WestJet Airlines announced Monday that they will now be adding a $25 fee to all economy passengers who check their baggage.
The additional baggage fee will be charged on the first checked bag for any flight within Canada or between Canada and the United States. Any guest flying internationally such as to the South Pacific, Europe, or the Caribbean will not be charged the additional fee.
In addition to the new baggage fee, WestJet also announced WestJet Rewards, a new loyalty program featuring three different levels.
Teal, silver, and gold are offered to guests who qualify for the bonus features of the program. Silver members will not be charged a baggage fee, and those qualifying for gold level will be allowed to have two additional bags free of charge.
Pairing with the new rewards program, WestJet launched a price-drop guarantee on all vacation and flight deals. Guests whose ticket prices dropped since their reservation date will be guaranteed the difference back in WestJet dollars.
The news came as a surprise to many WestJet customers, many turning to social media to express their negative response.
Frequent flyer Sondra Baker took to Twitter to express negative feelings towards the airline:
“Sondra_Baker: Airline’s CEO @WestJet are full of a bunch of B.S. #WestJetLies #ChargeMeMoreNOT”
“I feel WestJet is a ‘people company’ and I was very let down when they announced their recent baggage charge,” Baker said. “That is not what we want, additional charges for baggage and even more to fly.”
Many Twitter users also believe that this additional fee will soon backfire and that flight sales will decrease exponentially due to the cost factor.
WestJet said in a news release that they remain committed to their customers and that the changes announced will allow the airline to keep fares as low as possible.