Canada’s air travel community and consumers are watching Air Canada – the country’s largest full-service carrier – to see if it will start charging checked-bag fees on domestic flights now that rival WestJet announced that it will roll out such fees, according to Canada’s Global News and other media outlets.
“With today’s announcement from WestJet, it now opens the door for Air Canada to follow suit,” RBC transportation stock expert Walter Spracklin said in a research note to clients. “We expect Air Canada will quickly follow suit,” the analyst said, according to Global News. “Possibly as early as today.”
Asked about WestJet’s bag fee move, an unnamed Air Canada spokesperson told Global News and the Globe and Mail that they will “evaluate” the fee.
The carrier doesn’t charge consumers fees to check bags on domestic routes, although it does on other routes. Air Canada’s website requires customers and shoppers to do extra work to discover the potential charges. Visitors must enter a pair of cities into an online baggage fee calculator to identify the fees. A check of Toronto to Newark, for instance, shows that the first bag will cost $25 each direction, and the second will cost $35 (see screen shot above).
In its article about WestJet’s bag-fee news, the Globe and Mail article says that Air Canada charges a checked-bag fee on Canada-U.S. economy class fares. The piece also says that WestJet “succumbed to the lure of the baggage fees” and the more than $3.35 billion they delivered to U.S. airlines last year. See both stories for more information.
Readers: Do checked-bag fees alter the way you pack?