New! Effective September 1, 2010, for all coach class reservations made after August 16, 2010, the charge for a first checked bag is $20 with size and weight limitations (see baggage allowance details below).
Second Checked Bag
For all coach class reservations, the charge for a second checked bag is $25.
Baggage Allowance Summary
Fees (per bag)
1st checked bag: weight: 50 lbs. or less; dimensions: 61 inches or smaller
Travel through August 31, 2010 $15 Reservations made after August 16, 2010 for travel after August 31, 2010 $20
2nd checked bag: weight: 50 lbs. or less; dimensions: 61 inches or smaller
Excess baggage (each piece after the first two bags) $50
51-70 pounds $49
71-100 pounds $79
Oversized baggage (length + width + height)
62 to 70 inches $49
71 to 80 inches $79
I posted something similar to this in regards to my sister's flight on Thomson Air from London Gatwick to Aruba. We had to pay 40 pounds per checked bag! There are also weight restrictions (20kg). She is allowed one carry on for free but it must be under 5kg (about 12lb) but if she takes a laptop, that counts as the carry on item and she is allowed nothing else. Apparently this has long been the norm for European charter companies. Now it appears to be the new way of squeezing dollars out of customers in the US and like with everything else, I'm sure Canada will soon follow.
I remember being so naive that when I saw an ad stating Vancouver to London $299, I actually believed it. I guess now there's another fee to think about on top of taxes, fuel surcharges, airport improvement fees, departure tax, reserved seat charge, oxygen charge for expecting to actually breathe on the flight and whatever else nonsense the airlines can cook up.
While not as bad as Ryanair, Thomson is a typical European LCC. They charge a lot of fees to make up for a relatively low ticket cost. It has been part of their business model for years. There was an airline in the US that tried the same thing called Skybus, they failed in fairly short order.
As for Airtran, Delta and other US airlines; fees are untaxed, unlike fares. If you pay $500 as a fare, the airline is taxed on it all. If you pay $400 in fare and $100 in fees, the airline pays taxes on the $400 and not the "extra". Multiply that times ten thousand seats a day and you see why they all like the idea of fees. It's worth millions of dollars per year and they all need to replenish their cash reserves after the last couple years.