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Air Canada Begins Crackdown on Carry-On Rules Prior to New Checked-Bag Fees


Air Canada is experimenting with stepped-up enforcement of carry-on rules at one Canadian airport in advance of new fees on checked bags.

The CBC is forecasting chaos this fall when Canada’s two largest airlines begin charging travelers for their first checked bag on domestic flights. CBC is reporting that the “pre-flight scramble for overhead bins could get ugly” when new rules go into effect. According to the network, Air Canada has stepped-up enforcement of its carry-on regulations in an effort to stave off the predicted chaos.

Air Canada recently began a trial crackdown on oversized luggage at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and many passengers were surprised to find out that their carry-on items were not in compliance with the airline’s carry-on rules. Air Canada spokesman, Peter Fitzpatrick, told CBC the increased scrutiny of carry-on allowances was undertaken in part to “facilitate an orderly transition to the implementation of a domestic first checked bag fee.”

Fitzpatrick dismissed the CBC’s forecast that new checked-bag rules will bring carry-on chaos, noting that the airline introduced the same fees for flights between the U.S. and Canada in 2011 “without adverse customer or operational impact.”

WestJet Airlines spokesman Robert Palmer, however, admitted that “the implementation of any baggage fees does tend to result in a change in consumer behavior.”

No one can say for sure how drastically the new rules about checked bags will affect the scarcity of real estate in overhead bins, but Canadian travelers only need look to the south — where nearly every U.S. carrier charges fees for the first checked bag on economy-class flights — for a glimpse of what the future holds.

[Photo: iStock]

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