WestJet defends new checked baggage fee

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Yellowknife, NWT – WestJet has defended the introduction of a $25 checked baggage fee for some passengers, starting next month.

From Monday, if you book a WestJet ‘Econo’ fare flight to or from any destinations within Canada and the US – for travel on or after October 29 – you will be charged the fee for your first checked bag.

The fee only applies to passengers using the lowest ‘Econo’ fare. WestJet says passengers with WestJet credit cards, those who book ‘Flex’ or ‘Plus’ fares, and those who are members of the top two tiers of the airline’s rewards program will be exempt.

“The global airline space has been moving in this direction for many years now,” WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer told Moose FM.

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“In the US and Canada, our competitors are already charging for a first checked bag.”

Palmer believes only one in every five WestJet customers will be affected by the new $25 fee, and insists WestJet will remain competitive in Yellowknife despite the potential added cost for passengers.

“The reality is that our fares are lower,” he said. “This first-checked-bag fee does generate revenue which allows us to keep fares as low as possible.”

Palmer cautioned that your cabin baggage may face closer scrutiny in future, as the airline looks to stop passengers avoiding the fee by carrying too many bags on board.

CJCD Moose FM News

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