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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, here are the WestJet Carry-On rules you need to be aware of regarding size limits, weight, fees, liquids, etc.
WestJet Carry-On Size and Weight Limits
WestJet allows one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard at no charge.
WestJet Airlines Carry-On Size Limits
WestJet’s size requirements for a carry-on 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.
WestJet Personal Item Size
WestJet does not charge for a personal item. 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 Carry-On Weight Limits
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 item 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 not a carry-on bag the aircraft due to limited overhead space. Personal items must be able to fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
All carry-on bags within WestJet’s size restrictions will be gate checked, free of charge, during the boarding process and returned upon deplaning. Depending on the time of year, this will give you the opportunity to hang out with 50 of your newest friends in either a steaming hot or freezing cold jet bridge. Fun!
Despite this “official rule” there are some bags you can carry on to a regional jet. Check out this article on the best carry-on luggage for regional jets.
WestJet 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 are different from the rules 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”:
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 bag, 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
If you do plan on bringing your pet with you, make sure you follow CATSA’s pet policy and have an approved Pet Carrier that conforms to WestJet’s pet policy.
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as hazardous material. 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
A complete list can be found on the CATSA website, the FAA website, and the TSA website.
WestJet Carry-On Fees
WestJet does not charge a fee for carry-on baggage that meets their size requirements. If your bag is too large and does not meet WestJet’s carry-on restrictions, you may be charged a fee to gate check it.
Here is a link to WestJet’s Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.