CAL travellers to cough up for baggage

| 02/07/2018 | 74 Comments

Cayman Airways baggage policy(CNS): Passengers flying coach with Cayman Airways can kiss good-bye to the days of free luggage as the airline has introduced a new baggage fee policy for international travellers. The baggage allowances and fees for domestic flights between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will remain unchanged but all bags on overseas trips will be charged a fee of US$20 at check-in for all tickets purchased on or after 1 August. Cayman Airways Board Chair Philip Rankin said that although CAL “would have preferred to maintain the policy of two free checked bags in economy”, the fees were inevitable.

The change in fee policy has, however, cut the costs for excess, overweight and oversized baggage. The reduced fees for excess baggage are as follows: for third, fourth and fifth checked bags the fee will now be US$50 per bag (was previously US$125 each); for sixth, seventh and eighth checked bags the fee for each of these bags will now be US$75 each (was previously US$200 each).

The reduced fees for overweight bags are as follows: 56-70lbs, US$50 per bag (was previously US$75 each); and for checked bags 71-99lbs, US$75 per bag (was previously US$175 each). The reduced fees for oversized bags are now charged at US$75 per bags between 62-80 linear inches (was previously US$150 each).

All passengers on economy class tickets bought after 1 August will be charged at check-in US$20 per bag each way for the first and second checked bags on all international flights except 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.

Those travelling in business class will continue to receive three checked bags on all routes free of charge. Sir Turtle Rewards Platinum Level Members will also enjoy two free checked bags, while Sir Turtle Rewards Gold Level Members will receive the first checked bag free. The standard weight allowance remains at 55lbs per bag.

CAL CEO Fabian Whorms blamed the market for the increase, saying that CAL competes aggressively on airfares on certain routes and that passengers are not always aware that competing airlines use checked bag fees to compensate for lower fares.

He said the changes to baggage policy was “an attempt to level the playing field” so the airline can compete on prices.

“For many years, Cayman Airways has held strain, while almost all airlines have introduced checked baggage fees,” he said. “With substantial increases over the years in our operating and station handling costs, Cayman Airways now finds itself at a point where it has become necessary to introduce a new fee structure, which will allow the airline to better cover its costs.”

Whorms said the new fees are still lower than the industry standard and economy passengers travelling with more than two bags will save under the new policy, as the combined price of three or more bags will be less than before.

Rankin added that every effort had been made to make the baggage policy as reasonable as possible. “Cayman Airways has been a huge contributor to the economic development of the Cayman Islands for fifty years, and we ask for everyone’s continued loyal support as the airline works diligently at improving its financial viability amidst the challenges of increasing costs,” he said.

For more information about the new baggage fee policy, visit the CAL website or call Cayman Airways reservations on 949-2311.

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Category: Business, Local News, Tourism

Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks you Fabian and Cayman Airways for appreciating our loyalty with this price increase just one month from your 50th anniversary…

    This is my way of saying thanks…No Thanks!!!!! I’m done! Done with the delays! Done with the high prices! Done with the poor service! Done with the old broken down airplanes! Done with the taking advantage of the traveling public in general…

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Just signed up for AA Advantage..All Cayman AIrways passengers needs to take a look at their Frequent flyer program. It’s excellent and worldwide benefits, no more of this limited Miami/Jamaica crap..Here is the link..

    https://www.aa.com/loyalty/enrollment/enroll?from=Nav&anchorEvent=false&referer=/apps/&anchorLocation=Navigation+Menu&url=%2Floyalty%2Fenrollment%2Fenroll&_locale=en_US&reportedTitle=AAdvantage+Enroll+Now

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  3. Anon says:

    If you don’t like flying Cayman Air then buy a plane or a boat or fly another carrier. Why should taxpayers or other customers have to subsidize your extra weight? Frankly, I think that the airline should weigh you and your baggage and charge by the pound! I have never seen such a sorry collection of moochers and whiners as some of the folks commenting on this site!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, all airlines are fair game now since CAL has joined the madness. The 2 free luggage is what gave them the competitive edge but now nothing deferentiate them from the other airline so we will choose the cheapest airfare. Am sure very soon they will start to charge you for bringing on your own food.

