Prices Rise Across the Sky
In the last few weeks it seems that now pretty much every airline (at least that flies in North America) has raised their bag fees. The latest announcements came from American and Delta but Air Canada and WestJet may have been first, followed by United and Jet Blue. Other airlines may have done it more quietly and not made our news feed. The increases appear to be $5 across the carriers, possibly more for the second and third bags.

Know Your Programs
Using WestJet as an example you will now pay $30CAN ($35US) for your first checked bag if you purchase an ‘Econo’ fare. This is up $5. However, if you purchase a ‘Flex’ fare your first bag is free. If you purchase a ‘Plus’ fare both your first and second bags are free. As are drinks (yes wine) and food with your seats being in the front three rows. Without checking we assume that other airlines have similar programs. So what does this mean?

Before You Buy
Before you purchase your next flight you need to think more about your needs. How many bags are you traveling with? Then you need to look at the different prices based on the time of day and your baggage needs.

WestJet Example
We often purchase West Jet Plus seats at the 24 hour mark when we check in. There are only 12 seats in the section. When they are still available at 24 hours the price has ranged from $10 to $100 to upgrade. However, this upgrade does not include bags, just the good seats and the food/drinks. But now we will need to consider all the options more closely.

We are flying from Edmonton to Kelowna on October 1st. If we fly at 1pm with one bag each then the ‘Plus’ seats actually cost $39.30. Not a bad price for the upgrade. If we travel at 5pm the ‘Plus’ seats cost $90.75. We’d likely get a better deal if we wait until check in. Since in this case it dosen’t matter what time we fly the $263 rate makes more sense even if we pay $30 for each bag. We will still try to upgrade, just at check in.

Checked Bags
So the next question is…do we really need to check bags?

The ‘checked bag’ debate and the issue of people bringing over-sized bags onto the plane is a whole blog on its own. It is amazing what people get away with for ‘carry ons’. We have strong opinions about this as you might guess. Which also affect how we view the baggage fees discussed above. So watch for Part 2.


We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 9+ years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business is ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.