Your baggage

When packing, attach an identification tag with your name, address and telephone number to the outside of each piece of checked baggage. Include a copy of the same information inside your bags, along with your contact information at destination, in the event that the external identification tag is damaged or removed and note the make and model of your bags. Remove any old bag tags and barcode stickers to reduce the chances of baggage mishandling.

Never leave your luggage unattended in an airport or carry anything onto the plane for someone else.

There is no standard rule among air carriers concerning the amount (number of pieces, size or weight) of personal baggage which can be carried on board an aircraft or checked free of charge by each passenger. Such amounts are set by each carrier in its tariff. If any of your carry-on or checked baggage exceeds the amounts specified by your carrier, you may be required to pay excess baggage charges.

Remember, in the case of code share flights, the baggage limits of the carrier that issued the ticket apply and not those of the carrier operating the flight.

Any item you consider bringing onto the aircraft, whether you carry it on board or check it, may be subject to certain conditions of carriage.

You should always carry these items with you on board:

  • Your passport, wallet, other identification and return tickets
  • Valuable, perishable or essential items
  • Medicines and medical devices such as insulin, prosthetics, glasses and contact lens kits and prescription medicine (which should be in its original container with the name of the doctor and other information clearly marked)
  • Essential overnight items in case your baggage is delayed or lost
  • Your laptop computer, electronic equipment and cameras

Carriers may restrict the inclusion of:

  • Items in checked baggage which they deem to be inappropriately packaged or unsuitable for transport – e.g. high-cost, fragile or perishable items – and may only agree to transport them if placed in carry-on baggage; or
  • Items in carry-on baggage which they deem inappropriate for carriage in the cabin of the aircraft, but acceptable if carried as checked baggage.

Security restrictions also forbid passengers from carrying certain articles on board an airplane, whether in the passenger cabin or baggage compartment.

Check with carrier for those items it will not accept as checked baggage as well as those it deems appropriate for the carriage in the cabin of the aircraft.

For current information on Canadian airport security procedures and for a complete list of permitted and non-permitted items, consult the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at www.catsa.gc.ca.

Checked baggage

Always retain the baggage claim stub/check you receive when you check in your baggage because it may be difficult to prove a claim without it should your bags be mishandled.

And remember, a carrier’s liability for lost, delayed or damaged baggage is limited by the terms and conditions of carriage set out in its tariff. If your luggage and its contents are worth more than the carrier’s liability limit, you may want to purchase additional insurance from an insurance provider or, if permitted by the carrier at time of check in, declare a value in excess of the applicable liability limits and pay a supplemental fee to the carrier.

Special baggage

From sports equipment to musical instruments, special items must be enclosed in sturdy protective cases. Contact your carrier well in advance of your departure date to find out if it will accept to carry such items, to identify which items require special handling and to make appropriate arrangements. Passengers travelling with mobility aids should discuss arrangements for stowing and retrieving their aids with their air carrier well in advance of travel.

Duty free items

Some countries allow the use of tamper-evident bags – sealed, clear plastic bags that are specifically designed to hold duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of 100 ml (3.4 oz) – purchased by international passengers at duty-free retailers.

If you have a connecting flight from an airport that does not accept these bags or your duty free items are not transported in such bags, you will have the option of surrendering them at the screening checkpoint or transferring the items to your checked baggage. If, as a consequence, your checked baggage exceeds the air carrier’s maximum allowable weight, you may be subject to excess baggage fees.

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