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  5. Anon says:

    10:13? You got it. Third world standards. A dumpy airline stuck in the 60s without the perks of a sandwich that they used to serve back then. They are controlling and the old British inefficiency still remain. They are putting in a new airport that does not even look tropical. At least five iguanas greet you as you walk off their planes into the broiling sun. No cross arm from plane to airside. They do not care. Other places will get my tourist dollar. They should be punished!!!! Boycott these arrogant elitist that only the few control. Shame on you Cayman for having people walk across the street only to go through more rough treatment from your stupid immigration folks and get back on the same plane that you just got off from. This is chaos and not smart at all. Other places are going to get the CI tourist dollar because they just screwed themselves. Cant wait for this government subsidized airline to go out of business! Yes they make you angry.

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    • Anon. says:

      You are the only one sounding like an elitist here. Cayman depends on tourism but I will not be begging you for your “tourist dollars”!

      Go spend it somewhere else! You seem like the type that would complain about everything anyway so I personally don’t want someone like you here!

      You say in one breath the airport doesn’t look tropical enough (which I agree) but then also complain about the hot sun and iguanas, can’t get anymore tropical than that, can you?

      I am very proud of my national airline and the staff is much friendlier than any of those American airlines I have been on. We also don’t drag our passengers off our flights, stuff pets in overhead bins and let them die or discrimate based on colour or religion.

      What I truly don’t understand is what precisely is your complaint? If you were going to some other remote island in the South Pacific that also don’t have jetways, you would admire it for being quaint and so tropical.

      Other airlines are all charging for checked baggage but now you are wishing ill-will on my national airline because they started to charge to try to survive?!
      You are unbelievable!
      I usually extend our Caymankind friendliness to our tourists but to you I say good riddance and hope you never come back!!!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Just one of those Damned if you do damned if you don’t scenarios.
    If CAL loses money, people say “sell the airline”
    If CAL tries to not lose money “switch airlines”
    Can’t win. They probably knew that if you take away anything that is free there will be a complaint so not a surprise.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They could have taken away some of the free flights for Board members/ex Board members/staff/ex staff/families/ex-families/everybody who ever walked into the headquarters building without costing the general paying public anything but those are the troublesome, connected kind of woter we don’t want to upset so we spread the pain around to everybody.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Better drop the price of the ticket to Mia then. Don’t see anyone choosing them over AA now that the costs are the same.

    South West allows for 2 free bags, and their tickets are less then Cayman Airways, so not sure I am buying the excuses from CAL…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian I am proud to know we have a national carrier for the past 50 years BUT sadly their quality has declined over the years and bullshit increased…flight attendants look unhappy/unfriendly, DELAYS, DELAYS, DELAYS and communication is poor on their part, you get watered down rum punch and now have to pay for a damn snack by credit card ONLY might I add, planes inside always look dirty and they charge such ridiculous fares! I tried to remain loyal to them not only for the 2 free bags but because it is our national carrier but more and more it’s breaking the camel’s back. Cayman Airways I’m sorry to say but I will not be flying with you any longer.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Who cares? I haven’t flown into or out of ORIA with them since 1996 – the US carriers are all way better and cheaper.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Definitely not good as a former Ramp Agent I hope they don’t allow persons to gate check bags like before where your actual check bag is left behind to accommodate those bags as they are deemed priority. And happens mostly with the Kingston and Montego Bay flights. On another if you are able to carry your check bag through security you can gate check and not pay. Once the bag has no liquids and can fit through the security screening machine you’re home free. Too many loopholes. Thankfully we do have alternatives even American has improved drastically since being acquired by US Airways. I cant believe this I love travelling on American now with complementary Wifi and outlets to change my devices en-route to my destination.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Back to front Bobo, American took over U.S. Airways routes & flight operations . That is why you only see AA livery , U.S. Air is long gone & no longer exists. LOL….

