Airlines Raising Baggage Fees
CBJ — Air Canada and WestJet Airlines are increasing fees by $5 for passengers to check their first bags and $20 for a second bag. The changes apply to the lowest fare classes at both airlines.
The country’s two largest airlines will now charge $30 for a passenger’s first checked bag while the second checked bag will soar from $30 to $50. The new baggage fees at Air Canada apply on flights across Canada, to and from the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico, departing on or after Oct. 5.
WestJet’s changes apply on flights starting Oct. 1 for domestic bookings made as of last Friday, and as of Tuesday on flights to the U.S. and international destinations.
The airlines say the added fees are necessary to help offset overall price increases and keep overall ticket prices competitive.
Porter Airlines says its fees aren’t changing. It’s still unknown whether changes will be coming at Air Transat and Sunwing.
As a means of generating extra revenue most airlines have been adding fees for more than 10 years now. Such things as early boarding, food and beverages, entertainment and wireless access are examples of where extra fees would apply, if the passenger so chooses any of those options. Air Canada earned more than $1 billion from these payments last year while WestJet collected about $440 million.