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If you’re planning to travel with just a carry-on, you’ll need to be up to speed with airline carry-on policies. Specifically, the various rules and regulations each carrier has for what you can and cannot “carry on” to the plane. Each airline’s rules are different, so don’t just assume that what works for one will work for all airlines.
If you are going to be flying WestJet, they have very specific guidelines for carry-on baggage, liquids, and other unique items that you may want to bring on board.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about WestJet’s carry-on policy. This includes WestJet carry-on size and weight limits, personal items, liquids, pets, prohibited items, and other rules and restrictions you should know before boarding your flight.
WestJet Carry-On Size and Weight Limits
WestJet allows one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard at no charge.
Carry-On Size Limit
WestJet’s size requirements for carry-on baggage are 21″ x 15″ x 9″ (53cm x 38cm x 23cm).
If you aren’t sure what size your carry-on is, WestJet provides size check templates located at their ticket counters and gates. However, by the time you get to either of these locations, it’s too late if your bag is too big, so it’s better to always know your bag size in advance.
Carry-On Weight Limit
As a rule, WestJet doesn’t impose weight restrictions on a carry-on bag. The only rule they have is that it must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin unassisted. Your smaller, personal items should be stowed under the seat in front of you.
Rules for Small Regional Aircraft (WestJet Encore)
If you are lucky enough to be flying on a WestJet Encore flight (ugh..) with fifty seats or less (such as a Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop), you can bring a personal item on board, but no carry-on baggage due to limited overhead space. Personal items must be able to fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
All carry-on baggage that fits within WestJet’s size restrictions will be gate checked, free of charge, during the boarding process and returned upon deplaning.
Despite this “official rule” there are some bags you can carry on a regional jet. Check out this article on the best carry-on baggage for regional jets.
Recommended Carry-On Baggage for WestJet
If you are looking for an international-sized carry-on bag, the Travelpro 20-inch Global Expandable Spinner Carry-on is definitely one to consider. It’s durable, reasonably priced, and holds enough for shorter trips (3-5 days). Plus the spinner wheels make it very easy to get through the airport quickly and effortlessly.
- H: 19 in. W: 15 in. D: 7.75 in.
- Weight: 7.3 lbs.
Fits 80% of International Airlines* as a Carry-On
WestJet Personal Item Size
WestJet does not charge for personal items. Personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, camera bag, backpack, shopping bag, or a similar-sized item.
Your personal item cannot be larger than 16” x 13” x 6” (41cm x 33cm x15cm)
WestJet Baggage Fees (Checked Baggage)
If you have to check a bag on WestJet, there are some size and weight rules to be aware of. The size of checked baggage must be within 157 total cm (62 total in.) and not weigh more than 23 kg (50 lb.).
Oversized luggage exceeds 157 cm (62 in.) in total combined dimension (length + width + height), but less than 203 cm (80 in.). Overweight luggage exceeds 23 kg (51 lb.), but no more than 45 kg (100 lb.).
You are allowed to check 2 to 4 bags on a WestJet flight, except with WestJet Encore, where you are allowed 2 to 3 bags.
You can prepay for up to two pieces of checked baggage on WestJet-operated flights when you book online or at any time up to 24 hours before your flight through Manage Trips. Checked baggage fees may also be paid when you check in online or at the airport 24 hours to 60 minutes before you fly.
WestJet Baggage Fees are based on the route you are flying and the fare class you purchased. For the most up-to-date pricing go to the WestJet Baggage Fees page.
Carry-On Liquid Policy
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority), not by the airline. Westjet doesn’t have its own specific Liquids Policy, they just enforce the rules and policies of the TSA.
It’s also important to note that the rules for bringing a “liquid” in your carry-on bag differ from those that govern what you can bring in your checked luggage. Liquids in a carry-on bag must be 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit in a 1 quart-sized container. Anything larger must be placed in your checked luggage.
Below is a table that provides some examples of Non-solid Food and Personal Items that are considered “liquids”:
|Beverages||Jelly||Spray Paint||Hair Gel|
|Shampoo||Pudding||Deodorant Spray||Shower Gel|
|Conditioner||Yogurt||Insect Repellent||Hand Sanitizer|
|Toothpaste||Gelatin||Cooking Spray||Gel Deodorant|
|Mouthwash||Peanut Butter||Spray Lubricant|
|Liquid soap||Cheese Spread||Hairspray|
|Contact Lens Solution||Maple Syrup||Shaving Cream|
The CATSA Liquids Rule
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the CATSA liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and lotion.
Any liquid that does not meet the CATSA Liquids rule will either have to be checked with your luggage or will be thrown away at the security checkpoint.
Here’s a little video from the TSA to help illustrate (The TSA does not have authority in Canada but the rules in this video are the same as what CATSA uses):
Exceptions to this rule are certain medications and baby food/child nourishment.
Carry-On Food Policy
CATSA also sets the rules for what type of food you can bring on the plane. There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- The food you bring with you from home, and
- The food you buy at the airport after you have gone through security.
When bringing food with you from home, an important thing to note is the classification of liquid vs. solid foods.
