Jetstar charges for 3kg of cabin baggage that once was free

September 05, 2018
Jetstar Christmas
Jetstar and Tiger aircraft at Sydney Airport. Photo: Steve Creedy

Jetstar is slugging passengers at least $A13 for 3kgs of cabin baggage it once allowed on board free of charge.

The $A13 applies to domestic flights in Australia booked online but the fee could be higher or lower depending on the type of flight and when it is booked.

The extra 3kg is available for between $NZ6 and $NZ8 on New Zealand domestic flights because of shorter distances flown,  while on longer international flights the price is greater and ranges between $A22 and $A27.

The low-cost carrier initially allowed passengers using its cheapest fares to fly with cabin baggage weighing up to 10kg but in 2014 slashed that to 7kg.

Jetstar at that time denied the decision was a revenue-raising exercise, saying instead it was in response to customer frustration over insufficient room in overhead lockers.

“To address this, we are reducing the amount of baggage that customers can bring on board, which will align us with other carriers in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region,’’ a spokesman said at the time.

“This change will help speed up the boarding process, enable more flights to depart on time and ensure all customers get their fair share of overhead locker space.’’

The airline introduced random checks of carry-on and introduced punitive excess cabin baggage fees which meant passengers with cabin baggage outside the limit could be slugged as much as $A60/$NZ60 on domestic Australian or New Zealand flights.

The new deal affects people on starter fares and allows them to again carry 10kgs of cabin baggage on services operating from September 4.

Read: Jetstar tightens checks after 12-year-old’s lone Bali trip.

The offer is limited and the airline said that meant there was limited space on each aircraft.

However, the $60 charge remains for people pinged at the gate and those seeking to buy the 3kgs when they check in will pay $30.

Jetstar Group chief customer officer Catriona Larritt said the initiative gave customers “more choice”.

“Customers told us that they would like the option to carry more on board and so we are pleased to be able to offer them the option to purchase an extra three kilos,’’ she said.

“The extra carry-on allowance is particularly useful for those traveling with a laptop or camera bag or those traveling on short trips with an overnight bag who are after a quick departure from the airport without a wait at the baggage carousel”.

Passengers buying more expensive FlexiBiz fares can take up to 10kg on board as part of their fare.

Separately, Emirates and Jetstar Pacific announced a new codeshare agreement that expanded their existing partnerships.

The new codeshare services from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi connect Emirates passengers to 14 Vietnamese cities beyond Ho Chi Minh City and six cities beyond Hanoi.

Emirates will also operate codeshare flights with Jetstar Pacific between the latter’s hub in Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, as well as Bangkok.