Air Canada Changes Their Carry-On Policy To “You Can Lift It, You Can Take It”


Air Canada has become the latest carrier which changed the carry on policy, lifting weight restrictions on bags that can be taken on board the aircraft.

Customers on board Air Canada flights are now permitted 1 standard article and 1 personal item that is no longer limited by weight however the passenger must be able to handle the item alone without help.

The carry on articles are still limited by size/measurements though the mostly unrealistic weight restriction has been lifted effective immediately.

You can access Air Canada’s Carry On Baggage Rules on their website (see here).

The weight restrictions placed on carry on baggage are often unrealistic. For example some airlines outline 8 KG as the permissible weight for carry on bags which by any means is almost impossible to keep. Most carry on bags already weight between 3.5-5 KG empty so with average packing for a few days worth of clothing and travel necessities it’s almost impossible to be under 12kg.

Here is a list of items that Air Canada considers as personal item (determined by measurements):

  • Backpack, briefcase
  • Laptop computer
  • Cat or small dog in its carrier
  • Airport shopping and duty-free purchases
  • Sport racquet (e.g. tennis, squash, badminton)
  • Camera bag
  • Garment bag (size and weight restrictions apply)
  • Diplomatic or consular bag
  • Musical instrument

Other airlines such as British Airways have had this rule of “no weight limit” for quite some time and it’s reasonable to levy they responsibility of handling the suitcase on the passenger alone and nobody else. Not the cabin crew and not on other passengers.

Whenever I’m being asked to lift somebodies carry-on in the overhead I decline to do so in 9 out of 10 cases. There are multiple reasons for not lifting other peoples carry on baggage.

For one, if it’s too heavy it might be a bad idea to lift it up. It happened to me about a year ago when I just picked up my own bag in an unfortunate way from a x-ray machine in Malaysia. I was barely able to walk and had to go to a chiropractor the following day.

The other reason is I don’t want to reward people who take their carry-on baggage on the plane just because they can even though they can’t handle it. If you can’t handle your own bag then check-it in and if necessary pay for it.


This is a fair regulation Air Canada has implemented here. As mentioned it’s hard to have a carry-on anywhere under 10KG if you travel for a couple of days. Sometimes I weigh my carry-on at an empty check-in counter or a random scale and more often than not it’s about 17KG not including the personal item.