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  11. anonymous says:

    The problem of non revenue passengers still exists and will now get worse. The airline has never admitted how many employees (and I believe family members) were given lifetime passes in the old days, unique to our national airline.As passenger numbers will now drop, that leaves more availability for freebies travelling on a space available basis.
    I see virtully no locals travelling to Miami on American.

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  12. Free rides says:

    To keep the airline somewhat profitable I have no issues with reasonable luggage fees but maybe they should also evaluate the lifetime benefits and staff benefits that are given away on a daily basis to existing, retired employees and government persons. I’ve heard such persons and all their family get free baggage allowances and only pay the airport taxes for flights. If this is true that’s a pretty decent amount of revenue flying out the door. An FOI would shed some light on this (if its tracked of course).

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Heaven forbid any consideration of doing away with their “free flights for life for alumni and family”, or any business analysis of the money-loosing rewards program.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Unna can go, when next a fan blade separates inflight on a CFM, or when swat appears onboard to drag you off a flight because the flight attendant feels threatened by you, y’all will remember KX real quick, extra baggage fees in all!

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    • Anonymous says:

      All KX planes have CFM engines, so what’s your point…They can disintegrate on Cayman AIrways too..the morale of the KX flight attendants is so low that you should worry as well…

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  15. Anonymous says:

    There goes that good ole Caymanian disloyalty again. So instead of boycotting this change and cite the reasons why the public feels it is uneconomical, or offer up alternatives to the board (all these great minds and degrees amongst us, the majority of which we all paid for) the only action the resounding majority can devise is to switch airlines. These are the same hypocrites that will argue why we need a national airline but not support measures needed to sustain it financially. Maybe its a temporary action to meet some budget item? Maybe they need extra revenue to pay for these brand new aircraft we will be boasting about and taking selfies in very shortly? Maybe the board chose to keep the 90% Caymanian workforce employed rather than redundancies ?

    I know this is cayman but honestly not everything is doom and gloom, at least not all the time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must work at Cayman Airways! Caymanians aren’t the ones that are disloyal – Caymanians are the ones who build the airline to where it is today – Cayman Airways is being disloyal to their loyal customers.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS, in their defence, these new fees are applicable for tickets purchased on or after August 1, 2018.
    It would be good if you could amend your article to reflect this information.
    Thanks!!

    CNS: Sure. I don’t think that will change people’s reaction, however.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I’ll just first call BS on what Fabian states “competing airlines use checked bag fees to compensate for lower fares”. This is not a fact in any way shape or form. The other airlines started charging baggage fees solely to increase revenue. That is the ONLY reason.
    Next his BS statement of “the new fees are still lower than the industry standard” LMAO!! That’s US$5 lower! That’s CI$4 Puhleeeease! How thick do you think we are?
    While I appreciate that these additional fees are necessary and I too want our National Carrier to be both competitive and successful, but couldn’t you people have eased it in more gently??? Like, 1st bag free and 2nd bag $25. Much more reasonable and you might get less b!tching about this new fee.
    I’ll still always choose KX over AA in all markets but you folk sure know how to piss people off, eh!
    PLEASE NOTE!!! I read elsewhere that these fees begin for tickets purchased on or after 1 August. So you whiners better get your tickets bought now if you want to save these fees.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense. Why should passengers traveling light subsidize those traveling heavy. If you want an additional service you should have to pay for it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about the obese? Why are they allowed to freeload? They should be charge more by your logic.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Which they are, if they happen to take up two seats. On some airlines you are forced to buy two seats if you cannot fit in one.

      • Anonymous says:

        The additional service pertains to the loading and handling of the bags and the cost associated with that. Light and Heavy were not being used in the literal sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Baggage prices don’t bother me either. What bothers me are the delays that happen every time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      By your theory the price of tickets should come down for not carrying bags. Like that has ever happened with anyone else, right?

