After fellow WestJet airlines make a move to stamp on $25 for first checked bags, Air Canada decides to jump on the bandwagon days following. The fees started applying on September 18, 2014 for flights as of November 2, 2014 to the lowest economy flights within Canada. Lucky for us, the fees will not apply to specific frequent flyers and to flyers who purchased an Air Canada Vacations package.
Air Canada’s policy on checked bags somewhat reflects WestJet’s, where the checked baggage fee will not apply to those who purchased economy tickets using the Flex and Latitude fares. However, Air Canada will charge a baggage fee on flights to and from the Caribbean and Mexico, differing itself from its competitor.
The new policy is stated to generate additional revenue of $46 million for Air Canada; at the same time, it is estimated that the number of checked bags on domestic flights will decrease as the new program goes into effect. Since the introduction of unbundling fees (i.e. food and drinks, headphones, pay-per-view entertainment), this may be Air Canada’s next step for pushing travelers into purchasing higher fare tickets. Let’s just hope it doesn’t offset and negatively impact its brand instead.