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Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 59
Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

A warning when paying baggage fees. I recently had to purchase a checked baggage allowance after I had already booked my flight ticket. The contrast between Virgin and Jetstar was like black and white; with Jetstar failing miserably for being sneaky and deceptive (one leg of my flight was with each airline).

Adding checked baggage (not excess baggage) with Virgin was dead easy. I just went on line and everything was clearly set out and I got it added to my ticket for $12.50 in quick time.

Jetstar was the opposite. Jetstar's website warns you that you will be charged (dramatically) higher fees if you check in your luggage at the airport and that you should pay for your baggage beforehand. The trouble is their website does not have a link to anywhere for you to buy a baggage allowance if you already have a flight ticket. They do supply a phone number for you to call but, surprise, surprise, that number only leads you to a recorded message which just tells you what the baggage limits are without any means via which you can actually pay for the allowance.

This means that passengers are left with NO option other than to pay the exorbitant $80 baggage fee at the airport. Even their staff at the airport told me it was a rip-off which seemed to be deliberate entrapment.

As you could expect from a company which uses such tactics, they handled my complaint with avoidance and further inconvenience. Firstly, after a significant delay, they replied with baggage information which was completely irrelevant to my complaint, then after I refused to be fobbed off they sent me a refund via a $50 voucher which had to be used within 3 months. As if I will be flying with a company that treats its customers like lemmings! Jetstar should learn how to treat its customers from Virgin.

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
1. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

so when they state on their web site:

Adding excess baggage to your flight can be performed online via My Booking or through contacting the Jetstar reservations centre anytime before check-in opens for your flight"

u r saying this is not true.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 59
2. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

Lien, firstly I did not need to pay for excess baggage. I originally intended to just have a carry on bag but then realised I needed to take more than this so I just wanted to pay for one case which was under 20kg in weight. This is within the normal weight limit for checked baggage.

When I entered my booking number to check-in online and pay the baggage fee I could check-in OK but there was no facility to pay a checked baggage fee. I searched all the options including the baggage link (where you would expect to find it) but that just leads you to the standard information about their various baggage limits for different classes of travel etc. It does not lead to anywhere you can actually pay them.

Same for the phone number - you follow all the prompts (press 1 for ...., press 2 for...........etc) and when you get to the one for baggage it just plays a recording of the same info regarding baggage limits etc. Once again you don't get through to anyone who will take your money.

The Jetstar staff member at the airport told me plenty of people before me have complained at being caught out the same way so Jetstar obviously know about it but their tactic is to make it very inconvenient for you to get any satisfaction from complaining. A company the size of Jetstar doesn't have a fault like that on their website by mistake which leads to the obvious conclusion that it is intentional entrapment and price gouging.

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
3. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

ok, let's try another tack.

i think by excess baggage they mean additional baggage ie. in excess to what you originally chose. in your case with the original booking u chose not to pay for any baggage. but there is a way to pay post booking if u change your mind.

here is the full text from their web site:

"All ticket holders can help avoid higher airport excess baggage charges by pre purchasing extra baggage allowances.

The following fees apply if you are holding an Economy Starter fare (including Plus and Max Bundles) and you did not select bags to check-in at the time of booking.

For Economy Starter fares (including Plus and Max Bundles), extra baggage can be purchased from 15-40kg in 5kg increments.

For Business fares (including Business Max Bundle), you fare includes 30kg of checked baggage and extra baggage can be purchased in 5kg increments, up to a maximum of 40kg

Adding excess baggage to your flight can be performed online via My Booking or through contacting the Jetstar reservations centre anytime before check-in opens for your flight"

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,360
reviews: 15
4. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

This is what they say about adding hold luggage after booking:

"If you have an Economy Starter fare (including Plus and Max bundles) and you have not purchased a checked baggage allowance and you have a bag to check in, you will need to upgrade to a 20kg at the airport. We charge you a flat fee to upgrade to 20kg and then for every kilo of checked baggage above 20kg, you will be charged a per kilo fee."

It's somewhat unusual that an airline does not offer the option to add luggage to your booking online but they do tell you this on their website.

australia
posts: 2,551
reviews: 17
5. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

>>>>>>>>>A company the size of Jetstar doesn't have a fault like that on their website by mistake which leads to the obvious conclusion that it is intentional entrapment and price gouging

Got it in one.

The fact that you have to hunt around the website to find out all the rules about adding extra baggage before you book your flight is testament to the amount of money to be made due to customer error.

The $80 fee for adding baggage to a starter fare is not in the Fare Rules displayed at time of booking or explained on the initial booking page. You have to plow through 3 web pages before you find they will charge you $80

It is quicker to ask Trip Advisor!

Edited: 6:41 am, August 12, 2011
Auckland Region...
posts: 1,202
reviews: 214
6. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

You may have a case for lodging a complaint with the Australian Competition and Comsumer Commission.

From their website; www.accc.gov.au

" When making a purchase from an online seller based in Australia, you have a number of basic rights. The Australian Consumer Law (contained in a schedule to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010) makes it unlawful for a trader to mislead or deceive you about your purchase. This includes the purchase price and any claims made in advertisements. "

Cheers.

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,360
reviews: 15
7. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

How did Jetstar mislead or deceive the OP?

australia
posts: 2,551
reviews: 17
8. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

Companies must be upfront with ALL charges pertaining to the purchases and must be readily available

The cost to buy checked baggage on the Stater fare is still buried even in their "planning" page.

That video is such a croc

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,360
reviews: 15
9. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

The fees-list for baggage is just one click away from the front page. In the Planning and Booking menu simply click 'Bagagge fees and charges'. This is also the page where it states that you can only add hold luggage at the airport after booking and the price for doing so.

As I said, it's unusual that you can't add this online but to say that the relevant information is buried on their website is hardly true.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 59
10. Re: Jetstar - beware of their luggage fees scam

Lexexpress, yes the info about the fees is easy to find but the inconsistency arises because Jetstar tells you to buy your checked baggage allowance before going to the airport otherwise you will have to pay a penalty fee (in my case the cost to get my suitcase home was nearly as much as the fare itself).

A reasonable person would deduce that the only way to prepay for baggage and avoid the penalty would be either online or by phone and that the company would facilitate that by having a straight forward methodology for doing so.

Unfortunately, despite a passenger's best efforts to comply with their advice, Jetstar have made it virtually impossible to do so and the passenger is therefore virtually obliged to pay the penalty fee. A convincing argument could be made that this is "misleading or deceptive conduct" under the Trade Practices Act. In fact the voucher they sent me followed me making that very point to them.