Expedia to show hidden costs on airfares — but not in Canada just yet

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American travellers booking airline tickets online through sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Hotwire are about to get a clearer picture of their all-in costs before they book.

Unfortunately for travellers north of the border, who are directed to, new tools designed to show the true cost of flying won’t be made available yet.

Expedia announced Tuesday its U.S. sites will begin breaking out and making visible fees for bags and cancelling a reservation in addition to the ticket fare. Those fees typically remain hidden until a traveller is ready to buy a ticket.

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Expedia is hoping the additional transparency will help its U.S. sites, which also include Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire, to stand out from rivals like’s Kayak and Google’s extensive index of flight information in its dominant search engine.

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“[At] this time there is no specific date set for the launch of these features on the Canadian site. However, is working to bring the successful features to Canada,” the Bellevue, Wash.-based company said in a statement.

Fees adding up

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Added airline fees have been a sore spot for U.S. travellers since American Airlines began charging to check bags seven years ago.

Those fees have now arrived in Canada in force, with the country’s two biggest carriers, Air Canada and WestJet, adopting new fees on checked luggage in the past year in bid to drive up the amount of money they collect on top of base airfares.

In the U.S. baggage and cancellation fees generated $6.5 billion (U.S.) in revenue for airlines last year, a 7 per cent increase from 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Experts say Air Canada and WestJet are reaping tens of millions in new revenues from their baggage fee push.

MORE: More fees, less leg room — the new normal at Canadian airlines 

The U.S. airline industry is fighting proposed government regulations that would require carriers to spell out their baggage and cancellation fees alongside their ticket prices. It isn’t clear whether Canadian officials are pushing for similar regulations.

Expedia’s U.S. sites also are going to analyze airline pricing trends to advise travellers when there are likely to get the best deal for a ticket to a destination on their business or vacation itinerary.

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WATCH: The price of an airline seat fluctuates wildly. And consumers have seen what they pay for “extras” go up too, like baggage. How much are airlines raking in by doing this? Sean O’Shea reports.

— With files from The Associated Press

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