Porter Airlines brings in bag fees ... New exhibit in Montreal ... Deal of the day
It wasn't a very good disguise.
Porter Airlines yesterday sent out a press release advertising their new policy that guarantees your bag will arrive within a half hour. Those who don't get their bag in the prescribed time will get a $25 voucher.
Oh, yeah, when you read a little further down there was that small bit about how it now will cost you $25 to haul your first bag onto any Porter flight between Canada and the U.S., plus $35 for the second bag. Taking three or more? Each bag after the first two will cost you an added $100, Porter said.
It's pretty similar to Air Canada's policy, which allows a free bag on flights within Canada but not over the border. WestJet, bless its soul, still allows the first bag to travel for free on any of their flights.
Passengers who buy tickets in the Freedom Class category, which of course is more expensive than regular, don't have to pay the bag fee.
Porter spokesman Brad Cicero told The Star's Vanessa Lu that the policy change comes as the airline revamps its baggage rules including permitting up to 23 kilograms per bag. Previously, a passenger was allowed 23 kilograms total in checked luggage – and if they exceeded that, it was a $5 per kilogram charge.
In some ways, the new plan might be better for some customers. Previously, Porter had a limit of 23 kg for all bags.
I don't necessarily blame Porter for wanting to raise revenues. They've got expansion plans and their planes aren't particularly full, so likely they need some extra cash. I just wish they'd have come right out and said, "We now will charge you for bags" and not have tried to wrap the stinky fish in a fancy, perfumed package.
There's a pretty cool looking exhibit in Montreal this summer called the Montreal International Mosaic. It's at the Botanical Garden until Sept. 29 and features some amazing looking horticultural art, as you can see.
There are 48 horticultural pieces from 20 different countries exhibited and necessitated more than 3 million plants to put together. One of the structures, The Bird Tree, weighs 100 tons.
It looks like a lot of fun, even if you're not a gardener like me.
MORE ON AEROPLAN CHANGES
I mentioned the other day that changes at Aeroplan mean customers no longer will have their points expire after seven years. I also talked about how they're making it easier to book some flights, which is great. What I didn't know at the time but have learned subsequently is that folks will now be able to buy a one-way ticket for half the number of points needed for a return flight. Previously they charged two-thirds the number of points needed for a return trip to get the one-way ticket. On the other hand, they apparently have upped the number of miles needed for first-class and business class flights to Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
THIS AND THAT
Toronto-based Four Seasons will open a new hotel in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The Lion Palace is a restored 19th century palace, located next to St. Isaac's Cathedral ... How about this for a twist? The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal has introduced a "camel milk mixologist" to concoct drinks infused with locally-sourced (I would hope so) camel milk. Flavours range from sweet strawberry to mint ... Kudos again to the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, B.C., which was named the 29th best hotel in the world in the latest Travel+Leisure rankings. It also makes it to the Travel+Leisure Hall of Fame as a property that's made it into the top 100 in the world for 10 years in a row. It's a truly magnificent hotel in a beautiful, beautiful setting.JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY: RIVIERA MAYA
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