oakley 25 fee for extra baggageCa

25 fee for extra baggage

Canada’s top consumer advocates lashed out at Air Canada on Friday over its plans to charge passengers in its lowest cost seats for checking a second bag.

“It’s bloody ridiculous,” said Mel Fruitman, vice president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada. “They are nickel and diming us to death.”

Citing soaring fuel prices, the country’s largest carrier announced it would begin charging $25 to its Tango and Tango Plus passengers who check a second bag on flights within Canada and the United States, including Hawaii.

The charge takes effect May 15 for travel on or after July 15.

Air Canada says only about 20 per cent of Tango and Tango Plus passengers its two lowest fare brands check a second bag.

Fruitman demanded to know why Air Canada isn’t raising its air fare prices instead of adding more so called hidden costs.

“OK, so (fuel) costs are going up but don’t jerk us around,” he said. “The price goes up then you charge more for the service but don’t lure me in with low cost fares with the impression that you are giving me the same service you used to give me.

“The next thing you know they’ll be charging you to have a seat on the plane. Oh, you don’t want to stand? Here’s a cheaper option next to the toilets,” said Fruitman.

The second bag fee is the latest move by the airline to make money from services in its operations that were once offered for free including charging for pillows, meals and other services such as seat selection.

Earlier this month, Air Canada said it would implement a new service in which it would provide meal vouchers, accommodations and bookings on another carrier to passengers whose flights had been delayed for a significant time for incidents outside of its control, including weather. The so called On My Way service costs either $25 or $35, depending on the length of the flight.

“Where is the logic in this?” said Fruitman. “This is misleading advertising.”

A spokesperson for Westjet said Friday that the airline currently has no plans to charge for a second bag. However it is looking at ways to offset the skyrocketing fuel prices.

“We are looking at a variety of options,” said Richard Bartrem, “We want to take time and make sure we get it right.”

For every dollar the price of oil rises, WestJet’s bottom line oakley is eroded by $5 million on an annualized basis, Bartrem s oakley aid.

Air Canada joins several airlines in the United States that have already implemented the charge, including low cost carrier JetBlue Airways which said it too woul oakley d begin charging $20 for a second bag as oakley of June 1. Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines have adopted a similar fee and other airlines are considering doing the same.

Air Canada said the new baggage policy does not apply to business class customers or those with Elite, Super Elite and Prestige member status in addition to Star Alliance Gold and Silver member status.

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