An important thing to note is the classification of liquid vs. solid foods. The general rule is “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, then it’s considered a liquid or gel”. This means your food may be considered a liquid and will fall under the 3-1-1 liquids rule, which mandates that any liquid, gel, cream, aerosol, or paste in a carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less, and fit in one quart-size resealable bag (only one such bag is allowed per passenger).
Here’s a link to the CATSA website advising what food can be brought with you on your WestJet flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. Once you get through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
WestJet Carry-On Pet Policy
WestJet may not charge for your carry-on baggage, but they will charge for your carry-on pet.
If you are going to bring a pet on board with you, it must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you.
Pets in cabin kennels will count as your one carry-on item. In addition to the kennel, you can bring one personal item onboard the aircraft. The following fees apply to/from the following destinations.
WestJet Airlines Pet Carry-On Fees
Here is a chart showing the pet fees WestJet charges each way. Double them for a round-trip flight.
|To/From Destination||Pet Fee Each Way|
CATSA Approved Pet Carrier for WestJet
I have traveled with 2 dogs over the last 10 years, one was a 20 lb. Shih Tzu-Bichon (in the picture above) and another is a 12lb. Chihuahua mix. We used the Sherpa pet carrier when bringing them on a flight with us and it worked great!
Features mesh panels so your pet can breathe easily, a non-slip shoulder strap, locking zippers, and a rear storage pocket for treats and other goodies.
Approved for use on most major airlines and the small and medium sizes are included in Sherpa's exclusive Guaranteed on Board program.
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as a hazardous materials. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bag on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (“CATSA”).
Items considered “dangerous goods” are prohibited under WestJet’s carry-on policy and include the following:
- Firearms and ammunition
- Mace and pepper spray
- Poisonous, infectious, or radioactive substances
- Sharp objects (knives, cutting instruments, razors, ice picks, carpet knives, metal scissors, box cutters, or similar items)
- Any beverage with more than 70 percent alcohol
- Camping equipment containing flammable liquids or gasses
- Flammable liquids, including gasoline and kerosene
- Hoverboards, including electric skateboards, balance boards, gravity boards, and self-balancing devices
- Medical or liquid oxygen
- Torch lighters, lighter fluid, strike-anywhere matches, and fire starters
- Wet-cell batteries
- Motor oil, hydraulic fluids, brake fluid, and transmission fluid
The following items are not considered “dangerous goods” and are allowed when packaged properly, in accordance with FAA regulations
- Hiking or trekking poles
- Hair dryer/Straightener
- Hair spray
- Sunscreen/bug spray
- Food as a carry-on
- Fishing hooks
- Fragile glass items
WestJet Baggage: Additional Items
In addition to the carry-on baggage allowance, the following items are also permitted:
|A diaper bag||Must contain items for an infant|
|An approved restraint system (car seat)||For use in a seat that has been purchased|
|Blood||Up to two liters of blood intended for personal use will be accepted as carry-on. Blood for non-personal use must be shipped as cargo. Blood must be packaged in plastic vials with screw-top lids taped shut, single-use vacuum collection tubes, or sealed plastic bags (preferably double-bagged). As blood is handled as a perishable item, it must be packaged in a leak-proof container that is resistant to vibration or damage (such as a cardboard-enclosed StyrofoamTM box ice chest) with cold packs for cooling, and the container must then be single or double strapped with tape, string or elastic bands. Airport security screening may request a letter issued by an authorized agency to confirm that the blood is non-infectious. Infectious blood samples are not accepted for transport. If you are traveling internationally, it is your responsibility to confirm acceptance guidelines with customs at the destination country.|
|Cremated remains||All cremation containers will be X-rayed. Documentation from a funeral home does not provide an exemption to the screening requirement. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority recommends that cremated remains be transported in temporary containers (such as those made from plastic, cardboard, or cloth) as these containers are more likely to scan clearly and pass security screening. Please note: screening officers are not permitted to open a cremation container, and will not inspect the contents if you open it yourself. You may also bring empty permanent containers (such as metal, granite, and ceramic) containers with you as carry-on baggage. Containers that do not pass security screening will not be accepted as carry-on baggage or for travel as checked baggage. For more information please see visit catsa.gc.ca.|
|Duty-free merchandise||Duty-free alcohol purchased after security is allowed as carry-on baggage on direct flights operated by WestJet aircraft. Alcohol must be checked on WestJet flights with transfers or connections, or when it is purchased before clearing security. WestJet guests transferring from one of our airline partners originating in the European Union are permitted duty-free purchases as carry-on, providing the alcohol is packaged by the duty-free vendor in a tamper-evident bag.|
|Food items||For onboard consumption; in disposable packages and carried on your person or in your carry-on|
|Fragile items||Delicate scientific instrumentsHuman organs for transplant|
|Medical devices||Approved battery-powered portable oxygen concentrators for personal use may be used in flight. We may accept irregularly sized approved medical devices which exceed the carry-on baggage allowance if the device can be stowed in an approved location without exceeding the weight limit for the most appropriate area in the aircraft, and it will not obstruct access to safety equipment, exits, or the aisle. In all cases, acceptance of these items is at the sole discretion of WestJet.|
Here is a link to WestJet’s Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
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