Breaking News! Westjet To Charge Travellers For First Checked Bag


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Interesting... a $25 charge that applies to only 20% of the guestlist, and only on the lowest fares.

So, you believe that your EVP is being sincere when he implies that this will just redistribute the wealth ... they are taking $25 from those who book well in advance (and probably can least afford it) and giving $5 each to the other 80%, including those who book last minute.

Any spin that they put on this to try to soften it is simply BS.

It's just revenue. If it was revenue neutral, why do it at all?

At least AC doesn't try to cover it with excrement (and koolaid, CeH).

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Passengers need to be trained not to bring 7 pair of socks, underwear, shirts and pants for a 7 day trip. They don't need 5 pairs of shoes. They don't need to bring their giant cans of hair spray and

But flying can be very pleasant. AC has nice pods on its intercontinental fleet. A few airlines still have a luxurious intercontinental first class. Anyone who wants to fly in terrific comfort can

There's cost involved in providing a checked baggage service. Asking those who use the service to pay for it isn't nickel-and-diming them in my opinion. Air travel was usually more pleasant before th

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Always good to see the overwhelming concern on the forum with the minutiae of WS pricing.

I thought the experts here would know that fares are in different buckets, once a bucket sells out, the next bucket is available.

In Internet's example above the 176 bucket is now sold out and the 186 is now the bucket available. Additionally when the EVP says that only 20% affected everyone seems to forget that some people do not travel with checked bags and they are included on the 20%.

I realize that by WS doing this first it removes the ability for some forum members to lament that "ONLY AC EVER GETS BAD PRESS!!!!!!!!!11111THE WESTERN MEDIA HATES US!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111.

In keeping with board policy for certain members I will now self declare that I am obviously drinking the kool aid, etc.

I would think employees of all airlines would see this as a positive in keeping their respective employers more economically viable.

I all we need is someone to say "Welcome to the big leagues" and I will have an AEF bingo.

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JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) is expected to introduce new baggage fees next year after Robin Hayes takes over as CEO.

Analysts have seen outgoing CEO Dave Bargar as a bit of a drag on the company due to his penchant for holding the line on service and baggage fees.

JBLU +4.4% premarket in reaction to the CEO development.

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As a shareholder, I'm all for increased revenue with massive margins attached to them.

My point is - don't come out all high and mighty and patronize your customers.

The $176 fare bucket is sold out? Nah don't think so - I wasn't on the ticket purchase page - I was on the sale advertising page - doubt they weren't advertising the lowest fare.

They are a long way from 1998 WestJet...

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I wish I could pay the same for a 2015 car, or anything for that matter, as I did in 1998.

The fact is, in order to keep up with inflation, a company with $3.5b in annual expenses in 2014 will have to generate an extra $70m a year just to maintain status quo.

Anyone who figures either airline was simply going to eat the impact of normal inflation on their bottom lines is dreaming. Fares were going to increase anyway. It was only a matter of "how".

The difference is WJ is getting a much higher proportional revenue boost because they'd never charged for the first bag on any of their routes. AC was already was collecting the fee and seeing the revenue benefit from trans-border, (and Caribbean?) routes.

That number is pretty much identical to the number being thrown around as the expected annual revenue from WJ's bag fees

I picked a random day in Oct outside of the Thanksgiving weekend and there were no shortage of $170 fares on YWG-YYC.

When WJ launched in 1996, the 14 day advance purchase fare on YWG-YYC ( via YEG), was $89 + taxes. The fare in 2014 is $107 + a ton of taxes and fees to govt and off loaded neo govt organizations that take the fare up to $170.

Use this.....

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/related/inflation-calculator/

.....to calculate what an $89 fare in 1996 would cost in 2014 had it simply increased at the rate of inflation over the years. The answer for those who can't be bothered, is $125.70, yet the equivalent, and readily available advance purchase base fare today is around $107.

WJ, and all other airlines in Canada, have no input on the taxes and fees layered onto the fares.

In essence, the governments in Canada have taken advantage of the efficiency gains made by the airlines over the years that should have benefited consumers, and pocketed the benefit for themselves, as well as added a nice chunk of taxes and fees to boot.

That's where the focus of consumer anger should be. It's outrageous.

I stand to be corrected, but as I recall, when WJ launched, the taxes on domestic fares were 7% + $6. I don't think the AIF grab had begun in '96 either.

What has been lost in the entire discussion is WJ's new policy that should fares drop more than $25 after a passenger books any flight, the differential is refunded in the form of a future travel credit valid for 6 months, and presumably, transferable.

This is an enormous consumer win that got completely lost in all the bag fee noise. It'll be very interesting to see if others match that policy.

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Bean you said.

What has been lost in the entire discussion is WJ's new policy that should fares drop more than $25 after a passenger books any flight, the differential is refunded in the form of a future travel credit valid for 6 months, and presumably, transferable.

