Musical Instruments

Packing Instructions

  • When a stringed instrument is transported by air, it may be exposed to dramatic changes in temperature and pressure, which can cause the instrument’s headstocks to crack or snap off. To prevent possible damage, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the strings are loosened so that the tension is reduced.
  • Musical instruments should always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items.

Musical Instruments as Carry-on Baggage

You may bring your musical instrument on board as part of your carry-on baggage provided it meets the current Air Canada carry-on size requirements* and:

  • fits in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you, or
  • you purchase a seat to accommodate it

Purchasing a Seat for your Musical Instrument

If you wish to purchase a seat for your musical instrument, you will receive a 50% discount on any published fare (including the lowest available fare)* to accommodate the instrument in the same cabin you are travelling in.

Exception: If you are seated in Business Class on a flight offering Business Class pods, your musical instrument will, for safety reasons, be placed in Economy Class.

Also for safety reasons, extra seats may be purchased for musical instruments not exceeding 162.5 cm (64 in.) in height/length or 36 kg (80 lb.) in weight. The number of musical instruments that can be accommodated on each flight is limited.

Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.

*Not applicable to tickets issued or flights operated by our codeshare partners or other airlines, or to Flight Pass or Aeroplan bookings.

Baggage Allowance

A musical instrument you take on board will count as part of your carry-on baggage allowance, as either a personal or standard article (depending on the size and dimensions of the instrument).

Advance Boarding

At the airport, you will be invited to board the plane in advance of general boarding, between zones 2 and 3, so that you may have a little more time to store your musical instrument in an overhead bin close to your seat. Or you may board with zones 1 or 2 if you qualify for Priority Boarding.

Accommodating your Musical Instrument On Board

Because of passenger loads, aircraft limitations and/or storage space available, we cannot guarantee that a musical instrument can be accommodated on board. It may need to be checked at the gate and transported as checked baggage if the airport agent or cabin crew determines that it cannot be safely stowed in the cabin. For this reason, musical instruments should always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items. Musical instruments checked at the gate must also be retrieved at the gate upon arrival at your destination.

* Exception: String instruments (e.g. guitars, violins and violas) can be carried on board as long as they fit in the overhead bin and there is space available in the cabin at time of boarding. In some cases, a seat may also be purchased for these instruments. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.

Musical Instruments as Checked Baggage

  • If checked in separately, a musical instrument counts as one piece of baggage towards the maximum number of checked bags allowed by your fare type.
  • If your baggage count (musical instrument + number of other bags to be checked) exceeds the maximum number of items allowed by your fare type, additional checked baggage charges will apply.

Codeshare Flights/Flights with Other Airlines

When an itinerary includes travel with one of our codeshare partners or with another airline, the baggage policies and rules of the other carrier may apply.

For the specific terms and conditions of any Air Canada codeshare partner or other airline sold on, visit the operating carrier's website directly.