Passengers wanting to squeeze just a little more into their carry-on bags or bring along bigger than permitted bags, be warned. Air Canada will soon start tagging all cabin luggage.
The airline announced that beginning next Monday at Toronto’s Pearson airport, staff will be at check-in and security checkpoints to ensure carry-on luggage meet existing rules.
If the bags meet size dimensions, then staff will tag the carry-on bags as “approved.” It will roll out this policy to other airports over the month of June.
“This will make it easier and safer to stow your personal items on board, may help reduce wait times at security, and will help avoid flight delays caused by larger bags being checked at the gate,” the airline said in a statement on its website.
With the peak summer travel season set to begin, airlines want smooth boarding of passengers and on-time departures. If there’s too much cabin luggage, it can slow things down especially when some bags need to be checked and are sent into the belly of the aircraft at the last minute.
Air Canada began charging a $25 fee to check a bag last fall, a move that is now standard practice with major domestic carriers like WestJet and Porter Airlines.
WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer said WestJet has no plans to tag cabin baggage, noting passengers have been adjusting their packing habits, just as they did when the airline introduced a second checked bag fee.
“If we had issues with excess carry-on bags, we would be taking delays. We’re not,” Palmer said, noting the airline is seeing strong on-time performance numbers.
He added that on full flights, staff in the boarding lounge will seek out volunteers willing to check their carry-on bags for free.