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The trend towards increased baggage fees continues with U.S. airliner JetBlue canning free check-ins.
American airliner JetBlue has announced major changes to their previously lenient and flexible baggage rules in response to calls from shareholders to boost revenue.
The once consumer-oriented airline seems to have adopted a more commercial-based philosophy with increased baggage fees and reduced leg room due to extra seats being installed, enabling more passengers on-board per flight, which will inevitably result in tighter restrictions in carry-on luggage.
Prior to new changes, the airline had gained increasing popularity for its customer service, offering free snacks, drinks, in-flight entertainment and generous baggage allowances, however new fee structures means no more freebees when it comes to checked luggage. As of 2015, JetBlue customers will have the option of choosing from one of 3 types of fares: budget, mid-range or premium. The budget fare will exclude any checked bags, allowing for carry-on luggage only while the mid-range fare covers a carry-on and 1 check-in and the premium fare buys 2 check-ins and some extra loyalty points. Just how much these fares will cost has not yet been released.
JetBlue has assured that passengers will still enjoy complimentary drinks, snacks and entertainment included in all fares.
JetBlue is one of the last of the American airlines to jump on board the trend towards increased baggage fees and other airlines are sure to follow. Virgin America and Frontier airlines reduced free perks and increased baggage pricing earlier this year.
Many major airlines in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East already have strict baggage allowance policies, including carry-on weight restrictions.
Want to avoid extra baggage? Pack a Scrubba wash bag. It’ll save you time and money. You won't have to pay for excess luggage and you'll get to walk straight through the arrival gates and out the door while other passengers hang around waiting for their extra baggage.
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Airlines are pulling in the waist line on overweight carry-ons by introducing heavy restrictions on heavy packing.
Come November 25th, Jetstar Australia will drop it's carry-on luggage weight allowance to 7kg. This is a 30% reduction from Jetstar's previous allowance of 10kg, bringing the airline's cabin baggage weight regulations in line with it's domestic competitors Qantas and Virgin as well as several international airlines, including Air Asia, Air New Zealand, Comair, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and many others. Some airlines are even stricter, such as Sun-Air with a carry-on allowance of only 6kg.
Jetstar and Virgin Australia have also announced plans for enforcing new restrictions with baggage officers posted at departure gates specifically dedicated to monitoring luggage being carried to planes. Attempting to board with extra baggage might see travelers slumped with stiff fees upwards of $50 or more or see overweight hand luggage sent down the check-in belt and charged as checked bags.
With feedback from many passengers being positive about the crack-down against excess cabin baggage, more airlines are sure to follow the trend in reduced baggage allowances. Comments from travelers on social media have supported the crack-downs, expressing discomfort and frustration when overloaders take up too much overhead and underfoot space.
To date, airlines in the United States have not applied such strict rules around cabin baggage allowances, however it's easy to get caught out when traveling internationally, as connecting flights in other countries may very well be one of the many other airlines enforcing tighter restrictions and travelers might find themselves paying unexpected fees.
In light of new restrictions, Jetstar has reduced its checked luggage fees to encourage travelers to check their extra weight in. So now travelers can expect to pay slightly less for each check-in bag, but might find they have to check more in due to reduced carry-on allowances.
The best way to reduce your overall luggage is to pack fewer clothes and plan for a few laundry washes during your trip. So why not pack a Scrubba wash bag? It only weights 145g (5oz) and folds up small enough to fit in your pocket.
Click here for more practical tips on how to reduce your carry-on weight at the gate.
For information on general baggage fees across major international airlines, click on Smarter Travel's ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AIRLINE FEES.
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