Looks like WestJet has finally acknowledged issues with the information on some e-tickets being inconsistent with their baggage fee policies. Recognizing the inconsistency, WestJet has refunded some passengers their baggage fee. However, they are not (yet) willing to offer blanket refund to all passengers that may have been affected by this issue. So, it is up to the passengers to check and request WestJet baggage fee refund.

The skinny – WestJet baggage fee refund issue

In August 2018, WestJet (WS) updated its baggage fee policy and started charging based on country of origin. For example, if I flew from Toronto to New York, my baggage fee for Toronto – NYC would be charged in CAD and fee for NYC-Toronto would be in USD. More importantly, WS started charging baggage fee in USD even from destinations in Latin America and Caribbean. If this wasn’t murky enough, WS increased their first bag fee from $25 to $30 each direction, starting October, 2018. In our example above, with the currency fee differential in CAD/US, this translated to $30 CAD for first bag from Toronto-NY, and $30 USD (or ~40 CAD ) from NY-Toronto segment! Plus, 2.5% currency exchange fee for Canadian credit card users (most Canadian cards don’t waive that fee).

Starting Oct 1, 2018, some passengers discovered that the e-tickets being issued still stated that the bag fee charged would be in CAD (for both segments), which was inconsistent with the policy changes mentioned above. Rightfully, some have complained and received their refunds. WestJet has confirmed that some e-tickets did include incorrect information but they will not be proactively making refunds. However, WS has offered to continue working with passengers that may have been affected.

WestJet baggage fee refund – Are you eligible?

If you have flown WestJet since August 2018 and paid for a baggage, I recommend checking the information on the e-ticket and the e-receipt for the baggage fee. If they do not correspond with the baggage fee policy on WS’s website , you may be eligible for a refund. Simply call WestJet and submit your claim with proof.

A quick glance at the related bag fee policy, as per WS website;

Baggage fees and country of origin

As of August 28th, 2018, your baggage fee will depend on the country you depart from, as per industry standards.

Guests departing from:

  • Canada – 1st bag fee $30 CAD, 2nd bag fee $50 CAD
  • United States, Latin America, Caribbean – 1st bag fee $30 USD, 2nd bag fee $50 USD
  • Ireland, France and Spain – 1st bag $30 CAD, 2nd bag $50 CAD will be quoted in Euros and exchange rates will reflect on your credit card based on the day of departure
  • UK – 1st bag $30 CAD, 2nd bag $50 CAD will be quoted in GBP and exchange rates will reflect on your credit card based on the day of departure

Baggage fees are per direction, including taxes. GST is charged on all itineraries that originate in Canada.

Bookings ticketed on or before: August 23, 2018, for flights within Canada or August 27, 2018, for flights outside Canada:

  • First bag 25 CAD or 25 USD, based on country of origin
  • Second bag 35 CAD or 35 USD, based on country of origin.
  • Please see an airport agent for the grandfathered fee for travel after October 1st, 2018.

WestJet Vacations bookings ticketed on or before November 5, 2018:

  • First bag no fee if travelling outside of Canada or the U.S.

  • Please see an airport agent for the grandfathered fee for travel after October 1st, 2018.

 

Source for the WestJet refund story: CBC News, here and here

If you were impacted by incorrect baggage fee from WestJet, please share your experience with a comment below.