Frankly, I was surprised to hear that Air Canada and WestJet held out so long. Fees have been such a cash cow for the airline industry the last few years that it comes as a shock, albeit a pleasant one, when I hear that an airline has not resorted to nickel and diming. But the "gravy train" is approaching its final stop and if you want to check a second bag on AC or WJA come January, you’re going to have to pony up C$20 on North American and Caribbean flights.
I’ll cut Air Canada and WestJet some slack: at least the first checked bag will still be free for economy passengers. Although Southwest and JetBlue have had a quite a heyday making fun of their rivals for charging for bags, like Continental’s decision to end free meals on domestic flights, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to offer for free what all of your legacy competitors charge for.
The new baggage policy takes effect on January 19. Elite members and business class passengers are exempted.