Travel

Baggage fee confusion - What is your preferred website for online bookings now?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 7th, 2019 6:24 am
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2007
1152 posts
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Toronto

Baggage fee confusion - What is your preferred website for online bookings now?

So since the latest change where baggage fees are not obvious when booking through travel sites online, I'm having a difficult time finding the true cost of flights especially when multiple airlines are involved.

For example, we recently booked a flight that was with the Airline A for the first leg and the 2nd leg was operated by another airline B but under the banner of the airline A. We purchased baggage though airline A expecting that this would carry over into the 2nd leg however the 2nd airline stated that the fee does not cover both legs and we had to pay at the airport for the baggage.

So what do you guys do now to book flights? Is there a preferred travel agency website that you can use to book flights that allows you to select a class of ticket that has baggage included? Do you book directly with the airlines now? Something else?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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Scarborough
Google Flights have the options to include luggage, but best way is always to do your research on the operating airline's website. Google flights is not 100% dummy proof. I usually just book directly from the airline after finding the fare on google flights.

To prevent getting charged 2x on the same flight, make sure you didn't buy flights with seperate PNR (ticket number).
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
10152 posts
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Eastern Ontario
We only book direct with airline website
(as a pkg with any affiliated partners ... So Airline A + Airline B)
Don’t use a Travel Agent, an Online TA, a Discounter, or a 3rd Party Reseller
Just not worth the hassle if something goes wrong
Don’t want anything between me and the Airline
Incase I have to make any sort of claim

Baggage rules differ by airline (sometimes even planes in the same Co)
Ya just got to READ & figure them out
The costs ARE NOT GOING AWAY

Weigh your options on price vs exclusions / convenience

For example, when we book with Air Canada (who notoriously overbook flights)
We NEVER fly Basic Economy
We book Standard Economy
Still got to pay for Checked Bags (and Seat Selection etc)
But have less chance of getting bumped off the flight than someone in Standard Economy

But ya ... you’ll find usually it’s a case of pay as you go for each leg of a journey
So Airline A = Baggage, Seat Selection, Refreshments
Airline B = Baggage, Seat Selection, Refreshments
And then again on each leg of your return as well
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2285 posts
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Mississauga, ON
Teletran wrote:
Jul 31st, 2019 1:19 pm
So since the latest change where baggage fees are not obvious when booking through travel sites online, I'm having a difficult time finding the true cost of flights especially when multiple airlines are involved.

For example, we recently booked a flight that was with the Airline A for the first leg and the 2nd leg was operated by another airline B but under the banner of the airline A. We purchased baggage though airline A expecting that this would carry over into the 2nd leg however the 2nd airline stated that the fee does not cover both legs and we had to pay at the airport for the baggage.

So what do you guys do now to book flights? Is there a preferred travel agency website that you can use to book flights that allows you to select a class of ticket that has baggage included? Do you book directly with the airlines now? Something else?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Really depends on who the 3rd party is (as there are thousands). Some are better at spelling out the fare class (and what is /isn’t included) - Expedia for example (I’m sure there are more).

Airline websites overall make it very clear IMHO about the different classes of service.

Either way, you have to take the time & responsibility to read carefully on what you are booking.
PointsHubby wrote:
Jul 31st, 2019 2:20 pm
We only book direct with airline website
(as a pkg with any affiliated partners ... So Airline A + Airline B)
Don’t use a Travel Agent, an Online TA, a Discounter, or a 3rd Party Reseller
Just not worth the hassle if something goes wrong
Don’t want anything between me and the Airline
Incase I have to make any sort of claim

Baggage rules differ by airline (sometimes even planes in the same Co)
Ya just got to READ & figure them out
The costs ARE NOT GOING AWAY

Weigh your options on price vs exclusions / convenience

For example, when we book with Air Canada (who notoriously overbook flights)
We NEVER fly Basic Economy
We book Standard Economy
Still got to pay for Checked Bags (and Seat Selection etc)
But have less chance of getting bumped off the flight than someone in Standard Economy

But ya ... you’ll find usually it’s a case of pay as you go for each leg of a journey
So Airline A = Baggage, Seat Selection, Refreshments
Airline B = Baggage, Seat Selection, Refreshments
And then again on each leg of your return as well
I highly suggest finding a good travel agent as you have no idea what you are talking about. In Canada all agencies (a live person or a Canadian owned .com) have to spell out and disclose restrictions at the time of booking in a clear manner: (exp) this is a XXXX fare NO baggage included (as per TICO in Ontario in your case).

And yes, some 3rd parties don’t spell it out as clearly (not Canadian based)... & there’s always plenty of people who book via the airline and don’t bother to read it.

AC Standard Fare includes bags depending on your destination (international not including south/us/domestic).

AC Basic / Standard are seen the same on the airline end in terms of bumping (as lowest classes of service). There’s so many other factors that come in when determining passengers to offload but fare class has little/nothing to do with that overall. You aren’t “protecting” yourself in any way by booking Standard. Checking in for your flight, arriving on time at the airport and checking bags decrease your chances of being bumped are all General rules of thumb regardless of fare booked (plenty of people get bumped/downgraded from Business class as well).

