Charging "little old ladies" to carry excess baggage on its planes is one way that WestJet Airlines plans to boost its profit, the company's president said this week.
While focusing on increasing its reach and size, the company, now the largest domestic competitor to Air Canada, said "ancillary revenues" such as baggage fees and in-flight services are increasingly important.
"There would be a little old lady coming up, and she'd have a table, and she'd have a chair, and she'd have six or seven bags, and we'd say, 'Yeah, take it on the plane. No problem,' " Sean Durfy, WestJet's president, said Monday in a webcast for investors..
"Now we're actually going to charge a little bit of money for taking that table and chair and those extra bags on board," he continued. "And that incremental revenue that we extract from that little old lady is very, very profitable to us. Some 85% goes to the bottom line."
The Calgary-based airline said last month that the sale of such ancillary items rose 66% in the first quarter of this year, to more than $21 million.
Durfy said WestJet will also focus on increasing its share of the business market, looking to tap U.S. business travelers flying to Canada from destinations such as Phoenix.Copyright © 2015, CT Now