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Air Canada hikes baggage fees for Kingston flights – Jamaica Gleaner

Air Canada Passengers travelling from Toronto Pearson to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport will now have to pay CAD$200 for an extra piece of checked luggage.

The airline introduced the new baggage fees a week ago, penalising Jamaicans who are known to check large bags when travelling. The fees will apply to basic, standard, flex, and comfort fares and are per direction.

The first bag will continue to attract CAD$30, while the second checked bag is priced at CAD$200 and each additional bag is listed at CAD$500.

According to Canadian online television programme The Brandon Gonez Show, an Air Canada official said the fee structure for the Kingston flights were adjusted because the aeroplanes used on that route are smaller, with less cargo space.

“Customers historically bring more baggage than average, and this sometimes results in bags being left behind and needing to be delivered later, which, among other things, was inconvenient for customers,” the airline official said.

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The Air Canada official reportedly added that the additional bag fee is to promote a fairer distribution of available baggage capacity and to encourage customers to pack more conservatively.

It was also deemed a better option than simply placing a limit on the number of bags per person.

Air Canada is the first carrier to charge such exorbitant rates for additional bags for passengers travelling to Jamaica. The other Canadian Kingston-bound carrier, Swoop, which is owned by Westjet charges based on the kilometres.

Flights over 3,000 kilometres attract a cost of CAD$60-$67 for the first bag; CAD$80-$94 for the second bag and CAD$110-$124 for the third bag. Jamaica is approximately 3,052 kilometres from Canada, depending on the province.

When The Gleaner called the Air Canada representative in Montego Bay, Dave Stephenson, he was reportedly in a meeting. 

The news has been met with outrage by Jamaicans on social media who are suggesting a boycott of the carrier.

-Janet Silvera

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