Charge for checked bags backfires on airlines and passengers

Well I have had some fun with this in the past on this blog – people trying to take oversized bags as carry on which is a great inconvenience to fellow passengers.  This weekend stories in the media abound about the chaos at airports caused by passengers trying to take as much as possible as carry on, possibly wanting to avoid the checked bag fees.  This has caused delayed flights, lost luggage and other headaches for many travellers.

The problem is airlines do not have enough staff to check every piece of carry on luggage so this is left to the passenger to self check – which obviously nobody is going to do.  It’s really just human nature.  We will continue to push the boundaries and see how much we can get away with before we will actually follow the rules.  Even Saturday Night Live has had fun with this one.

Has the checked baggage fee been worth it for the airlines?  One wonders.  They have gone to extreme lengths to increase their profits.  Air Canada has recently cut commissions to travel agents down to ZIP and yet recently announced that they have had one of their most profitable years!  Mmmm – so poor travel agents make no money on flights and poor passengers pay for checked baggage and poor ticket agents get abuse over late flights.  Makes for happy times for sure!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. When someone tries to put in or take out one of those large carry-on, many times the poor passenger sitting below gets hit in the head with the massive suitcase.


  2. Its a sad state we’re in…I love watching the 98lb women trying to lift their 50lb bag over their head into the bin. LOL . And of course trying to disembark and having to wait in the aisles as these huge mammoth bags drop to the floor and never roll as they should. Im guilty, I pack the heaviest legal items in my carry on..because Im not going to pay for an overweight bag or a second charged bag. Pay for everything…wait for the coin op lavatories….people will start carrying those portable P bottles..What fun that will be.


  3. I think each person should be allocated a section of the overhead bin, just like we are allocated a seat. If there is extra space great, but there are major issues now with people bringing on huge suitcases. Twice now I have had no space above my seat when I have flown.


    1. Very true Michelle – that is another really good point. The only problem as I see it is that it would give flight attendants a real headache overseeing this. It’s a jungle out there for sure.


      1. It’s funny how some things are a free for all, like the overhead space. I think it could be a straight forward process – each person, when they check in, is issued a tag for their carry ons with their seat number, just like checked bags. We were delayed on an Air Canada flight just recently because not enough space in cabin for carry ons. Staff were walking around looking to “Volun – tell” people to check their bags (of course free of charge), and thus delayed. Yes it is a jungle out there!


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