(CMR) Cayman Airways, the national carrier of the Cayman Islands, will begin charging for all travel baggage as of August 1, 2018 for all international flights it was announced today in a press released posted on their website.
The press release from CEO Fabian Whorms stated the new policy:
“Cayman Airways has announced changes to its baggage fee policy that include a drastic reduction in fees for excess, overweight and oversized baggage, along with the introduction of modest checked bag fees on international flights, for tickets purchased on or after August 1, 2018.”
CMR received several messages from CAL customers who are outraged at the proposed changes which CAL has coined as “modest fee increases.” It was updated on the website's baggage policy page before a press released was posted about it.
Normal Economy Class tickets purchased on or after August 1, 2018 will attract a fee at the check-in counter of US$20 per bag each way for the first and second checked bags on all international flights, with the exception of New York and Chicago flights where the fees will be US$25 for the first checked bag and US$35 for the second checked bag, each way.
Third, fourth and fifth checked bags will now be reduced from US$125 to US$50 per bag. Additional pieces after five will be US$75 each instead of US$200. Reduced fees for oversize bags will be US$75 per bags between 62-80 linear inches instead of US$150 each.
Despite these reductions for excess luggage customers are already up in arms about the fee increases for the two pieces that were normally free of charge. One customer we spoke with shared her feelings:
“To me this is absolutely ridiculous – I mean that is the one thing that has distinguished Cayman Airways from all other carriers. Now, there's no real incentive for me to continue travelling with them. Here I was thinking that CAL was making so much money that the Caymanians would continue to receive the benefits of the supposedly more fiscally viable airline.”
Another traveler was so shocked by the revelation:
“Shouldn't this be the sort of thing that they involved us in before deciding? I still cannot believe this and really hope that it's a mistake. I don't see any guarantees of a reduction in airfare especially with the fuel increases. I'm afraid they have just done themselves in. Many have no incentive to now fly the national carrier”.
The existing baggage allowances and fees for domestic flights between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will remain unchanged.
Whorms explained the decision was to remain competitive:
“The new changes to our baggage policy is an attempt to level the playing field in this regard, so Cayman Airways can compete better on airfare prices.”
He further stated that
“Our new checked bag fees are still substantially lower than industry standard fees, and economy passengers traveling with more than two bags, will actually save under the new policy, as the combined price of three or more bags will be much less than before, due to the new reduction in excess, overweight and oversized rates.”
The new policy can be found online here.