Flair Airlines Drops Carry-On Fee – Or Does It?

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Flair Airlines has announced it will no longer charge passengers $30 for carry-on luggage.  Or has it?

A press release sent out yesterday was headlined: “Flair Airlines Announces Major Win For Passengers.” The sub-head read: “Flair Airlines Removes Baggage Fees for ALL Flights Booked in December.”

That sounded like a month-long, no-fee promotion to us – not something we would normally consider news -- but the quotes further down the press release made the move sound permanent.   

“We have listened very closely to the input from our passengers,” said Chris Lapointe, Vice President Commercial Operations. “Removing the carry-on baggage fee is something that we are excited to do as an airline. We know how important this is to the travelling public.”

Lapointe continued: “We want our passengers to have a positive experience with us, and if that requires us removing this fee, then we are delighted to respond.”

Open Jaw contacted Flair to ask if the move was temporary or permanent, and received this response: “For any flight that someone books in December...so if you book today for June -- no carry-on fees.”

OK, so it is a temporary promotional thing, right? Well, maybe not. 

In a CTV News story, the same spokesperson said: “The one-month trial will likely be extended indefinitely because of strong passenger demand.”

And Kelowna Now, the hometown paper for Flair’s HQ, wrote: “It was announced today that the airline will be removing its $30 carry-on baggage fee for anyone booking their flights in December and on.”

At least we’re not the only ones confused…at this age every potential sign of early-onset dementia is closely monitored.

For the record, a spokesperson for WestJet’s ULCC Swoop, with a planned launch next summer, says there will be a fee for carry-on bags, but the number hasn’t been released yet.

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