This week, both Air Canada and WestJet introduced a $25 fee for a passenger's first checked bag on domestic flights. The response on social media was – no surprise – sheer outrage, with many people swearing off the airlines. Good luck with that.
Listen, as a budget-conscious traveller, I don't like paying extra charges either – especially ones that appear to be blatant cash grabs. But we knew this was coming, and no one is forcing you to check a bag. And I'm willing to bet that many of the people complaining are guilty of wasting travel money in myriad other ways.
I understand $25 can be a big deal. But I say you're not allowed to complain about baggage fees if:
1. You take cabs to/from the airport
Sometimes it's a necessity but you could easily take a shuttle or public transit (yes, even in Toronto). The latter is actually a great way to start your trip when you arrive at your destination: It instantly throws you into the place and surrounds with its people and culture. If you're going to splurge, save the taxi for when you land back home, tired and sad about returning to real life.
2. You brag about an $1,800 flight to London
Or that $600 flight to Montreal. Or any outrageous amount to wherever. I hate to break it to you, but that is not a good deal. At all. Did you visit Kayak.com to compare fares and dates or did you just go to your chosen airline, type in your particular days and book? If you're willing to fork over that kind of cash for the flight, suck it up.
3. You've packed four pairs of shoes
I've been guilty of this (Vegas calls for several wardrobe changes). But there is a price to pay for vanity.
4. You're travelling for less than three days
Unless you're headed out on some sort of ski/mountain trekking/adventure, you do not need a checked bag for three days. Ask any business traveller and he/she can show you how to fit a week's worth of goods into a carry-on. That outfit you think you might wear? You won't. Trust me.
5. You buy the $12 egg salad sandwich at Pearson
Or insert whatever overpriced airport offering you're tempted to purchase. Don't give in! Bring a snack. Or eat before you go. If you're truly stuck, walk around the terminals and try to find the best value. What else do you have to do before your flight leaves? (In case you're wondering, yes, that $12 sandwich exists.)
6. You buy anything but booze at the duty free
You got bored, didn't you? With nothing else to do it's easy to fall prey to the shiny offerings of the duty free shop. Don't be fooled: These are not good deals. And do you really need a giant Toblerone bar?
7. You order room service/use the mini bar
Anyone who pays $30 for a continental breakfast or $12 for a beer does not get my sympathy.
8. You use a Knee Defender
You know, that device that stops the person in front of you reclining during the flight. Other inflight sins include: going barefoot, being rude to flight attendants, making a mess in the bathroom and treating the seat pocket like a garbage bin.
9. Your carry-on bag is too big
You know who you are: You try to sneak on what is obviously not a regulation carry-on size bag, and then make a fuss when you're called out for it. The rules, whether we like them or not, apply to everybody.