Business Culture

Free checked bags a thing of the past under Cayman Airways new policy

Two free checked bags on international Cayman Airways flights will soon be a thing of the past.

Normal economy passengers on international flights booking on or after 1 August will pay $20 (US) per bag at check-in for the first and second bags. These fees are slightly higher for Chicago and New York flights.

The national flag carrier, in a press release late Friday (29 June) evening, said it kept its generous policy as long as it could, citing the need to cover its costs.

The airline said its excess baggage fees have been reduced.


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.

The existing baggage allowances and fees for domestic flights between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will remain unchanged. However, international connections will be subject to the applicable international baggage fees.

Business Class passengers will continue to receive three free checked bags on all routes. Sir Turtle Rewards Platinum Level Members will also continue to receive 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.

As of August 1, 2018, 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).

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.

“For many years, Cayman Airways has held strain, while almost all airlines have introduced checked baggage fees,” explained Cayman Airways President and CEO Fabian Whorms. “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.”

Continuing, Mr. Whorms added: “Additionally, while we compete aggressively on airfares with other airlines on certain routes, it is usually not readily evident to passengers when comparing total pricing, that competing airlines use checked bag fees to compensate for lower fares, resulting in a higher total price. 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.”

Mr. Whorms further pointed out: “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 airline’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Philip Rankin, CPA, said: “While the airline would have preferred to maintain its long-standing policy of two free checked bags in economy, the introduction of checked bag fees was inevitable. Every effort has been made, however, to make the new baggage policy as reasonable as possible for our valued passengers. 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.”

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

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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