WestJet 100-per-cent fare increase questioned
A Steele on Your Side viewer angry that WestJet has bumped up some of its holiday airfares by around 100 per cent says she could spend the same amount of money to fly to Europe that it would cost her to fly to Alberta.
Erin, who frequently flies between Vancouver and Edmonton, Tweeted Lynda Steele to say she'd been monitoring flight prices for three months trying to get a good deal to fly home for the holidays, but wasn't having any luck.
Erin said the flight prices, which she says have risen dramatically, should be considered price gouging around the holidays.
"Ever considered investigating why WestJet is charging $800 for a round trip from Edmonton to Vancouver -- same as round trip to Holland?" she wrote.
WestJet Public Relations Manager Robert Palmer said that the customer waited too long to book her ticket and now only more expensive tickets remain.
Palmer said travelers who booked before November 9 got Edmonton to Vancouver seats for the base fare of $174 each way, but with Christmas approaching the next fare level kicked in -- pushing the one way fare to $344 before taxes and fees.
He justifies the fare increase by saying: "If you make all seats available at the same price, they would have to be way more expensive in order to break even on that flight. There is a reason why most airlines in the world lose money every year."
WestJet told Erin if she wants a really good deal she should book 330 days ahead of her trip.
The airline loads its fares and schedules 330 days in advance, so Christmas fares for 2012 will be available at low rates starting a couple of weeks from now.
Every Friday Lynda Steele dips into the viewer mailbag and answers a handful of viewer questions. Watch CTV News for the full story…