Jetstar — extra baggage policy
I have an upcoming flight to Denpesar from Melbourne with Jet Star (flying back to Melbourne out of Bangkok). I called customer service in light of the recent advisory not to travel to Bali. I think the advisory is mostly fear mongering but I understand the gov't has to cya. So, in light of the advisory, I thought I would at least enquire if I could alter my itinerary to maybe fly into Bangkok or KL instead. I was willing to pay the difference. Jet Star was totally unwilling to budge. At the time, I thought, well fair enough, I booked with a budget airline, I guess that is the price you pay for booking budget; they just want to fill their flight to Bali so fine. You would think they would attempt to accommodate given the circumstances, but fair enough. They won't. I'm not exactly pleased but fine.
Then I called back about baggage. I'm just going for a short time, so booked Jet Saver Lite (cabin baggage only). I wanted to know what it would cost to upgrade if I ended up wanting to check luggage. Not excessive luggage. Just what if I wanted to check my bag instead of carry it with me. When I initially purchased my ticket, I think the difference in fare was maybe $17.00 dollars or something. I know Virgin Blue has a policy that if you book online or call ahead, they'll charge you $8.00 to upgrade. If you wait to get to the airport, it is $20. What is Jet Star's policy? Well, first I am told that if I wait until I get to the airport, they'll charge $80. That is a lot. This is why I am calling in advance, I say. What is the cost if I were to pay now? The answer - after being put on hold for a ridiculous amount of time - is 'oh, it is still $80.00 '. I say, well that is awfully punitive since I could have booked the fare with checked baggage initially for way cheaper than that. The answer? Yes, we know. But that is what we'll charge you now that you have already booked your ticket and have no choice (ok, they didn't say that last part...)
In my view, this is appalling customer service. It is one thing to charge extra, and even charge a flat rate at the airport, but $80 if I call several days in advance? I checked online. I could still book the Jet Saver fare (with checked baggage) for less than the $80 dollars difference. So wow. You really do get penalized for booking with Jet Star if any changes need to be made post purchase. I guess I would have been better off with a different airline. I've flown both Tiger and Virgin Blue many many times. And never have had these kinds of problems.