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Porter to charge for checked bags on U.S. flights

Porter Airlines says that it will start charging passengers for checked bags on travel between the United States and Canada.

The airline, which flies out of Toronto’s island airport, will charge $25 for the first bag, $35 for the second bag and $100 for the third and subsequent bags.

The new rules take effect Aug. 1. But if you booked flights before Wednesday then the old baggage rules apply even if you’re travelling next month or later.

Porter said in a release on Wednesday the changes are comparable to other airlines.

Air Canada first introduced baggage fees on U.S. flights in 2011. WestJet Airlines still doesn’t charge a fee for first checked bags on any of its flights.

It’s unclear how much money Canadian airlines collect, but in the U.S. baggage fees reached $3.5 billion (US) in 2012, up from $3.4 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Porter, which is known for its chichi lounge and free snacks and drinks, said it’s still free to check the first bag on domestic flights, while the second bag costs $20 and $100 for the third and subsequent bags.

Under the new policy, the airline guarantees that all checked bags will reach baggage claims within 30 minutes of a flight arriving at an airport gate, or a $25 voucher will be provided.

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