (Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America)International
Basic1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: $70
2nd bag: $100
Standard1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: $30
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $100 (Max Fee)
Flex1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $100 (Max Fee)
Comfort1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $50
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: $100 (Max Fee)
Latitude1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
Premium Economy1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
Business1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free
1st bag: Free
2nd bag: Free

You are probably wondering, what about if you want more than two bags checked. Well, if your elite status doesn’t allow you to check more than two bags for free, then you will have to use Air Canada’s checked baggage calculator.

Air Canada’s checked baggage calculator can be used to show certain routes and destinations prices for more than two checked bags.

I listed a few down below, but the prices range drastically and I urge you to check here for the most accurate information about your specific route if you desire to check more than two bags.

Here is the price range of baggage fees for each 3 or more bags.

  • Travel within Canada: $105 – $115
  • Travel between Canada and the U.S.: $100 – $105
  • Travel between Canada/U.S. and Mexico/Costa Rica/Caribbean/Bermuda: $225 – $265.50
  • Travel between Canada and other international destinations: $225 – $265.50

Remember, baggage weighing no more than 50 lbs and no greater than 62 inches are accepted for the prices above. (Unless you have elite status, which you can check your allowance above.)

As you can see, it’s very different for some of these destinations. It’s best to check before you pack your suitcase.

In comparison to other international airlines, United charges the following rates:

  • $35 for the first checked bag
  • $45 for the second checked bag
  • $150 to $200 for the third checked bag

Air Canada checked baggage allowance

Checked bags flying Air Canada must not exceed 62 inches (158 cm) in overall dimensions and exceed 50 lbs (23 kg) if you are flying without certain status. If you’re flying with Elite 35k or higher-tiered status your weight limit is 70 lbs (32 kg.)

Tip: Get all the tips and pointers you need for your checked bags in our ultimate guide to checked luggage!

Air Canada excess baggage fee

Overweight bags and/or bags that exceed the dimensions will receive an extra fee when flying Air Canada.

Overweight and/or oversized bag for Air Canada

Bags flying Air Canada weighing more than 50 lbs to 70 lbs are considered overweight unless your elite status allows it. Bags measuring 63 inches to 115 are considered oversized. Bags over either of those limits aren’t accepted as checked bags.

  • Travel within Canada: $105 – $115
  • Travel between Canada and the U.S.: $100 – $105
  • Travel between Canada/U.S. and Mexico/Costa Rica/Caribbean/Bermuda: $100 – $118
  • Travel between Canada and other international destinations: $100 – $118

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Sports bags on Air Canada flights

If you have sports baggage that you want to bring on your Air Canada flight, you must register your sports bag no later than 24 hours before departure.

To learn more about the fees associated, packing instructions, and registering sports baggage click here.

Sporting goods that are accepted on Air Canada flights:

  • Archery equipment – bows and arrows
  • Avalanche rescue equipment
  • Bat and balls
  • Bicycles
  • Boating/Fishing equipment
  • Boogie boards, skim-, speed- and skateboards
  • Broomball/curling equipment
  • Climbing gear
  • Equestrian equipment
  • Fencing equipment
  • Firearms used for sporting activities
  • Golf Clubs
  • Hammer (Athletic)
  • Hockey/lacrosse/ringette/cricket equipment
  • Ice Skates
  • Inline Skates (Roller Blades)
  • Kayaking equipment
  • Parachutes and parachuting equipment
  • Pole Vaults and javelin
  • Racquets (badminton, squash, tennis, table tennis)
  • Scuba diving equipment
  • Skeleton Sleds
  • Skis and snowboards
  • Sports balls (inflatable) and bowling balls
  • Surfboards, paddleboards, kiteboards, wakeboards, and wave skis

Items not accepted as checked baggage on Air Canada flights:

  • Bobsleighs
  • Canoes
  • Hang gliders
  • Luges
  • Windsurfing equipment

Remember, you must confirm your sports baggage otherwise the check-in staff will refuse it.

Musical instruments as carry-on or checked baggage flying Air Canada

Musical instruments can accompany you as a carry-on on Air Canada but must fit in the overhead bin, under the seat in front of you, or on another seat you purchased. If you have a musical instrument, you could board pre-boarding after zone 2. Just identify yourself to the Air Canada gate agents.

Musical instruments as checked baggage on Air Canada are subject to normal checked baggage fees. I suggest packing musical instruments properly in a rigid hard-shell container made for shipping.

Air Canada military baggage policy

Since Air Canada is an international airline, they don’t give US military personnel or veterans any benefits for flying their metal. Therefore, Air Canada won’t allow US military personnel to check bags for free. Only US airlines will give benefits to US military personnel and veterans.

If you want to learn more about military benefits for airlines, I suggest reading our article.

When can I check-in bags for Air Canada?

Check-in depends on your departure city. For airports that only serve one Air Canada flight a day, the check-in counters typically only open up 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure.

Counters are open from 30 minutes to 4 hours before departure. It’s recommended to arrive at the airport greater than 2.5 hours before departure of an international flight.

Air Canada pet policy

If you want to fly with your pet in the cabin, one cat or small bag is allowed per passenger, except for Hawaii routes. Pet carriers, with the pet inside, must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Note, lie-flat beds can accommodate 11 x 8 x 16 inches while 777 aircraft can only accommodate 8.25 x 15 x 17 inches.

If you’re traveling with or transporting an animal, registration is necessary. Refer this general advice page for transporting animals and click on “In the Baggage Compartment” tab.

What if my bags are lost or damaged by Air Canada?

If your bags are lost or damaged make sure you report it to Air Canada immediately. It is imperative to make a claim in person or online after the flight.

Making a claim with any representative is alright, but make sure you get a File Reference Number as that is the way you can track the status of your lost bag.

You can either go to baggage services at the airport. Please refer to this link.

Air Canada lost and found

If you forgot something on your Air Canada flight, you report your item lost via this form. Air Canada suggests putting as much detail as possible about the item you lost.

Sometimes you might get lucky and remember that you forgot something on the aircraft after you disembarked. If that is the case, talk to the gate agent at the same gate and they might be able to find the lost item for you as you cannot enter the aircraft again.

For other general information about lost and found, Air Canada has a dedicated page here.

Final word

Baggage fees aren’t getting friendly and Air Canada baggage fees aren’t the best. While fare options allow you to skip over the fees, they come at a greater cost. However, Air Canada does make it easier with only 4 category of fees compared to the likes of Lufthansa or Austrian.