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Our New Baggage Policy

October 23rd 2012 by Denis Pinsonneault

Over the past few months, VIA Rail has been upgrading its operations to do an even better job of meeting customer needs. Passengers value our personalized service and an exceptional on-board experience as they seek modern, effective transportation. With this in mind, a new baggage policy is currently in effect for all passengers since October 10, 2012. This applies to all Corridor, Ocean and the Montréal-Gaspé trains.

The previous policy required the on-board handling of overweight baggage, resulting in a risk of injury for passengers and employees, as well as delays en route. Furthermore, the previous policy was not uniformly applied, which was frustrating for customers. However, the new policy is now clear and uniform: 2 suitcases not exceeding 25 lbs each OR 1 suitcase not exceeding 40 lbs. In all cases, customers may also carry a personal item (max. 25 lbs), as well as a carry-on bag.

On trains equipped with a baggage car (easily identified when making reservations), customers may carry three additional items not exceeding 50 lbs each FREE. Transferring this baggage from one train to another for passengers who have a connection will also become easier, thus improving the customer experience.

Unprecedented measures have been taken to properly inform customers: our website has been changed to notify customers of these new arrangements before they complete their reservations; our telephone sale’s office agents can guide customers to help determine their best rail travel options based on the number of items that customers wish to bring; once customers are on-site, measuring tools are clearly visible to ensure that the baggage taken on-board meets the approved size and weight requirements. It is VERY important to check this information to ensure that your experience meets your expectations.

As with any carrier, for safety and efficiency reasons, we have had to identify specific types of baggage that may not be transported due to their weight or size (see the rules to this effect) or inherent transportation dangers. However, passengers will be happy to know that this rule does not apply to baggage containing outdoor gear or skis.

It is important for us to properly inform our passengers and for them to check this information, since a surcharge will apply for passengers who intend to board with articles that do not comply with the guidelines stated in the new policy.

Over the next few weeks, we will carefully consider our customers’ comments to ensure that this new policy is properly understood and always disclosed in a timely manner.

“Pack smart, travel smart”—we will all benefit!

About Denis Pinsonneault

Denis Pinsonneault
As Chief Customer Experience Officer, Denis Pinsonneault is in charge of activities directly related to customer experience within stations and on board trains. He also supervises Real Estate to ensure synergy between those who do station maintenance and those who work in stations. Moreover, he oversees Customer Advocacy Teams, which ensure the regular exchange of information as well as consistency of customer experience support activities.
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