This is an enormous consumer win that got completely lost in all the bag fee noise. It'll be very interesting to see if others match that policy

for the infrequent traveler who saves and saves for that magic annual vacation and WestJet has thousands of them, the refund good for 6 months is equal to Diddly Squat

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I stand to be corrected, but as I recall, when WJ launched, the taxes on domestic fares were 7% + $6. I don't think the AIF grab had begun in '96 either.

What has been lost in the entire discussion is WJ's new policy that should fares drop more than $25 after a passenger books any flight, the differential is refunded in the form of a future travel credit valid for 6 months, and presumably, transferable.

This is an enormous consumer win that got completely lost in all the bag fee noise. It'll be very interesting to see if others match that policy.

There is no way to unlike what I "Liked" a few minutes ago, but this was added by the OP afterwards... not part of the Like.

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WS wants to give a credit if the price changes. How dare they? Do they not understand that they are not allowed to do anything good that may benefit consumers?

Here is an example of those craven marketers and how it would have saved me diddly squat.

I took my family of five to Disneyland. 2 of the tix were free but the other 3 changed about $23 from the time I booked.

I ended up sending our oldest to YYJ a few months later, would have loved having 70 bucks off of that fare.

I love critical conversation but the lengths that some will go to pick nits is astounding.

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I think most people even simple ones can grasp that prices rise over time. My problem is how airlines seem to shoot themselves so consistently in the foot by rolling out those completely valid and justified increases in such clumsy, nickel-and-dime ways. No wonder everyone hates us, we suck at removing peoples money from their pocket and having them like it.

Somebody equated airlines to mobile phone carriers. Today I had my once every 4 years encounter with my mobile phone carrier when I went to renew my wife's contract and pick her up an iphone 6. The latest, coolest, most functional, amazing piece of technology presently on the planet. Truly the entire world at ones fingertips and only for a few hundred dollars. Incredible. And yet, I left the store **bleep** off. Why? Because of their goddamn stupid "activation fee" of $15. It's the cellphone equivalent of a bag check fee. Do I expect to pay the same price for my mobile phone that I did in 2004? Certainly back then one couldn't access the entire internet at high speed in the palm of one's hand, message friends- by video if desired- an unlimited number of times, take 8 megapixel pictures and store several thousand of them, among thousands of other useful functions. I truly pity the Luddite who hasn't yet embraced this technology, but I digress. Has the price of the plan risen 40%? Yes, but one could argue on balance that it still represents value as functionality is up at least 10 fold. Did the price of a phone itself also rise? Substantially. I pay both if not happily, at least with the understanding that quite simply, prices rise over time and as long as I am getting value for money, it's the "cost of doing business" as an upwardly mobile human in 2014. But why OH WHY do they have to jam me for $15 to activate the goddamn phone onto their network. IT IS A NETWORK DEVICE. It is 98% useless without a network on which to connect. Connectivity is assumed, expected, it is the ENTIRE PURPOSE of purchasing the damn thing. "But Zan, there might be customers who walk into a Bell store to purchase an iPhone 6 to use as a clock, or music player, or just on their home Wifi, or some other non-network function, why should they subsidize others who desire this additional service?" Ahh yes, the user-pay gambit. What could be more fair than paying for what you use? Such is the logic of the airline baggage check fee.

So my wife now has the latest greatest mobile computing and communication device in the world, I'm out a few hundred dollars and if only for a short time achieved best husband status, and Bell has an extra $15 of mine that they demanded as an "activation fee." Congratulations you are an idiotic company. There has to be a better way, and there is! Embed the fee. The surcharge/additional overcharge has been a joke, and an insult, for a million years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, it seems.

David Puddy selling Jerry a BMW, "Keys"

Jerry, "KEYS!?"

Puddy, "how are you going to start it?"

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There is no way to unlike what I "Liked" a few minutes ago, but this was added by the OP afterwards... not part of the Like.

So I take it you don t like the idea that an airline is prepared to guarantee you never pay more than $25 more than the lowest fare that might become available after you book your trip?

So I guess you wouldn't be interested if you bought a car and the price dropped $300 a week later and the dealer gave you a credit for $275 off your next purchase?

Wow. Tough crowd.......

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If that credit offer is only good for three years and I only buy a car every seven, then that credit isn't worth much, is it?

And you don't plan to do any service work or buy accessories for your newly acquired used vehicle over the next 6 months?

Let's try another analogy for the cynics in the group.

You just filled up your 900 litre heating oil tank at $1.30 a liter last week and it's now dropped to $1.19 a liter.

I take it you wouldn't be interested in a rebate of the difference, less $25, amounting to $75, good for your next fill within 6 months?

If you can't use the credit, I would imagine there are a number of charitable organizations who would very much appreciate the donation.

Wow. You must be living large. Sucks to be you.

This policy is extremely consumer friendly. I doubt it'll last for ever, but then again, only death and taxes last for ever.

In the meantime it's a very clever and generous promotion that ensures loyalty.