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      • Anonymous says:

        It should, but likely won’t. Given the airline is heavily subsidized by the government the hope would be that less government money goes to the airline to cover these costs. Therefore those that don’t travel aren’t subsidizing those that do.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean those who are travelling heavy are subsidizing those who travel light, either way you have it wrong. No charge for those who only check 2 bags within the 55lb limit is an incentive to travel light. Those who travel heavy SHOULD pay. More luggage= more handling (at cost to the airline). More luggage = more weight = more fuel (also at cost to the airline).
      Besides, offering your first 2 bags free is not a novelty, Southwest airline also does the same. Cayman airways ticket prices are some of the highest in the region, I’ll be changing airlines- their loss.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t get your comment. Are you implying that checking two bags within the 55lb limit is travelling light? Taking a carry-on only is travelling light…two 50lb bags is heavy.

  19. whew says:

    CAL ticket cost are already high enough and the keep going higher now turn around and pay baggage………….Southwest where are you, they have better ticket prices and allow the 2 free baggage, what about people who to a weekend to Mia, carry a empty suitcase going you mean say we going have pay 20$ for a empty suitcase na man, this is ridiculous this needs to go to the L.A cause cost of living is high enough, CUC has raise 1.8%, food is ridiculously expensive in the supermarkets lets not even get to fast food restaurants.

    this is beyond ridiculous.

    I will not be flying CAL and im sure they will loose other people, they are many other airlines that fly into Miami, NYC, not just them, you get a way better service then CAL anyhow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      and they all charge baggage fees. so what’s your point? help your own

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    • Freddy says:

      This is plain out ridiculous, they already have the most expensive tickets in the world. and to come add baggage fees now. Those that dont know they are getting 3/ 737 Max8 aircraffts starting in November 2018 and these aircrafts have to be paid for so anyhow they can find to pay for those planes they gonna tax the FREQUENT CAYMANIAN FLYERS. Im a Southwest Rapid Rewards flyer and I will be using them even more now to and from Cayman Islands. I must say they are quite a pleasant experience to fly with and good fares to connecting destinations from Fort Lauderdale.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Whoever came up with this idea please just take them into a room and fire them. The one advantage Cayman Airways had and you throw it away. Stupidity at its epitome. At least now I don’t have to sit in that depressing terminal in MIA waiting for my delayed flight. And whoever came up with the logic of “travel with three bags and it’ll work out cheaper” also needs firing.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    A big win for the 5 suitcase yardies. Not very well thought through as usual. One free would have been a much better plan.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I see more non-yardie travellers coming to VISIT with 5 bags. Stop singling people out in your ignorance.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    All the more reason to fly AA.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    You guys just lost me. I used to change from American in Miami to CAL just for the baggage allowance but I guess not anymore. Besides the old concourse E departure in Miami isn’t nearly as nice as Americans’.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think this decision was thought out properly. The two free checked bags up to 55 pounds each, was Cayman Airways saving grace. Now that they have discontinued that perk, they will now see their loyal customers choosing to fly different airlines because sometimes their fares are cheaper than Cayman Airways.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Whats’s happening with the bags to the Brac? Moses knows better than charge us for luggage..that ain’t going to fly..

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Why not just raise the fares $20 on each fare..You are taking the only real marketing tool you had and throwing it out the door..You use to have some decent rum punch and even that has become some cheapened watered down rancid yellow version..

    We now have so many choices in airlines. What does Cayman Airways have now that would let me choose them over any other? Nothing! Nada! ZIP!

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Fabian…Let us pay for baggage fees as our thanks for being loyal to CAL for 50 Years…smh..Cayman Airways is already being subsidized tremendously by us. Why tell the public that the airline is doing so well and you are in surplus and then slapped and already strained and drained public with more fees…Do you not understand that people are suffering out here..The middle class is all about dead…

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Airways just shot themselves in the foot..The one thing that set them apart from all of the other airlines they have just thrown away.

    The CEO and the politicians seem to believe that the Cayman public will remain loyal no matter what but the tide is turning. The cost of living is extremely high in Cayman and continues to climb. Implementing baggage fees to thank us for our loyalty for 50 years is the most stupid thing I have ever heard.

