Canada's WestJet to charge some for first checked bag

Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:02am EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Canada's WestJet Airlines Ltd said on Monday it will start charging some economy passengers for their first checked bag, a change it expects will affect about one-fifth of its customers.

The C$25 charge will apply to new "Econo" bookings for trips on or after Oct. 29, within Canada and between Canada and the United States. Other international flights are exempt.

Fees linked to baggage, advance seat selection and other options are a growing source of revenue for airlines.

WestJet's main rival, Air Canada, charges economy passengers C$25 for their first checked bag to and from the United States, but not within Canada.

WestJet Chief Executive Officer Gregg Saretsky said on a July conference call the airline was considering introducing a new bag fee, and would likely make a decision by the end of the year. ($1 = $1.1076 Canadian) (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)