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WestJet Increases Checked Baggage Fees


For the second time in less than four months, WestJet has made changes to the fees it charges for checked baggage. This time, WestJet has increased the cost of checked bags to destinations throughout its network.

The latest round of fee changes went into effect for flights booked on or after February 15, 2024, and they affect the cost of checking first and second bags on WestJet flights.

WestJet Increases Checked Baggage Fees

Following in the footsteps of US carriers, WestJet has increased the fees it charges for checked baggage. 

For flights booked on or after February 15, 2024, passengers will have to pay more to check a first and second bag with WestJet throughout its network.

The amount you’ll pay depends on which WestJet fare you purchase, as well as your destination. On average, the price has increased by around $5 (all figures in CAD) across the board.

As a reminder, WestJet implemented a three-tiered baggage fee schedule in November 2023, whereby you pay the least when prepaying for a checked bag, more at self-serve check-in, and the most at airport check-in.

For example, for flights booked between November 7, 2023 and February 14, 2024, you’d pay the following for a checked bag on a domestic or transborder flight:

  • Prepay: $30–36
  • Self-serve check-in: $40–48
  • Airport check-in: $50–59

However, as of February 15, 2024, the fees have increased to the following levels on Basic fares for flights within Canada and to the United States:

  • Prepay: $35–42
  • Self-serve check-in: $45–54
  • Airport check-in: $55–65

A full list of checked baggage fees can be found on the WestJet website

If you’d like to compare the costs to previous rounds of changes, WestJet has published that information on its website, too.

How to Save on Checked Baggage Fees with WestJet

If you’re planning to check a bag on an upcoming WestJet flight, you’ll want to make sure that you avoid paying more than necessary. There are several ways to go about this.

If you’re an infrequent solo traveller who flies with WestJet only once per year, then your best bet is likely to prepay for your checked baggage and book the lowest fare. In this situation, you want to avoid paying for your checked bag at check-in, since the cost is higher than prepaying for it.

WestJet is charging more for checked bags to all destinations

It’s worth noting that you get a free checked bag on EconoFlex, Premium, and Business fares. Therefore, you should consider the difference between a fare with a free checked bag and a lower fare, and if it’s less than the cost of adding a checked bag, then you can go ahead with booking the higher fare.

However, in the vast majority of cases, the higher fare is likely going to be more expensive than just paying for a checked bag.

On the other hand, if you travel with WestJet more than once per year, and especially if you travel as a couple or a family, you’ll want to consider adding the WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard to your wallet.

That’s because primary cardholders and up to eight passengers travelling on the same booking receive the first checked bag for free on WestJet flights.

The card has an annual fee of $119; however, for a couple travelling on a Basic fare within Canada or to the United States, you’d have already saved the amount you’d have otherwise paid for two checked bags on round-trip flights ($120). 

Conclusion

WestJet has increased the fees it charges for checked baggage across its network. As of February 15, 2024, you can expect to pay around $5 more per checked bag than you used to.

This is the second change to WestJet’s checked baggage fee structure in less than four months, and it follows US carriers hiking up checked baggage fees in the recent past.

If you travel with WestJet with any frequency and tend to check bags, be sure to consider adding the WestJet RBC® World Elite Mastercard to your wallet, since it comes with a free checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to eight passengers travelling together on the same WestJet booking.




This story originally appeared on princeoftravel

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