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Air Canada, WestJet raise fee for check-in baggage

Click to play video: 'Air Canada passenger tries to open plane door during Toronto-bound flight'
Air Canada passenger tries to open plane door during Toronto-bound flight
WATCH: Air Canada passenger tries to open plane door during Toronto-bound flight – Jan 23, 2024

The fee for checking in baggage at WestJet and Air Canada has gone up.

For those who purchased an economy basic or standard fare with Air Canada on or after Feb. 28 for travel within Canada or to the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America, the fee went up $5, from $30 to $35 for the first bag and to $50 for a second bag.

For WestJet tickets purchased on or after Feb. 15, the fee increased by $5 as well for first and second checked bags, going up to $65 for an airport check-in for a basic fare for the first bag and up to $89 for a second.

In a statement to Global News on Friday, Air Canada said the fee raise was “in line with other North American carriers.”

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WestJet said in a statement Friday that they “charge checked bag fees so that we can keep base fares lower for all travellers.”

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“Since 2018, WestJet’s checked baggage fees have held firm in the face of a pandemic, inflation, rising operating and fuel costs,” a spokesperson said.

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“WestJet’s Pricing and Revenue teams constantly analyze ancillary data and industry trends and incremental baggage fee increases are standard across our industry.”

Carry-on bags remain free of charge for both airlines.

Personal finance and travel expert Barry Choi told Global News that the added cost can add up for larger families, but noted that the airlines haven’t increased the fee in a long time.

He recommends taking a carry-on to avoid the fee and save money.

“Generally speaking, you want to budget as far in advance. So if you know these luggage fees are going to cost you extra, that’s just part of the cost of travelling these days,” he said.

“So maybe you can set aside or cut back on things at home.”

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