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Air Canada

Soooooo….another luggage question.

We are flying Air Canada to Europe and from what I can find, the carryon luggage size is 21.5” x 15.5” x 9. I could not find a weight limit.
Ok, our thought is to take a soft sided, wheeled (not spinner) carryon and a backpack. The choices are kind of overwhelming.
I’m going to start with the carryon. I know there are lots of opinions but we would really like to keep the carryon to $150 max. I’m keeping an eye out for sales but thought I would check here.

Posted by
308 posts

Air Canada website states “Although no weight limit applies to carry-on baggage, your bag must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin unassisted.” I find about 10 kilos is my limit with getting it down from the bin harder than getting it up!

I use a hard-sided spinner that I bought for €20ish in Athens when the handle on another case broke; nice and light, and easy to carry as a suitcase when coping with stairs. Beat in mind that dimensions and weight limits can vary when flying European airlines, particularly budget airlines.

Posted by
480 posts

I use the Rick Steves rolling backpack, on sale now for $127.99:

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/rolling-backpack

It is small, lightweight, and packs more than you’d think. I had no trouble carrying it on my AC flights two years ago; it will even squeeze under the seat if needed.

I’ve taken it on many, many trips and it’s held up well. I never use it as a backpack, but my teenage daughter has one also and alternates between rolling and backpacking, and it works fine for her either way.

Posted by
1248 posts

I LOVE my Kipling Sherpa Bag, the design is so perfect for a carry on travel with a big zippered compartment, a long skinny compartment that runs along the length of the bag (My tablet and book go in there) and two huge zippered pockets on the outside that I face toward me under the seat that holds everything I need to access on the flight or in the airport, my passport and boarding pass, Chapstick, one dose of medication (overnight flight), reading glasses, earphones, snacks, scarf, just everything Me and husband would need. It also has a sleeve that fits over my luggage handle. It is a large bag but has fit under every seat on every plane I have been on. I also have my "Once we are there purse" in there that is a small cross body with a wallet that has foreign currency, a notecard with the address of our first lodging, sunglasses etc. The bag can take a good beating too, I have pulled, tugged, thrown and schlepped this bag through lots of trips and it still looks amazing.

Posted by
92 posts

That’s my plan, too! I’m going to pack a very lightweight crossbody bag in my backpack so I can pull it out and use that as my day bag. I’m 5’2” and I hate having something in my back all day no matter how light. I’ve traveled enough to know my comfort level is crossbody. Plus I carried a backpack for years everywhere we went cause of two children. I swore I would never be a pack mule again!! 😂😂

Posted by
1747 posts

I researched the heck out of luggage before I finally got a carry on that fits Air Canada's requirements.
I got it at Marshall's, it's a Samsonite and really light when empty.
Sorry, don't know the name of the style..
AC did not weigh it and I had kept the weight as low as possible.
However, I was caught out on the way home from Italy in 2019, as I was flying home on Lufthansa, a Star Alliance partner.
They said my case was too heavy, and weren't going to let me take it on as carry on.
The agent finally waved me in to check it, and didn't charge me, but she was not pleased.
My fault for assuming it would be the same both ways.
So, if you are taking multiple airline partners, be aware they all do something different.
Also, measurements have to include the wheels too, so that makes the packing area a little smaller.

Posted by
9510 posts

"However, I was caught out on the way home from Italy in 2019,"

Oh gosh, yes. This happened to me on my first international trip (well once I started traveling after retirement). I flew out on Delta/KLM and back on Alitalia and Delta. Alitalia weighed my carryon and insisted on checking. I learned a couple of lessons there...

  • Airlines differ even though you might have booked on a US legacy airline, you may be subject to lower weight limits on return

  • If you go carryon only, have everything valuable stashed together so you can easily slide out a packing cube or similar with your electronics, chargers, meds, keys... everything you might need if you get stuck overnight on the way and you've had to check your bag at the last minute. It is not a pretty sight to have an overweight, gray-haired old lady on the floor on her hands and knees frantically looking for the charger cord for her Kindle/iPad Mini, etc. Lesson learned!

I agree also with the suggestion of Marshall's/TJ Maxx. I got a nice TravelPro a couple of years ago but it's a 22". Prepandemic I had gone by frequently just to see what they had and they always had some smaller bags. It's worth a look but keep a tape measure in your purse so you can measure the size.

Posted by
92 posts

I will check there for sure. The more I look at 21.5” bags the more I want to check my bag and get a 24”. They are still manageable for me and I really don’t want to stress over packing. The majority of our trip is on a cruise so I’m reconsidering.

Posted by
117 posts

We always weigh our carryon luggage using a handheld digital luggage scale. Walmart has one for under 10.00. They have settings for either pounds or kilograms and some have a “tare” function too. Most European airlines use kilograms when posting their weight allowances for carryon.

Posted by
774 posts

I don’t think they have weighed my bag but they are particular with the size. I travel to Europe carry on and check my roller bag on the way back. I pack a light soft zippered bag that I pack with dirty clothes! That works for me.