As far as I can tell, Air Canada has no specific limits for checked-in bags as long as you pay the $225 fee per bag for excess bags.

My question is if in practice I would be rejected at the airport if I show up with say 10 bags on a single ticket, for a flight from North American to South America. As it turns out, this may be the most economical way to bring some belongings as part of a move: shipping companies are quoting close to $600 per bag/box.

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    – Willeke
    May 10 at 10:57
  • Some carriers offer an "unaccompanied baggage" system. Some offer a lower rate for extra bags booked pre-flight. May 10 at 13:29

4 Answers 4


They can take the bags but they don't have to. If you are planning on doing something like this, I would give them a call and make sure you get confirmation that it's ok on ALL legs of your journey. Ideally get in writing.

$600 per box for international cargo seems expensive. I just shipped a bunch of oversized boxes to Japan and they were about half of that. Maybe keep looking.

  • 1
    Seconded that $600/box seems excessive. I recently sent some personal stuff as air freight with AC Cargo (Europe -> NA), and it came out only a bit more expensive than an equivalent weight in checked luggage (the difference coming from the need to use a freight forwarder). May 11 at 11:22

No, they can actually refuse even a single excess one if the flight is nearing capacity. Specifically, we have been refused the third luggage from South to North America (did not try the other way), even as we were ready to pay a fee. It was much more expensive to ship and in the end, we had to scramble to ship the last box via an expensive courrier service which also introduced weeks of custom delay and then forms filled in two offices to be able to claim the luggage which did not arrive with us.

In hindsight, we should have called and tried to purchase the luggage allowance as far in advance as possible. This would have either secured the allowance or, if refused, would have given enough time to find the most cost effective shipping option. I suggest you try this since it will be advantageous regardless of the answer.

  • 1
    I see, so once purchased, e.g., online, you are pretty much good to go?
    – BeeOnRope
    May 9 at 1:43
  • 25
    @BeeOnRope Once purchased, the reservation allows them to adjust freight amount to stay within regulation limit. If you try to purchase during check-in, all the cargo is already loaded, and it is too late to adjust. If you reserved it before, they could always lower the freight amount, because that $200/bag for extra carry-on is WAY more profit than freight, but they're not about to violate flight regulation to make extra money.
    – Nelson
    May 9 at 5:35
  • 7
    @BeeOnRope Yes, because if they allow the purchase, there is an implicit agreement. If for some reason, they are still overloaded, they may sent the extra baggage on a different flight without charging an additional fee. This reminds me of the time I had no excess baggage, just the regular 2 allowance and the check-in agent as me which was more important? Only one arrived and the other was temporarily lost and they asked us (plus at least another 50ppl in the same situation) to pick it up the next day at the airport. IIRC, this was not with Air Canada but with either Delta or Continental.
    – Itai
    May 9 at 13:25

Their T&C say this:

Carrier reserves the right to refuse excess baggage, for operational reasons. In addition, during embargo periods applicable to certain routes, carrier will not accept baggage that exceeds the regular baggage allowance.

Also, if the flight is code-share the weight limits may not be as generous as the AC limits.

Maybe talk to a freight forwarder or look in ethnic newspapers which may have better deals. You are more likely to need a customs broker at the other end though.

  • 2
    Thanks, I've checked that it's not subject to an embargo period and no part of the flight is code-share, but of course that still lets them refuse for "operational reasons" (like the plane is just too full).
    – BeeOnRope
    May 9 at 1:44
  • @FedericoPoloni That has been my experience in practice, but the airline's web page does not guarantee that. It says "If your itinerary includes travel with one of our codeshare partners or with another airline, it’s important to know that the baggage policies of the other carrier may apply". May 10 at 5:37

This probably doesn't apply to Air Canada, but a work colleague got a nasty shock when he paid for a second bag, and only at check-in discovered that there was no additional weight allowance for the second bag. He assumed he was paying to change his allowance from one bag of 20kg to two bags of 20kg each, so 40kg total, but he was told at check in that his allowance was just two bags which in total could still only be 20kg, and he had to pay additionally for excess weight. This was a possibility which hadn't occurred to him, and wouldn't have occurred to me.

  • 7
    That sounds like a straight up scam!
    – BeeOnRope
    May 9 at 14:36
  • 5
    That is pretty dishonest. Avoid that airline. Which was it?
    – user27701
    May 9 at 14:57
  • 1
    Why a scam? Why dishonest? It'd be both if it wasn't reflected in the ticket's T&C...but it probably was, and the OP didn't read the T&C. Most of us never read the T&Cs. May 9 at 17:45
  • 11
    @DavidRecallsMonica Because it's wildly unconventional. "It's in the T&C" is not an excuse for trickery. I mean, if you would still deal with this company, it's your money...
    – user27701
    May 9 at 18:51
  • 1
    @fregante Culturally, the Singaporeans have some stringent cleanliness values, so that's probably related in this case. Compared to American movie theaters, for example, that's just about money.
    – user27701
    May 10 at 19:59

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