Within Days of Each Other, 3 Airlines Confirm Jump in Checked Bag Fees
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
'Tis the season for raising bag fees? Within days of each other, three airlines have all confirmed that they're raising checked baggage fees — with some fees doubling from what was charged just days ago.
Air Canada and WestJet are raising their checked baggage fees from $25 to $30 for the first checked bag and $30 to $50 for the second checked bag.
According to its website, Air Canada will continue to charge its current fees on tickets issued before August 21 or for travel before October 5, 2018. Outside of those dates, the cost will be $30 CAD/USD for the first checked bag and $50 CAD/USD for the second checked bag:
After taxes, international flights from Canada to the US will cost $31.50 for the first checked bag and $52.50 for the second checked bag:
In a statement, an Air Canada spokesperson justifies the move by pointing out that "this is the first change since 2014 and will help offset overall increasing costs and keep overall ticket prices competitive."
WestJet's increased checked baggage fees are going into effect on October 1. An exemption is made for tickets purchased before August 24. Passengers who are traveling after October 1 but purchased their tickets before August 24 are instructed to "see an airport agent for the grandfathered fee."
A WestJet spokesperson toes the same extra-fees-keep-fares-low line we've come to expect from airlines: "By raising fees for optional services, such as checked bags, we can continue to maintain the lower fares our guests expect."
Last week, we shared the scoop that JetBlue was planning to raise checked baggage fees. Sure enough, days before it was rumored to go into effect, JetBlue has implemented its new checked baggage fees:
- First checked bags (20% more for Blue fares)
- Second checked bags (14% more for Blue and Blue Plus fares)
- Third checked bags (50% more for all fares)
- Overweight/oversized bags (50% more for all fares)
- Sports equipment (100% more for all fares)
The changes went into effect for tickets purchased on or after Tuesday, August 27:
With this change, the value of the JetBlue Plus Card goes up ever so slightly as the card provides cardholders their first checked bag for free. The card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Credit Card to Use for Bag Fees
It’s best to put the purchase on a card that offers bonus points/miles on the purchase. Your top options are:
- Citi Premier® Card (3x ThankYou points)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x Ultimate Rewards points)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x Ultimate Rewards points)
Or, you can put the purchase on a card that reimburses miscellaneous airline fees such as:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve ($300 travel credit each calendar year)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card ($250 airline incidentals credit)
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($200 airline fee reimbursement)
- American Express® Gold Card ($100 airline fee credit)