Budget airline Jetstar has hit travellers with a “desperate” 20 per cent price hike to its baggage fees for domestic passengers.
From August 15, Jetstar customers who check in luggage that hasn’t been pre-booked will be hit with a $60 fee – up from the previous $50.
Any passenger who exceeds the 15-kilogram limit from now on will also be slugged $15 for each kilogram over, meaning customers with the heaviest allowed luggage, 32 kilograms, will pay a hefty $315 simply to check it in.
Consumer advocate CHOICE’s head of media Tom Godfrey said Jetstar’s “latest cash grab” was not surprising, as airlines have been forcing travellers to pay unreasonable fees “for years”.
“Airlines have been flying high on expressive fees for years, so this latest cash grab comes as little surprise,” he told The New Daily.
“It’s worth remembering that budget carriers don’t always offer the best deals.
“So before locking in a flight, read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you don’t fly into a fee storm at the airport.”
Jetstar customers were in uproar on the airline’s Facebook page on Tuesday, calling the company “desperate” for more money.
“Hi Jetstar. If I have prepaid for plus package & paid extra on top for Extra Luggage will you be slugging me the exorbitant amount that was announced?” one angry commenter asked.
“Surely, Jetstar can’t be that desperate for extra money,” another said.
“Jetstar at it again! I just wish they would stop enticing me with their cheap flights,” one comment read.
A Jetstar spokesperson told The New Daily the price hike was a “result of a review of all of our fees and charges” to match fees paid by New Zealand customers.
“We have reviewed the fees we charge customers who want to travel with bags but have not pre-purchased baggage before arriving at the airport,” he said.
“We have significantly reduced the fees for international and trans-Tasman flights and will increase the fee slightly for domestic flights.”
Fees for domestic and regional flights in New Zealand were decreased from $70 to $60, while baggage prices for trans-Tasman flights were slashed by $85 (to $75) and international flights cut by $60 (to $100).
Jetstar not the most expensive for checked baggage
Jetstar is not the only domestic airline slugging travellers with staggering fees, with fellow discount carrier Tigerair charging $75 per bag checked in at the terminal.
Meanwhile, premium airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia offer customers free checked luggage up to 23 kilograms.
Qantas does, however, charge flyers $40 for the first additional piece of baggage checked in at the airport, and $60 for the second.
Australia’s highest-ranking carrier, Virgin, charges $70 for the first piece, $90 for the second and $150 for the third and subsequent pieces.
Analysis by comparison company finder.com.au found across Australian domestic flights, it was far better to check in baggage when purchasing your ticket.
Prices for pre-booked luggage start at $15 for Jetstar and $15.50 for Tigerair, while Qantas and Virgin Australia allow one piece up to 23 kilograms to be checked in for free.