WestJet charges $25 for checked bags in economy in Canada, U.S.

WestJet is now charging economy-fare customers $25 for their first checked bags on flights within Canada and to the U.S.

'Unbundling' means travellers only pay for services they use, WestJet says

WestJet is now charging economy-fare customers $25 for their first checked bags on flights within Canada and to the U.S.

The fee applies to any new bookings starting Monday, for travel as of Oct. 29. The Calgary-based airline says it expects only about 20 per cent of its customers to be affected by the new fee.

That's because anyone travelling on a Flex fare won’t be affected; neither will Plus fare customers flying anywhere.

Also, customers flying to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe can still get one free checked bag to those destinations.

The baggage allowances for military personnel (with identification), infant and child equipment, mobility devices, and code-share and interline guests have not been changed.

WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer said the new fee is part of an "unbundling of services, which is essentially moving to more of an a la carte system where people only pay for the services they actually want or that they use."

"For those guests who don't want or need to check a bag we are making that option available," he told CBC News.

WestJet is following the lead of Porter in charging for checked luggage to the U.S. Porter began charging a fee in May and changed its baggage handling practices to stow passengers' carry-on bags for them to save time when passengers board. 

As consumers demand low fares, airlines have been seeking new ways to bring in money. 


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