(Trinidad Express) State carrier Caribbean Airlines yesterday announced a new baggage policy of charging customers for their second checked bag.
The first checked bag continues to be free – together with one carry-on bag – while a fee for the second bag will be US$25 plus taxes.
“Caribbean Airlines has resisted moving to this policy, but in light of most of its competitors charging passengers for all their checked bags, it is left with no choice but to match industry practice to remain competitive. While our competitors continue to showcase low fares, they conveniently fail to mention that bag fees – some in excess of US$100– are charged to customers. Caribbean Airlines assures its passengers that our fee of US$25 for the second bag is the lowest in the industry,” the airline said in a statement.
Last year, international airlines, including Delta, United and US Airways collected US$3.35 billion in baggage revenue.
International airlines charge between US$25 and US$50 for checked bags with higher fees for overweight bags.
CAL’s new baggage fees are:
• One free carry-on at 7 kg/15 lb (new)
• 1st checked-bag free at 23 kg/50 lb (no change)
• 2nd checked-bag at 23 kg/50 lb charged at US$25
• For travel to/from London, England, the second and third bag fee will be 50 pounds sterling.
Customers travelling within the Caribbean will see a reduction in the present second bag fee from US$50 to US$25, the airline said, adding that it improved its international baggage policy for business class customers whose free checked baggage allotment will be increased to three pieces.
The new policy will be implemented in two phases. Phase one takes effect on tickets purchased on or after December 18 for travel from January 15, 2015, on all flights between the Caribbean and Toronto. Phase two takes effect on tickets purchased on or after February 1, 2015 for travel from April 15, 2015, on all flights throughout the rest of the network.
“This two-phase introduction allows our customers to adjust and plan ahead,” the airline stated.
Customers exempt from paying the second bag fee are:
• Those who have purchased fully flexible fares in W, Y and K categories
• Caribbean Miles members in Executive Gold, Gold and Silver Tier levels
• 7th Heaven Rewards Executive Gold, Gold and Silver Tier levels.
Last month, CAL said it had passed on the effect of lower oil prices and eliminated the fuel surcharge for travellers on 98 per cent of its routes.