Will Roll Remaining Fuel Surcharges Into Published
It's not a complete withdrawal from
the horrendous added fees now common on most North American
airlines... but it's a definite step in the right direction. Air
Canada announced Thursday that in response to decreasing fuel
prices the airline is eliminating all second checked-bag charges
implemented this spring.
"Although the cost of fuel remains highly volatile and far above
historic norms, the recent retreat in oil prices is enabling us to
reinstate our previous baggage policy," said Ben Smith, Executive
Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "We are eliminating
the second checked bag charge on North American Tango and Tango
Plus fares, reflecting our customers' expressed preferences.
Further, Air Canada is making its pricing more transparent by
removing add-on fuel surcharges for flights within North America
and instead adjusting its base fares to cover the total cost of
"These initiatives are made possible by the recent relief from
all-time high oil prices and even though fares will remain dynamic,
Air Canada is committed to everyday low prices and will continue to
match the lowest fares in the marketplace."
With the measures announced Thursday, on September 23 Air Canada
will eliminate the $25 fee for second checked bags that was
introduced May 15 for Tango and Tango Plus fares within North
America. Air Canada becomes the first major North American carrier
to remove second checked bag fees introduced this year to help
offset record high oil prices.
In a somewhat less-altruistic move, Air Canada will fold into
its advertised prices the one-way, add-on fuel surcharge that
currently ranges between $20 and $60 on domestic and US transborder
flights. Starting Thursday, Air Canada will adjust its published
fares to include the total cost of fuel in its advertised base
fares... meaning that while passengers will still be paying more to
cover fuel costs, at least they'll know about it upfront.
Next month, Air Canada will consolidate its current range of
baggage fees into a single, $75 charge for overweight and/or
oversized luggage. The airline says its new policy replaces the
standard industry practice of imposing individual fees for each
For bags exceeding the free allowance, the excess piece fee will
now include any applicable overweight or oversize fees. A 10
percent discount on excess piece fees will be offered when fees are
paid while checking-in online, or at an airport self service kiosk
-- a step the airline is presumably taking to encourage travelers
to handle check-in duties on their own, without the need of
Air Canada says it "will continue to review its policies to
determine what adjustments are to be made so that, against a
backdrop of high and volatile fuel prices, it continues to provide
the products and services that respond to customer demand."
Sure, that's blatant corporate-speak... but it's also a phrase
we'd be surprised to hear from the likes of American Airlines, or