Air Canada just keeps adding and adding charges
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Air Canada just keeps adding and adding charges
May 5, 2008

The Ottawa Citizen - Re: Air Canada's extra-bag fee is right if we don't pack light, April 30.

Having just booked vacation flights online for my family of four for Canadian destinations and spending an extra $80 per flight to select our seats (which used to be free), I have a hard time supporting the justification for the addition of any extra charges issued by Air Canada for its flights.

I've been a frequent user of Air Canada for 20 years and have seen a long evolution of its price structures and booking practices. Many things that used to be included in your fare are now "pay for" options, such as meals, pillows, headsets etc.

Some of these "options" make sense as extra charges as they are unpredictable and impact service levels. Others make no sense, such as advance seat selection which actually helps to add predictability and streamline operations (and costs the airline nothing specifically to implement).

Most travellers only pack what's necessary for the purpose and length of their trip. This determines the number of bags being checked and has no direct correlation to fuel costs.

The undesirable result will be thrifty passengers loading up carry-on bags and stuffing single suitcases to the breaking point. This will cause cabin-chaos, more damage claims and increase injuries-on-duty to the baggage handlers.

The latest charge for a second bag that used to be free, and was always allowed based on the cargo space available in the aircraft for its designed passenger capacity, is just another poorly-justified money grab for the airline that won't be removed even if fuel prices decline in the future.

I suggest that if Air Canada wants to implement a fuel surcharge at this time, do it but identify it as the mandatory cost that it is.

I'm sure that the ever-logical WestJet will take this approach when they have to raise prices due to the high fuel costs.

Source: http://www.ottawacitizen.com

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