Cheaper than economy and regulating barbecue brushes: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including "basic economy" airfares, PC Optimum points thefts, and the potential for barbecue brush regulations.

Plus: Sunwing's passenger complaints and more stolen Optimum points

Air Canada and WestJet are selling 'basic economy' fares that cost less than economy and offer even fewer features, including no options to change your flight. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Cheaper than economy

Economy is no longer the lowest class on an airplane. Air Canada and WestJet are selling "basic economy" fares that cost less and offer even fewer features. There are no options to change your flight or get a refund. Passengers also can't request upgrades and won't earn any Aeroplan miles or WestJet dollars. The prices still aren't as low as discount competitors like Flair Airlines.

More from Marketplace: Why it can suck to fly in Canada.

Optimum points stolen for third time

PC Optimum members are still getting their points stolen. Loblaws said they fixed a password reset problem in their system but thieves are still accessing the same accounts. One man from Halifax had his account infiltrated for a third time in less than a month. This time a thief stole 150,000 points worth $150. Loblaws says the fix is in but addressing all the thefts will take time. 

A PC Optimum member shows the points that disappeared from her account and were spent in another province. (CBC)

Sunwing under investigation

Toronto's recent ice storm was a nightmare for many travelers, and Sunwing passengers want their due. The Canadian Transportation Agency is investigating the airline after 89 complaints involving 23 flights between April 14 and 18. Some passengers who waited six hours on the tarmac, more than a week for their baggage or dealt with flights cancelled altogether received no more than a $100 travel voucher.

Lyndsay Burke-Sholer, left, filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency after flying Sunwing from Jamaica to Toronto and spending more than five hours on the tarmac. (Lyndsay Burke-Sholer)

Regulating barbecue brushes

Last year there were nine different incidents involving barbecue brushes, similar to one from 2014 where a wire bristle ended up lodged in a woman's throat. There are currently no standards for safety labels, manufacturing or testing, but Health Canada is commissioning a review to develop them. The department says you should inspect your wire brush regularly for damage and report any incidents.

A simple barbecue brush can land you in the hospital. (CBC)

What else is going on?

Woman removed from Air Canada flight over shingles rash. An Edmonton woman was about to take off from Halifax when the crew wrongly assumed she had a contagious disease.

If you mail off a DNA testing kit, are you putting your privacy at risk? Canadian experts warn data about your genetic code could be manipulated for political or marketing purposes.

This week in recalls

These pork products could be contaminated with E. coli; these microgreens could be contaminated with Listeria; this elliptical cross trainer could be a fall hazard. 

What should we investigate next?

Our TV season has wrapped until the fall. Miss an episode? Watch Marketplace investigations on demand here. We are busy working on new stories and want to hear from you.  What do you think we should investigate next? Email us at