If you are ticketed on the same PNR/booking then baggage fees do not apply even with codeshare flights on different airlines (so no you don’t have to pay again for each flight segment) this also includes cases of forced (long) layovers. You would only pay outbound and return (regardless of how many legs/connections are included).

The airline who tickets the flight have set baggage rules in their ticketing agreement. Also keep in mind mixed fares sometimes cannot be mixed depending on the route/codeshare agreements (example you book Ac standard on the outbound flight and AC Flex on the return). Westjet has a had a lot of issues with this recently I’ve heard.

& aren’t you a big Airmiles collector? You do realize that when booking through Air Miles is considered a THIRD PARTY or an “online agency”? In the event something goes wrong with your flight you can still deal with the airline direct to make a claim?
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Oct 23, 2017
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BrunetteGirl wrote:
Jul 31st, 2019 3:05 pm
AC Basic / Standard are seen the same on the airline end in terms of bumping (as lowest classes of service). There’s so many other factors that come in when determining passengers to offload but fare class has little/nothing to do with that overall. You aren’t “protecting” yourself in any way by booking Standard. Checking in for your flight, arriving on time at the airport and checking bags decrease your chances of being bumped are all General rules of thumb regardless of fare booked (plenty of people get bumped/downgraded from Business class as well).
Would you say that applies to all airlines? I have always heard that fare class is a factor in determining your likelihood of being bumped (assuming other factors are the same) - or is that just universally false? Do you know how frequent flyer status factors in? And do Aeroplan rewards flyers have any better or worse chances of being denied boarding? For AC, is there a defined decision tree for the gate agent, or does he/she exercise a high degree of personal discretion in determining who will not board? Thanks . .
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2285 posts
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Mississauga, ON
Dealmaker1945 wrote:
Aug 1st, 2019 8:12 am
Would you say that applies to all airlines? I have always heard that fare class is a factor in determining your likelihood of being bumped (assuming other factors are the same) - or is that just universally false? Do you know how frequent flyer status factors in? And do Aeroplan rewards flyers have any better or worse chances of being denied boarding? For AC, is there a defined decision tree for the gate agent, or does he/she exercise a high degree of personal discretion in determining who will not board? Thanks . .
I don’t want to speak on behalf of every airline in the world but the general rule of thumbs somewhat still apply.

If they were basing bumping strictly on the lowest class of service legally that would have to be somewhat written into their tariff (cause that would open up a new can of “false advertising” type of argument). Even for non revenue/reduced cost passengers (I.e employee/ industry fares) it’s clearly stated that you will be the first to be offloaded. Nor does it matter who you booked with (airline direct VS Aeroplan/ 3rd party) because quite frankly 3rd parties have contracts with the airlines/bring in tons of revenue.

I have witnessed and you can easily find stories (FlyerTalk) of elites being booked or being bumped from J. There’s always an exception to the rule for various reasons... airlines tend to ask for volunteers first (I have actually been successfully bumped by going against some of these general guidelines):

- Check in online but as soon as possible when the online check window opens
- Frequent flier status (if any) certainly holds value.
- Checking baggage certainly makes it less easy to bump you.
- The less travellers on your PNR (easier / cheaper to bump a single traveller then a family of 4). I also strongly suggest in the case you are ever travelling with someone else (booked on a separate PNR) call them to cross reference your PNR’s.
- Showing up to the gate on time based on info stated on your boarding pass (& boarding with the right zone/group).
- Having a connection VS flying on a single leg itinerary (and destination a Toronto - Montreal route which has multiple flights per day would have a higher chance then Toronto- Montreal - XYZ destination that the airline only has 1 flight per week).
- Specifically for AC (& Westjet / Transat / BA Holidays / United Vacations et al) if you booked a ‘package’ (Tour/hotel/cruise) via their “Air Canada Vacations” subsidiary your chances of being bumped are minimal.

^
One or more of these factors are considered when selecting an IDB (as involuntary denied boarding can be costly to the airline given the circumstances) which falls on the discretion of the gate agent.
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Nov 8, 2017
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I book planes, trains, and automobiles directly on the company's website
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Jan 12, 2005
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- Your chances of getting bumped decreases with frequent flyer status (depends on which airlines, but most of them they usually only care about top tier status, over 50K)
- Your chances of getting bumped decreases with a confirmed seats, except if a crew needs to deadhead for another flight.
- Your chances of getting bumped decreases if you're not late for your flight.
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Mar 4, 2009
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Toronto
User455957 wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2019 7:43 am
I book planes, trains, and automobiles directly on the company's website
This.
I don't mine booking Hotels from 3rd party sites but for any transportation and tickets/tours for sites I only book with official company website.
Deal Expert
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Feb 9, 2003
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OP, normally your baggage would be checked through to your final destination, so airline B would have no chance to charge you.

Regarding this issue, it makes no difference where you book.
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Jan 9, 2011
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last_sd wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2019 9:49 am
This.
I don't mine booking Hotels from 3rd party sites but for any transportation and tickets/tours for sites I only book with official company website.
Even if the third party is significantly cheaper? Cheapoair had SEA-CDG CDG-YVR for like $400 a while back, booking the same route directly with the airline was double the price.
Member
Aug 15, 2009
435 posts
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Montreal
User455957 wrote:
Aug 2nd, 2019 7:43 am
I book planes, trains, and automobiles directly on the company's website
This !

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