2 major Canadian airlines increase baggage fees

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Published March 1, 2024 at 2:42 pm

baggage fee increase canada

Two major Canadian airlines have increased baggage fees on economy flights in recent weeks.

Air Canada announced that it is hiking its checked baggage fee for the economy basic and standard fare tickets.

Travellers who purchased the economy or standard class ticket on or after Feb. 28 for Canadian, U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America flights will pay $5 more. The first bag will be $35 (CAD/US) and $50 (CAD/US) for the second.

WestJet also increased its checked baggage fees on Feb. 15.

Effective February 15, 2024, WestJet’s checked baggage fees also increased by $5 for first and second checked bags. These changes only apply to tickets purchased on or after Feb. 15.

The increase means it now costs between $35 and $42 for the first checked bag for economy fares booked after Feb. 14 on WestJet.

WestJet indicated the change comes down to finances.

“We charge checked bag fees so that we can keep base fares lower for all travellers, and only those that wish to bring a checked bag are charged for the service,” a spokesperson told insauga.com in an emailed statement.

Since 2018, WestJet’s checked baggage fees have remained the same, even during the pandemic, inflation, rising operating and fuel costs, statement notes.

Increasing baggage fees follows industry trends as several U.S. airlines have also increased fees in recent weeks.

The move has some people concerned about more carry-on baggage crammed into overhead bins as people try to avoid paying the fees.

But Air Canada said they have policies in place to ensure they won’t have too many bags in the cabin.

“We have procedures in place to promote compliance with our policies, which are designed to ensure an equitable distribution of available cabin storage space for all customers,” a spokesperson for Air Canada told insauga.com. 

For more on Air Canada’s fees, see the website here. For more on WestJet, see their checked baggage policy here.

Lead photo: JESHOOTS.com

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