WestJet Joins Air Canada, JetBlue In Raising Baggage Fees
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
When JetBlue announced it was raising the fee for a first checked bag to $30, U.S. media was quick to speculate on whether other carriers would follow suit. They were thinking of U.S. airlines, but it was Air Canada and WestJet that quickly jumped on the higher-fee bandwagon.
Both carriers increased the fee for a first checked bag to $30 from $25 and a second checked bag to $50 Canadian dollars from $35.
The increased fees apply to travellers flying on AC and WS’s lowest fare types. Some higher-priced fare types include checked luggage options.
WestJet's higher fees apply to new bookings for travel on or after 1OCT. Air Canada's new fees apply to tickets purchased for travel 5OCT and beyond.
No airline enjoys being first with such announcements, but WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the airline’s move was not in response to JetBlue, noting that it had previously said it was looking at offsetting costs and increasing bag fees. Still, as USA Today points out, WestJet did not have any notice on its website about increased fees on flights outside Canada until Tuesday, a day after JetBlue unveiled its higher fees.
"Changing our bag fees will help offset higher costs in today’s challenging and competitive market, while allowing us to continue to offer competitive pricing for our guests,'' Stewart said.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.