Air Canada car seat policy
Know the Air Canada car seat policy before booking your ticket – John McArthur (unsplash)

You’re finally ready to take that family vacation you’ve dreamed of! Maybe you’re taking the kids to Disney or to a family-friendly resort in the Caribbean. Either way, you’ll need to fly. If you’ve chosen to fly Air Canada, learn everything you need to know about their car seat policy before you board.

Key Takeaway
When traveling on Air Canada, you can check one car seat for your child in addition to your regular baggage allowance for free. Air Canada recommends that children 0 to 11 should use the proper booster or car seat to ensure their safety. 

Air Canada is committed to the safety of all its passengers, but especially the safety of the children onboard. Learn more about Air Canada’s car seat policy and if traveling with your car seat or booster is right for you and your family. 

Car Seat Policy Details

Although it’s possible to travel with an infant on your lap, Air Canada recommends having children who require car seats use one to ensure their safety. Children who are technically big enough to sit on the seat may still slide under the seatbelt. The belt also doesn’t reach their hips like it should, which could cause injury during turbulence or an accident. 

If you’re traveling with a car seat for the first time, check out our article on traveling with car seats to learn how to best protect your car seat on vacation.

Baggage Allowance For Infants and Children

If you are traveling with an infant on your lap, you are allowed to bring one extra bag (21x40x9in) in addition to your own standard-size bag. If you’ve purchased a seat for your child, they’re entitled to the standard baggage allowance, including checked bags. 

For baggage rules in general, check out our article on Air Canada baggage policy.

Family Seating

When making reservations for your family through Air Canada directly or a third-party website, you will be booked into the first seats available. By contacting Air Canada Reservations, you can request that your family be seated together at no extra charge. 

If you’re traveling with children under 6, you can use the family check-in line and get early boarding to ensure everything goes smoothly. Don’t stress about flying with kids if it’s your first time. These 6 tips will make flying with kids a breeze!

Which Car Seats Are Allowed?

Passengers on Air Canada must bring a car seat that complies with the Transport Canada regulations. Seats made in the US, AUS, or EU must bear a label that states they comply with the respected countries’ regulations. 

Other foreign-made car seats are allowed, although they have to adhere to the same standard Transport Canada holds for Canadian car seats. If you are traveling with a foreign-made car seat, it’s a good idea to read the Transport Canada standards to see if your car seat can fly. 

Here are our top picked FAA approved travel car seats for you to consider.

Infant Carriers and Bassinets

Technically all other infant restraints are prohibited onboard the flight. However, in addition to your baggage, wrap-type slings and pouch carriers can be brought onboard if needed for the flight. You’ll have to take the baby out of the sling and hold them for taxi, take-off, and landing.

You can request a bassinet for your infant if the child weighs less than 25 lbs (12kg) and cannot sit up on their own. Bassinets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you should contact Air Canada Reservations to secure one as soon as you make your booking. 

Are Car Seats Free On Air Canada?

You can bring your car seat or carrier aboard Air Canada without an additional charge if you have purchased a seat for your child.

If you’re planning on using your car seat on the plane, you need to purchase a seat. If you’ve purchased a seat for your child and you’re flying to a US or Canadian destination, you will pay the adult fare for that seat whether the child is in a car seat or not. A children’s fare is applied for that seat if you’re flying internationally.

Unlike some American airlines, you can’t bring your car seat to the gate in an attempt to bring it onboard if you haven’t purchased a seat for your child. If you bring your car seat to the gate, Air Canada staff may check it in the baggage hold for you. 

How many baby items can you gate-check on Air Canada?

Guests are allowed two baby items on Air Canada flights to gate-check. Usually, this consists of a car seat and a stroller. The stroller would be stored under the plane, and the car seat can be used in the cabin if you’ve purchased a seat for your child.

What baby items are free on flights?

When traveling with an infant or toddler, you can bring a diaper bag with breast milk or a pump on board the plane for free in addition to your carry-on bag, even if the child doesn’t have their own seat. Toddler food pouches can also be brought onboard if your child requires them. 

Are you bringing your stroller too? If you do, check out our article on Air Canada stroller policy so you can be prepared.

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