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Friday, September 26, 2008

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum Part VII

Oh, Canada. American airlines could learn so much from you. Here's why.

As of this week, Canada's two major airlines have adjusted their baggage fees and fuel surcharges to reflect the recent drop in oil prices. Air Canada has dropped its $25 fee to check a second bag on North American flights (there was never a charge for a first bag). Canada's largest carrier has also reduced its excess baggage fees for oversized and overweight pieces.

Meantime, West Jet has stopped assessing fuel surcharges on its North American flights. Those fees had ranged between $20 and $45 for a one-way flight.

How very Canadian to be fair about all of this. After all, there's logic in the idea that if airlines impose surcharges when costs go up, they should drop them when costs go down. But somehow, I doubt American carriers will take a cue from their Northern neighbors. Instead, after having used the fuel price increases of the summer as an excuse to tack on extra fees, the U.S. airlines will somehow find justification in continuing those fees, even after fuel prices have dropped.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

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