Changes to Air Canada Baggage Fees as of August 23

Air Canada will implement some changes to its checked baggage policy as of August 23, 2022. There will be an increase in baggage fees for travel to Sun and International destinations on specific fare classes.

With the recent chaos at airports around the world, this could be an effort by Air Canada to discourage passengers from checking bags. The fees will come as an increased cost to passengers on some routes, while others will remain the same.

Let’s take a quick look at the changes.

Flights to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean

As of August 23, 2022, there will be a fee of $30 for the first checked bag on Economy (Basic) or Economy (Standard) fares to Sun destinations. 

Currently, this fee already applies to some destinations in these regions, but not all. The $30 first checked bag fee aligns the cost across destinations in these countries. 

So, to some destinations, such as Montego Bay or Mexico City, the cost remains the same. To other destinations where there currently isn’t a fee for the first checked bag, such as Costa Rica or Panama City, there will now be a $30 fee.

Air Canada will now charge $30 for a checked bag on Economy (Basic) and Economy (Standard) fares to Costa Rica

The $30 fee applies per passenger, per direction. 

Note that Economy (Flex), Economy (Comfort), and Economy (Latitude) fares will still have at least one free checked bag. 

A second checked bag on any fare to any destination in Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean will continue to be $50.

Flights to International Destinations

On flights to International destinations, including Europe, Africa, the South Pacific, the Middle East, and Asia, the changes only affect the cost of a second checked bag. To all International destinations, Air Canada will now charge $100 for a second checked bag for Economy (Basic), Economy (Standard), and Economy (Flex) fares.

Note that one free bag is included to all destinations on all fares, with the exception of Economy (Basic) fares to Europe. On these routes, a fee of $70 applies to the first checked bag.

Currently, the fee for a second checked bag ranges from free to $100, so the blanket application of the second checked bag fee won’t affect some routes, but will significantly increase for others.

For example, there was formerly no charge for a second checked bag on Economy (Standard) and Economy (Flex) fares from Toronto to Dubai. As of August 23, 2022, there will now be a fee of $100.

On the other hand, Air Canada currently charges $100 for a second bag on routes to London, so there won’t be any changes to this pairing.

To see the checked baggage fees for any particular routing, simply head to the Air Canada website and use the checked baggage calculator

How to Avoid Checked Baggage Fees

Luckily, it’s quite easy to avoid paying for checked luggage on Air Canada flights.

Almost all Aeroplan co-branded credit cards come with a free first checked bag on itineraries where travel originates on an Air Canada flights. The only exceptions are the TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card and the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Card, which don’t include a free first checked bag.

Aeroplan Credit Cards with Free First Checked Bag

Credit Card Best Offer Value

115,000 Aeroplan points

$599 annual fee

115,000 Aeroplan points $1,942

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115,000 Aeroplan points

$599 annual fee

115,000 Aeroplan points $1,921

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105,000 Aeroplan points

$599 annual fee

105,000 Aeroplan points $1,869

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75,000 Aeroplan points

$120 annual fee

75,000 Aeroplan points $1,476

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30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass

First Year Free

30,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,323

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20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass

First Year Free

20,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,071

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Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points

First Year Free

Up to 60,000 Aeroplan points $735

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Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points

First Year Free

Up to 50,000 Aeroplan points $662

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Up to 75,000 Aeroplan points

$599 annual fee

Up to 75,000 Aeroplan points $425

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If you have an eligible credit card, up to nine passengers on the same booking will enjoy a free first checked bag. The annual fee for one of these credit cards can very easily make sense if you travel as a family with checked bags.

Anyone with Aeroplan Elite Status also enjoys a generous checked baggage allowance.

Earning the base-level Aeroplan 25K status through Everyday Status Qualification bumps your complimentary checked baggage allowance to two free bags at up to 23kg each on Air Canada flights.

Aeroplan 35K status and above, including Super Elite, gives you three free checked bags up to 32kg apiece on Air Canada flights.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the difference in fares when shopping for flights.

While the Economy (Basic) fare will be lower than all over economy fares, if you need to check a bag, in most circumstances you’ll have to pay. If this is the case, be sure to check out the cost difference for other fares, which may include checked bags and a number of other benefits.

Conclusion 

Air Canada is making changes to its checked baggage policy as of August 23, 2022. The changes don’t affect domestic flights within Canada or transborder flights between Canada and the United States.

Passengers travelling to Sun destinations, including Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, will have a $30 fee for the first checked bag on Economy (Basic) and Economy (Standard) fares.  

Anyone travelling to International destinations and wants to check a second bag will now have to pay $100. 

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