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The concern of excess baggage: Will Air Canada's carry-on rule change how you travel?

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|May 27|magazine12 min read

Are you planning on taking a business trip in the near future? Whether you have upcoming travel plans that center on work or pleasure, you may be able to benefit from learning about Air Canada’s carry-on rule. While the rule isn’t a new one, the airline has been enforcing it, meaning traveling could cost even more money.

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Air Canada may be paying extra attention to your carry-on bag, making sure your luggage perfectly fits the requirements that allow you to bring it onto the plane. But what started this recent crackdown and will it make a difference in how you travel? It’s safe to say that someone is going to suffer by this change, but will it be you—the passenger—or them—the airline?

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 It all started with a price change. Last fall, once Air Canada established their new $25 fee for a passenger’s first checked bag on all domestic economy flights, travelers attempted to avoid this extra expense by stuffing their carry-on bag to the complete maximum, even if that meant the piece of luggage became too big and fell out of the required size components for carry-on  pieces.

Regarding the issue, airline analyst Barry Prentice has said, “Everybody just hates to be nickeled and dimed.” And though this explains passenger’s motives for overstuffing carry-on bags, here is what Air Canada is specifically doing:

Agents will be placed at both check-in and security areas to physically make sure all bags meet size limits. A tag will then be issued if the bag can be carried onto the plane. However, if the piece of luggage doesn’t meet the stated size requirements, then it will have to be properly checked. Even if a passenger is caught later (i.e. at security), he or she will still be ordered to go back and check the offending bag.

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Prentice believes that the chaos that has been known to take place at airports will only continue. Because people will always try to save money, passengers will most likely attempt to beat the system and over stuff their carry-on bags.

However, Air Canada employees are feeling quite optimistic about the enforcement of the rule, meaning it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Specifically, Michel Cournoyer, president of the union who represents Air Canada flight attendants, has said the following:

“The Air Canada flight attendants are very much on board with this initiative. We realize the problem it causes and Air Canada wants to be on time for its passengers,” he says.

The airline not only has faith in this new enforcement, but believes that it will create more room for the carry-on bags that meet regulations, as well as assist in flights taking off and landing on time. Therefore, the airline may not be worried about losing clientele, but will they?

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As a passenger, what are your feelings on this issue? Do you agree with the airline regarding overstuffed carry-on bags and believe there should be a charge for even one checked bag? Or do you feel as if there are too many fees and now plan on finding a new way to travel? Let us know!

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