WestJet planning new fare category for travellers willing to forgo carry-on bag

WestJet Airlines has plans to soon introduce a new cheaper fare category that would be available to travellers willing to fly without a carry-on bag.

CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech says the new fare category will be introduced within “a couple of weeks.”

He told a Calgary business audience Wednesday that the new “ultra-low” price offering will appeal to travellers seeking the lowest fares but will also free up overhead bin space for other passengers.

Travellers who purchase the cheapest fare will not have the option to put a bag in the overhead bins, though they will still be permitted to store a knapsack or purse underneath the seat in front of them.

Von Hoensbroech acknowledged that having large numbers of passengers jockeying for limited overhead bin space has become a problem on full flights.

Last month, Calgary-based WestJet launched what it calls its “extended comfort” fare category, which offers passengers access to a number of perks — including preferential access to overhead bins.