Can I fly with that?

November 21, 2018

With most airlines now charging a fee for checked baggage it's easy to want to avoid these extra charges but airlines are very strict as to what size and type of carry on items you can board the plane with. When you add in bulky winter coats the plane's available space gets taken up very quickly.

Be kind to yourself and your fellow passengers and travel light. When everyone adheres to the rules it makes boarding faster and your flight can leave on time.

With all airlines, regardless of your destination, you can bring 1 standard article + 1 personal article.

However maximum allowable sizes vary by airline and by type of aircraft. Smaller connector planes have very limited overhead bin space and while some may offer "sky check" (checking your bag for free at the gate and having it available when you leave the aircraft) you can't count on it,  For the maximum allowable carry on size for your flight please check the airline's website.  

All carry on baggage must be light enough for you to put in an overhead bin unassisted. If you’re travelling with an infant on your lap, you can bring 1 additional standard article for your child’s belongings.

Top Tips for Breezing through security with your carry on:

  • Place all liquids and gels in a 1L clear plastic bag
  • Pack all medications separately for easy inspection
  • Pack your small electronics in your carry on
  • Discard any beverages before going through security

Non-permitted items are items that are not allowed past the security checkpoint. This includes items such as knives and sports bats, as well as items that may seem harmless but can pose a threat to security – such as liquids. If a non-permitted item is found in your carry-on at the security checkpoint, a number of options may be available to you:

If you have time before your flight, you can consult with your airline and put the item in your checked baggage.

  • You can consult with an airport representative as some airports offer a service which lets passengers mail the item to their home or office.
  • You can place the item in your vehicle or give it to a family member or friend.
  • You can choose to abandon the item (please note that it will not be returned to you).
  • Finally, you can turn back from the screening checkpoint and not board your flight.

Please note that if you leave the screening checkpoint area, you will still need to be screened when you return.

Prohibited items include specific weapons that are illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada. You are not allowed to have these items in your possession, regardless of whether you are going through a security checkpoint or not. If an item that is illegal in Canada is found at a screening checkpoint, CATSA is required to notify the police.