Westjet just announced that starting October 29, economy class customers will have to pay $25 for their first checked in bags. They've tried to explain this policy change as an "unbundling of services, which is essentially moving to more of an a la carte system where people only pay for the services they actually want or that they use," but let's be honest, they're losing money where money can be made and they're taking some steps to make some extra bills—and who would blame them? There's money to be made, and you do what you have to do in this competitive world to survive.
But this illustrates an interesting reality that most businesses ignore in the short term to the detriment of their business in the long term. The reality being that there is no such thing as free, and that choosing what services or products that you do or do not label as free is an important decision with various implications. One of those being that once you tack on free to something it's pretty hard to reverse it once people become accustomed to not paying for it.
Somewhere in the history of airlines, one airline decided to outsmart the competition by eliminating the cost of checking in a first bag. Then all the other airlines followed suit (or bag) and labelled a service free that actually isn't. With time this became an industry standard, which meant that everybody would get surly when they had to start paying for a service that in their mind has always been free.
The question is, then: what will and won't you label as free in the work that you do? It's an important decision to make and we often don't think about it all that much. But we probably should. Because once people get accustomed to you working for free or giving them things for free, it might be hard to convince them to pay you for that work or product later on. So if you are going to give work away for free, make sure there's a strategy anchoring your decision.