6 Essential Travel Tips to Make Your Holiday Travel Experience as Smooth as Possible on Air Canada

The busy holiday travel season is around the corner with a peak expected between December 19, 2018, and January 5, 2019. To make your travel experience as smooth as possible, Air Canada recommends these six essential travel tips.

1. Save time. Check-in 24 hours in advance.

Check-in online at aircanada.commobile.aircanada.ca or via the Air Canada app (be sure to download the app for iOS or Android). You can also select/change your seat, select the number of checked baggage and pay any baggage fees in advance.

Be sure to provide your contact information (email or mobile number) when checking-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) so that we can contact you in case of travel disruptions.  If you’ve booked with a travel agent, please ensure they’ve included your contact information on your booking.

Travelling with kids under six? Follow these tips to ease the stress.

Look for Family Check-in signage at select airports (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver);

Kids under age 6 and their family board early, before general boarding. This means extra time to store belongings and settle in;

Once you have booked your tickets, contact us and we will assign seats for you and your kids under the age of 12 that are close together.


For added fun, you can register your child for Air Canada’s Skyriders program to help them track their travels. Each child gets a Skyriders starter kit that consists of a friendly introduction letter, a sturdy luggage tag and a logbook to keep a record of each one of their flights.

2. Is your flight on time?

Confirm online 24/7 at aircanada.com/flightnotification or via the Air Canada app.

You can stay informed of flight status for all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights by signing up for Flight Notifications or calling the toll-free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.

Air Canada also posts a Daily Travel Outlook that lists possible flight disruptions due to forecasted weather or other events and provides a link to a self-service rebooking tool.

3. Arrive early.

Here’s when: aircanada.com/deadlines.

Arrive early at the airport to be at the gate on time and avoid congestion that may occur during peak periods. If you are travelling to the US, please arrive 3 hours prior to departure to clear customs as well.

4. Review baggage rules.

Here’s what to carry-on and check-in.

Check size and weight allowances when packing at aircanada.com/carryon as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged.

Consider bringing a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you as space in the overhead bins is limited. Air Canada strongly recommends checking any bags that do not fit into the sizers to make the boarding process more efficient and prevent delays.

Bring all valuables including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money and jewelry in carry-on bags and not in checked bags.

Bag Tags – Place identification INSIDE bags as well as on the outside, as external baggage name tags sometimes become detached.

Gifts – when travelling with gifts in your carry-on, remember to keep them unwrapped to facilitate security inspection.

5.Check your documentation. 

Avoid unnecessary surprises before your vacation takes off. Ensure that all your travel documents are valid at: aircanada.com/traveldocumentation.

Travel within Canada

Customers must present a valid government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older.

Travel from Canada to an international destination

A valid passport, signed, with an expiration that meets the requirement of the destination country in required. Some countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months or more before allowing a traveler to enter the country.

Visas may be needed to enter the country of destination and/or when connecting via certain countries. Check IATA Travel Centre search tool for country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirements. When using a third-party website or travel agent, take the extra step of verifying the requirements of your destination country.

Travel to Canada from an international destination

Canadian citizens

A Canadian passport for travel to Canada.

Dual nationals may no longer use a non-Canadian passport to arrive in Canada.

Friends and family from outside Canada

A reminder to visiting friends and family from outside Canada that the Government of Canada requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that must be obtained prior to travel. More information is here: aircanada.com/eta.

Parents travelling with children

If passports are required, all children must have their own passport.  Remember that parents/legal guardians MUST NOT sign their child’s Canadian passport, as doing so invalidates it.

Visit IATA Travel Centre and Travel and Tourism Canada or contact the embassy high commission or consulate of all countries you and your child will be visiting to confirm all entry and exit document requirements.

6. Seamless travel to US

Travelling to the USA
Air Canada customers flying to the US (from or via Canada) will clear US Customs at Canadian airports before their flight.  Our operations at all three primary Canadian hubs, Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) are all under one roof with no terminal transfers, meaning connections are easy, comfortable and seamless.

Travelling from the USA
For our customers travelling from the U.S. through our hubs and onwards to any international destination, the seamless connection process and quick passport check means passengers don’t have to wait in customs lines, pick up bags or transfer terminals. Simply walk to the next departure gate.

What else to know:

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer during busy periods. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport two hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Known Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times.

The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information, please consult aircanada.com/secureflight.

Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts, and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage.

If you haven’t booked your ticket yet, check prices today at aircanada.com 

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