WestJet is one of the two largest and most popular airline carriers in Canada. As a result, many people rely on the airline for both domestic and international travel. While it is straightforward to understand fare pricing on your WestJet ticket, the nickel and diming that occurs with seat selection fees and baggage fees can be frustrating for a consumer.
Let’s take a look at how you can save money on WestJet baggage fees for your next vacation.
WestJet Cabin Baggage Fees
When it comes to cabin baggage and WestJet flights, the best part is that both personal items and carry-on baggage are completely free. Each ticketed individual has the same carry-on allowance and is allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag for no cost.
A personal item can be things such as a briefcase, purse, camera bag, or laptop. Personal items brought onboard should be within the following dimensions: 41cm x 15cm x 33cm (16 in. x 6 in. x 13 in.).
Carry-on baggage can be things such as a backpack, bag, or traditional carry-on suitcase. Carry-on baggage should be within the following dimensions: 53cm x 23cm x 38cm (21 in. x 9 in. x 15 in.). This sizing includes any handles or wheels on your luggage as well.
It is important to note that the WestJet gate agent may choose to enforce the carry-on baggage size restrictions or not. If they do enforce it, it is likely they will have a sizing device as you board the plane and if your luggage is oversized, you will need to gate check the bag which means you will need to head to the baggage claim to retrieve it after your flight.
On the flip side, I have seen many people fly with some seriously oversized carry-on baggage on WestJet so it is very much a “your mileage may vary” type of situation depending on how the gate agent for your flight is feeling that day. It is also common to see people bring multiple personal items and not be questioned (eg. handbag and small backpack along with carry-on).
WestJet Checked Baggage Fees
If you have checked baggage on a WestJet Airlines flight, it is important to be aware of the limitations and fees that come with each piece of luggage you wish to check. Checked baggage may include things such as large suitcases and large duffel bags.
Each ticketed traveler can check a maximum of four pieces of baggage, provided the checked baggage is below the maximum dimension and weight:
- Dimensions: 157 cm (62 in.) total combined dimension (length + width + height).
- Weight: 23 kg (50 lbs).
When it comes to WestJet flights, the checked baggage fee depends on where you are flying to and from. Instead of capturing all of the fee charts in this article, click here to learn exactly how much you will need to pay for each checked bag depending on your itinerary. Checking the first bag is the cheapest; price increases for each subsequent piece of luggage checked by the same traveler.
No matter where you are flying, it is always cheaper to pre-pay your checked baggage fees before check-in or before arriving at the airport. Similar to Swoop’s baggage fees, checked bags with WestJet become more expensive if you are paying fees during check-in or at the airport, so a simple trick to save money is to always pay for baggage in advance.
Checked baggage fees are being charged in the currency of the flight’s origin country. This means if you are departing from the United States, baggage fees will be charged in USD.
Oversized Baggage Fees
If a passenger has overweight or oversized baggage, they can expect to pay an oversized baggage fee of $100-$118 cad regardless of fare or route. Baggage is determined to be oversized by the following weight and dimensions:
- Dimensions: exceeds 157 cm (62 in.) in total combined dimension (length + width + height), but less than 203 cm (80 in.)
- Weight: exceeds 23 kg (51 lb.), but no more than 45 kg (100 lb.)
If baggage exceeds the oversized baggage dimensions and weight listed above, applicable excess baggage fees will apply.
How to Save Money on WestJet Baggage Fees
There are three ways that you can save on WestJet baggage fees: by holding the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard, purchasing an EconoFlex fare or above, or by having status in the WestJet Rewards program.
Hold the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
For most travelers, the easiest and straightforward way to save on baggage fees on your next WestJet flight is to hold the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. Simply for holding this card, the cardholder is entitled to one free checked bag for themselves and up to eight guests on the same reservation.
The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard earns WestJet Dollars and offers cardholders benefits on WestJet flights including an annual companion fare and a first free checked bag.
Check out our WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review for more details.
700 WestJet Dollars
Mar 14, 2024
If you often travel on WestJet as a family or as a couple, it absolutely makes sense for one of you to always hold this credit card since the benefit can save $30+ per person, per direction, if each person is checking one bag. Alternatively, if you already hold a different RBC credit card it would be worth considering a product switch to move to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard in advance of your vacation.
Not to mention, this credit card also grants free WiFi on WestJet flights which is another neat perk.
Book EconoFlex Fare Type or Above
For all destinations in the WestJet network, booking into the EconoFlex fare class (or above, including WestJet Premium Economy and Business) means that your first checked bag, for each individual on the itinerary, will not have any cost associated with it.
It is worth comparing fare classes when booking since they come with other perks as well, such as free seat selection or the ability to make changes or cancellations with no fees.
The only exception to the EconoFlex rule above for any travel to/from Asia; on those routes, as long as you book Econo or above (anything but Basic fare class) your first checked bag will be free.
Have Status with WestJet Rewards
If you are a WestJet Rewards member who holds status in the program, one of the benefits you will receive is free checked bags for all flights within the WestJet network.
The quantity of free luggage you are entitled to depends on whether you are a Silver, Gold, or Platinum WestJet Rewards member:
While I wouldn’t recommend chasing status with WestJet solely for the free baggage perk, it is worth considering if you are flying a lot of cash fare flights on WestJet Airlines. Click to learn more about WestJet Rewards.
Understanding the service fees and WestJet baggage allowance that come with traveling is important to ensure you can stay within your budget. While airline tickets and hotels are often the biggest expenses when it comes to travel, smaller fees and costs can make it feel like you are being “nickeled and dimed”.
Baggage fees can add up, especially if you are traveling with a bigger party, so understanding how you can save money on your next WestJet flight will put money back in your pocket for the rest of your travels.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, WestJet Dollars cannot be applied toward baggage fees directly. However, you can receive free checked baggage if you redeem WestJet Dollars towards an EconoFlex fare type or above.
Baggage fees can be paid with a valid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit card online or at the airport.
No, WestJet waives baggage fees for any active or veteran Canadian military personnel. Military personnel can check up to four bags on WestJet flights and a maximum of three bags on WestJet Encore flights at no additional charge.
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