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More added costs for those who travel by air

Posted on September 23, 2014 by 40 Mile Commentator

Ever want to plan that nice vacation for the winter months or maybe visit some relatives? Well, flying isn’t getting any cheaper; in fact, it’s going to get a lot more expensive. In recent weeks with WestJet charging $25 for the first checked bag on domestic flights, air travelers have been furious with these extra costs. What about trying another airline as an alternative? Well, they’re doing it too. Air Canada has recently matched policy with Westjet and will begin charging also. With it being the country’s largest carrier, they said they wanted to “align it with prevailing North American industry practices.”

These new rules go into effect on Nov. 2, for those purchasing tickets beginning on the lowest economy Tango fare for flights in Canada. For WestJet, this cost will apply on Oct. 29.

Porter Airlines based in Toronto introduced its domestic $25 for the first checked bag fee in May, and last august began charging passengers with this fee for first bags checked on U.S. flights.

Many are still wondering the need for this increase. The reason is the drop in value of the Canadian dollar and the rise of fuel costs for these airlines.

The unfair part that could be worth an argument is for those customers who purchase economy tickets under higher flex and latitude fares. This is the same for WestJet which doesn’t charge for its higher fare classes including flex and plus. These exemptions will also be in effect to certain frequent flyers and those purchasing an Air Canada Vacations package.

Isn’t food, drinks, headphones and Internet service enough? Oh and of course the sometimes thousand-dollar air ticket alone. Luggage should remain free as people can barely afford the ride home. It is especially so for those from low-income families or students struggling to pay off that lingering debt. What could possibly be next? A guess could sadly be the carry on. Maybe a good idea for those wanting to save that extra fee… pack all you can in your carry on.

More carry on items on the plane could be the next target for customers flying with either airline. With this increase, a big risk for these airlines is that it could hurt ticket sales with customers being too fed up to fly.

“As we continue to evolve our fare products, we are creating more value by offering our guests the opportunity to purchase only those services they want. This user-pay type of system allows us to keep fares as low as possible, introduce lower sale fares and avoid fare increases, which benefits you and liberates even more Canadians from the high cost of air travel,” Bob Cummings, WestJet executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest experience said.

The company also introduced a “price-drop guarantee for those guests who noticed that the price of a flight or vacation package has dropped since they booked it. What will happen is that they will receive the difference in “WestJet dollars” or a credit towards other flights.

The decision is now in the hands of the customers as to whether or not they want to drop flying altogether or squish that extra bit of clothes into their carry-on.

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