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And you don't plan to do any service work or buy accessories for your newly acquired used vehicle over the next 6 months?

Let's try another analogy for the cynics in the group.

This policy is extremely consumer friendly. I doubt it'll last for ever, but then again, only death and taxes last for ever.

In the meantime it's a very clever and generous promotion that ensures loyalty.

If it is really meant to be consumer friendly, why don't they just give them their money back? Westjet has done very well over the years with the "travel credit" concept. Never give a dime back to the customer and tie them into using you the next time they travel.... if they do so within 6 months... and most of WJ's passengers don't. I would doubt that most of AC's passengers would travel more than once a year.

So, for most consumers, No, it isn't a win. It's a spin. You can call it loyalty if you want, but it's more just being stuck than loyalty.

That being said, the chances of the price dropping $25 is slim and you make a presumption of it being transferrable. These travel credits don't seem to fit the mould of the normal travel credits because the WJ website refer to other travel credits being available for a year. These are obviously subject to different rules.

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In checking details, the credit is non-transferable.

Call it what you will, but at the end of the day, it maximizes the value received for the money spent on air transportation. I don't think many people will object to that, no matter what sort of spin the cynics, who are usually employed by a competitor who doesn't offer the same deal, place on it.

Regardless, it is an offer the other airlines have not matched, and certainly has value to many, many people. If you choose not to take advantage of it, that is your business. Why someone would get excited about a $25 bag fee, and then poo poo the ability to save that amount or more if the price drops doesn't sound very plausible. Given the absurd lengths people go to acquire small amounts of "points" that have very questionable value, the ability to save a tangible quantum would seem to be a very compelling offer.

The reality is that most people on this board have flight benefits and rarely pay anything close to the sorts of fares and charges the general public pay. Airline employees aren't particularly concerned about, or impacted by most of the pricing announcements made by their employer, and if they are, it is for very different reasons.

It is far more useful to people who actually pay the freight, which is all that matters.

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Passengers on most airlines already have a free, (overly?) generous cabin baggage allowance. Checked baggage fees will apply only to those to need to travel with more than a roll-aboard and one smaller item of cabin baggage, or who do not wish to bring their baggage into the cabin with them. Those who purchase a $200 ticket with a $3 margin can cry me a river if they have to pony up to bring additional baggage with them.

If you want to reduce the cumulative baggage allowance, okay, that is something to discuss. But what is constructive on any level about introducing more **bleep** into the cabin?

I was at the Winners at Cross Iron Mills last week and there was a family with four kids each picking out a carry-on suitcase. The mother was pushing them to pick the largest ones possible. I have seen toddlers dragging rollerboards you could have stuffed them in. I guarentee pre-bag fees there were no toddlers with 22" carryons.

I seem to recall there was enough extra carry-on crap back when Air Canada would give you a tiny discount for not checking a bag pre-liquid bomb lunacy Leave this to the FlyerTalk dweebs.

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If you want to reduce the cumulative baggage allowance, okay, that is something to discuss. But what is constructive on any level about introducing more **bleep** into the cabin?

Nothing, so I kind of see where you're coming from.

I think that after a period of adjustment airlines will crack down more on people who set out to take more than their fair share of overhead space. There's no point to a checked baggage fee if you let customers circumvent it by carrying on silly amounts of baggage. It's unfair to folks who pay to check baggage to let others check baggage free of charge at the gate only because you allow a few to abuse the system by crowding out cabin stowage areas with more baggage than they're entitled to.

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Most of WestJets lowest fare customers don't fly every six months.

So what you are saying is that WestJet only carries the Clampetts at their lowest fares whilst Air Canada only carries the Drysdales on their matched lower fares?

How reminiscent of the attitude in the US 20 years ago when Southwest was thought to only carry the " backpacker crowd ".

Guess which airline is now the largest domestic carrier now?

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I think that after a period of adjustment airlines will crack down more on people who set out to take more than their fair share of overhead space. There's no point to a checked baggage fee if you let customers circumvent it by carrying on silly amounts of baggage. It's unfair to folks who pay to check baggage to let others check baggage free of charge at the gate only because you allow a few to abuse the system by crowding out cabin stowage areas with more baggage than they're entitled to.

Be prepared, as occurs now on US carriers, for the more than entitled crowd to rely on free bag check at the gate.

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So what you are saying is that WestJet only carries the Clampetts at their lowest fares whilst Air Canada only carries the Drysdales on their matched lower fares?

How reminiscent of the attitude in the US 20 years ago when Southwest was thought to only carry the " backpacker crowd ".

Guess which airline is now the largest domestic carrier now?

Stop putting words in m mouth, I am not saying that at all. Several times I've gone back to Future Shop to take advantage of their price match guarantee or their thirty day lowest price guarantee. When I do, they refund the difference, they don't give me a gift card that will expire in six months.

So what I'm saying is that any airline that promises me the lowest fare should refund the difference. Otherwise, they should stop making the promise. It's disingenuous.

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