Cayman Airways plans to implement fees for checked bags for the first time, while also lowering fees on excess, overweight and over-sized baggage.

The changes, scheduled to be implemented Aug. 1, will introduce a fee of US$20 per bag on checked bags for normal economy class on all international flights. For New York and Chicago flights, the fees will be US$25 for the first bag and US$35 for the second checked bag each way.

Baggage allowances and fees for domestic flights between Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will remain unchanged. However, international connections will be subject to the applicable international baggage fees.

Business Class passengers will continue to receive three free checked bags on all routes. Sir Turtle Rewards Platinum Level Members will also continue to receive two free checked bags, while Sir Turtle Rewards Gold Level Members will receive the first checked bag free. The standard weight allowance remains at 55 lbs per bag.

Fees for excess baggage have also been lowered.

For third, fourth and fifth checked bags, the fee will now be US$50 per bag, which was previously US$125. For sixth, seventh and eighth checked bags, the fee for each will now be US$75, which was previously US$200.

The reduced fees for overweight bags are: 56-70 lbs, US$50 per bag, which was previously US$75; 71-99lbs, US$75 per bag, which was previously US$175 each. The reduced fees for oversized bags will now be US$75 per bag between 62-80 linear inches, which was previously US$150 each.

“For many years, Cayman Airways has held strain, while almost all airlines have introduced checked baggage fees,” said Fabian Whorms, president and CEO for Cayman Airways.

Mr. Whorms said that with substantial increases over the years in its operating and station handling costs, the airline now finds it necessary to introduce a new fee structure, which will allow the airline to better cover its costs.

“Additionally, while we compete aggressively on airfares with other airlines on certain routes, it is usually not readily evident to passengers when comparing total pricing, that competing airlines use checked bag fees to compensate for lower fares, resulting in a higher total price.”

He said the new changes to its baggage policy are an attempt to level the playing field in this regard, so Cayman Airways can compete better on airfare prices.

Philip Rankin, the airline’s board chairman, said: “While the airline would have preferred to maintain its long-standing policy of two free checked bags in economy, the introduction of checked bag fees was inevitable.”

For more information on changes to the baggage fee policy, visit www.caymanairways.com/baggagepolicy or call Cayman Airways reservations on 949-2311.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps the real explanation is not around fees for baggage but actual ticket prices.

    Traditionally, the ticket price included one/two ‘checked’ bags. These are the most expensive to process as they have to be security checked and taken to and loaded onto aircraft and then unloaded at the other end and transported back to the ubiquitous ‘luggage carousel’ for collection. There is either an automated system or one that relies more on manual labour – either way, sorting loading/unloading bags costs.

    As the drive, because of the cheap airlines (JetBlue, Southwest, Vueling, EasyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, GermanWings, etc.) was to reduce ticket prices, they could not sustain this and absorb the cost of checked bags. British Airways retains the ‘free’ bag on its London service for economy passengers but you pay for the ‘free’ bag in your ticket price.

    The issue is that Cayman Airways are competing on price. To get the headline rate they need to strip out and charge separately for additional costs.

    Food will be next……….

  2. I did not see that this is accompanied by a drop in the standard fare.

    I have always used our national flag carrier whenever possible.
    Cayman Airways has a monopoly on one route we fly, to Tampa. However American Airlines competes directly on the Miami flight.
    Being Silver British Airways members we get 2 bags free on American. Plus frequent flier miles we can use on many airlines and use of the very nice American lounge in Miami.

    I wonder how many others are in the same position as us and will now sadly take their travel business to American.

    Cayman Airways has a “stand alone” frequent flyer system. They should join one of the networks such as One World which would encourage infrequent tourist flyers to fly with them rather than the competition.