Air Canada have started a strict enforcement of their carry-on baggage procedures on Monday in what critics are calling a cash-grab.
Airline staff at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport have been stationed at both check-in and security checkpoints to ensure carry-on bags meet size and weight requirements.
Bags that meet the airline’s carry-on dimensions will receive a red tag, which the airline says will help reduce wait times at security.
Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) says carry-on bags which exceed the regulations will need to be checked and “standard fees will apply.”
The airline says if passengers get to security and need to check a bag that exceeds size limits, they’ll receive a special card to get quickly back to a check-in agent, and then on to the departure gate.
Transport Canada rules allow passengers to carry on two unchecked items.
Air Canada specifies that a personal item can include a backpack, briefcase or laptop computer measuring up to 16 by 33 by 43 centimetres and a standard item such as a suitcase measuring up to 23 by 40 by 55 centimetres including wheels and handles.
Those travelling with an infant on their lap can carry on an additional standard article.
The airline began charging a $25 checked-bag fee last fall on its lowest-class domestic flights and on flights to and from the Caribbean and Mexico. Air Canada has charged for a traveller’s first checked bag on U.S.-Canada transborder routes since 2011.
The airline says the tagging program will expand progressively to other airports across the country through June.