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 must always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items.
  • Air Canada will not be liable if and to the extent that any damage results from the inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage.

Musical instruments as carry-on baggage:

  • Guitars and other irregular sized musical instruments may be accepted as part of your carry-on baggage allowance provided:
    • there is space available in the cabin at time of boarding
    • they fit easily in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you,
  • Due to 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.
    • For this reason, musical instruments must always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items.  Please refer to the ‘Packing instructions’ section above.
    • Musical instruments checked at the gate must also be retrieved at the gate upon arrival at your destination.

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.
  • Please refer to the ‘Packing instructions’ section above for the preparation of your musical instrument.
  • For oversized instruments measuring more than 115in/292cm (e.g. guitars, tubas, double basses), please contact your Air Canada Cargo local sales office for handling.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.

In some cases, a seat may also be purchased for these instruments. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.

Types of musical instruments

  • Unless specified in the table below, all musical instruments (including those not listed) may be accepted provided they do not exceed the weight and size restrictions that apply to carry-on or checked baggage.
  • Please refer to the ‘Packing instructions’ section above for the preparation of your musical instrument.
  • All of the rules and restrictions outlined above with regard to carry-on and checked baggage will apply.

Accordion
Bagpipes
Banjo

All types of banjos (i.e. cello, bass, bluegrass, electric, fretless, plectrum long neck and tenor) can be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Bassoon
  • If the bassoon can be folded, it may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.
  • If it cannot be folded, the bassoon can only be accepted as checked baggage.
Bells

Bells may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Clarinet / Bass Clarinet

Clarinets and bass clarinets may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Cello

A cello may be accepted as checked baggage, or may be transported in the cabin if a seat is purchased for it.

Chimes
  • Chimes may be accepted as checked baggage provided they do not exceed applicable weight and size restrictions.
  • To transport chimes which exceed the weight and size restrictions that apply to checked baggage, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.
Cymbals
Double bass
  • A double bass (also known as a string bass, upright bass, bass fiddle, bass violin, doghouse bass, contrabass, bass viol, stand-up bass, bull fiddle or simply bass) can be accepted as checked baggage provided it does not exceed applicable weight and size restrictions.
  • To transport a double bass which exceeds the weight and size restrictions that apply to checked baggage, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.
Drums
  • Drums (e.g. bongo, concert bass, concert snare, conga, floor tom) generally exceed the weight and size restrictions that apply to carry-on baggage, but can be accepted as checked baggage.
  • To transport a drum that exceeds weight and size restrictions for checked baggage, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.
Fiddle

Fiddles may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Flute
Guitar

All types of guitars (e.g. acoustic bass, alto, baritone, bass, cigar box, electric, flamenco, harp, string, tailed bridge, tenor, and resonator) may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Harp
  • Smaller harps can be accepted as checked baggage.
  • To transport large concert harps, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.
Horn

Baritone and French horns can only be accepted as checked baggage.

Keyboard / electric piano
  • A keyboard or electric piano can be accepted as checked baggage provided it does not exceed applicable weight and size restrictions.
  • To transport a keyboard or electric piano that exceeds weight and size restrictions for checked baggage, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office.
    • Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.
Marimba

Marimbas (including resonator tubes, stand and bars) can be accepted as checked baggage.

Mute

A mute (used for most brass instruments such as trumpets, French horns, trombones, violins) may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Oboe

Oboes may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Saxophone

Alto, baritone and tenor saxophones may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage provided they do not exceed applicable weight and size restrictions.

Sound system

Sound systems (e.g. amplifiers, speakers, mixers, microphone stand and cables) can only be accepted as checked baggage provided they do not exceed applicable weight and size restrictions.

Stand (for music sheets and folders)
  • If the stand can be folded, it may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.
  • If it cannot be folded, the stand can only be accepted as checked baggage.
Timpani / kettledrums

Because timpani generally exceed the weight and size restrictions that apply to checked baggage, please contact your local Air Canada Cargo sales office for handling.

Exception: Air Canada Cargo cannot handle shipments from or via the US as passengers are considered as unknown shippers for cargo purposes. Please contact another shipping company for this service.

Trombone

Trombones can only be accepted as checked baggage.

Trumpet

Trumpets may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Tuba

Tubas can only be accepted as checked baggage.

Viola

Violas can only be accepted as checked baggage.

Violin

Violins may be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage.

Xylophone

Xylophones (including resonator tubes, stand and bars) can only be accepted as checked baggage.


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 aircanada.com, visit the operating carrier's website directly.