Calgary

Passenger rights advocate launches complaint, calls Swoop's baggage fees 'deceptive'

An air passenger rights advocate has filed a regulatory complaint against Swoop Inc. claiming the new low-cost airline is unlawfully charging baggage fees.

Advocate is claiming new low-cost airline unlawfully charges baggage fees

Swoop is a low-cost airline with 'a la carte' service. (Shawn Benjamin/CBC)

An air passenger rights advocate has filed a regulatory complaint against Swoop Inc. claiming the new low-cost airline is unlawfully charging baggage fees.

In a complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency, Gabor Lukacs says the commercial carrier is flouting Canadian law by failing to offer passengers a basic fare that includes a carry-on and a checked bag.

The Canada Transportation Act requires domestic airlines to offer a basic fare for travel within the country that has no restrictions with "reasonable baggage."

Airline offers 'a la carte service'

Karen McIsaac, a spokeswoman for the Calgary-based airline, says Swoop provides travellers with "a la carte service" where they pay a low base fare and add on features such as a checked bag for a fee.

She says the airline has specifically designed the self-booking website and mobile app to be extremely clear around what is provided in the fare and what the optional fees and added features entail.

But Lukacs, the Halifax-based founder of the independent non-profit organization Air Passenger Rights, calls the airline's approach "deceptive."