    How is it that air arrivals are up significantly and by default CAL is getting its fair share so revenue must be higher, why at this stage is Cayman Airways implementing these fees..

    I hope that this finds itself on the floor of the Legislative Assembly and the politcians particularly Moses will stand up and be counted.

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    • Some CaymanKind! says:

      And this as a way that it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Ready to propose that Cayman Airways subsidies stop and let it “fly” on its own if it can

  29. Anonymous says:

    boycott cayman airways.
    any airline that makes a loss charging folks $500 for a 1 hour flight to jam/mia deserves to be put out of business.

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    • Anonymous says:

      10.16pm and what is the alternative to that $500 one hour flight to Jamaica . Maybe a flight via Miami to Jamaica costing a whole lot more and lasting a whole lot longer

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  30. Anonymous says:

    now you know who will pay for the airport expansion budget overuns…….yep..joe public.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways and Civil Aviation are two entirely different entities. Money paid to CAL is not shared with Civil Aviation.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    i detest cal for their price gouging and their third world standards…but the real kick in the teeth is that no other airline are allowed charge less than cal on the same routes….
    welcome to the cayman wonderland where the customer is forced to pick up the tab for local incompetence and laziness.
    out of principal i will boycott cal at every opportunity.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “no other airline are allowed charge less than cal on the same routes” – this is a completely made up “fact”. All ticket prices are set by the individual carriers without any outside influence.

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      • Anonymous says:

        incorrect. no other carriers can undercut flight leaving cayman on the same routes that cal use. fact.

  32. Anonymous says:

    anybody want my turtle club points?….because i won’t be using them again…

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  33. Anonymous says:

    cannot believe how stupid this move is. of course the the 2 free bag rule could not last forever…but why not stagger the introduction of fees???

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  34. Anonymous says:

    thats it…will not fly cal again. 5 star price for 2 star quality.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    So the subsidised national airline that was popular in large part due to a policy like this of not charging for 2 checked bags has decided it needs (why – it is subsidised?) to join its competitors in fooling customers (those subsidising and consenting to the airline’s existence through political participation and consent) that fares are lower than they really are by the time you add the bag fees. We’re supposed to trust that fares are going to drop by the amount bag fees are going to add to their revenue – nope, they will just raise fares slowly until the bag fees are just extra cash to reduce gov’t subsidy – consistent with gov’t general policy of hoarding as much public sector revenue as it can in the central coffers (in this case in the form of reducing a subsidy no one has a problem with). The vast majority of travellers will now pay for baggage full of personal effects and a reasonable amount of shopping they didn’t previously while a tiny minority bringing in multiple and overweight items they could be buying locally will pay less to bring those in. Welcome to no room in the overhead bins on Cayman Airways too and being forced to check carry-ons that are forever damaged because of rough handling and compression by heavier, sturdier items in the hold. Add the abolition of the Customs form for the ‘wink wink’ people who didn’t do much shopping and this is a recipe for a lot of pissed off travellers and Caymanians. I have a right mind to stop flying the airline all together and pay my bag fees wherever I damn please. ‘Level the playing field to enable us to compete on prices’ = lie to Caymanians about the cost of flying their national airline. No thanks.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    So we subsidise the airline and now we have to pay extra for bags too? I guess the old double-dipping just ain’t for MLA’s anymore.

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  37. Andy Buck says:

    Wow… so coach passengers have to cover the extra and overweight fee for everyone else. Additionally, New York and Chicago cost more money. Man, CAL isn’t getting enough government money? Now you need the passengers to supplement you too? Instead, how about getting rid of the same curry chicken you’ve been serving for years? LOL… I’ll fly Jet Blue from New York… same baggage fees, basically the same schedule and nicer, newer planes!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I would Prefer they start this after summer if anything, because the poor people just trying to put together a little trip for the family for summer and now it comes down to this, these people are not for Caymanian at all, tickets up high now need to pay for bags also, you guys are mad..

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