Jetstar’s extra carry-on luggage: How it works
Get up to 14kg in hand luggage – if you're willing to pay.
Over the weekend, low-cost carrier Jetstar quietly rolled out an enhancement to its carry-on luggage options.
Like most bargain airlines, Jetstar has a limit of 7kg for hand luggage, and that policy is strictly enforced, with regular weigh-ins at the gate. If your bag isn't weighed and tagged, you won't be allowed to board.
In September 2018, Jetstar added the ability to upgrade your carry-on from 7kg to 10kg. That proved popular, with Jetstar singling out the new option as one reason for increased revenue in its most recent financials.
Given that, it's not surprising that Jetstar has now increased that allowance. Rather than paying to go up for 7kg to 10kg, you can now pay to go up to 14kg.
That makes sense, not least because it means Jetstar now has a maximum weight that's the same as its parent airline Qantas. As a premium airline, Qantas has long offered two cases of 7kg each. More recently, it tweaked the rules so that one bag could way as much as 10kg, as long as the total combined weight was 14kg or less.
The catch, of course, is that on Qantas, you don't have to pay for that. On Jetstar, you do. And unsurprisingly, you pay rather more for 14kg than you did for 10kg.
The price varies by route, but here's an indicative example. On Sydney-Melbourne, upgrading to 10kg used to cost $13. Now, upgrading to 14kg costs $25. (On the same flight, adding 15kg of checked luggage would cost $21.)
As ever, your own individual travel preferences will determine if this is a good deal. If you're keen to rush straight off the plane and not wait for luggage, it's not a bad choice. If you'll be waiting for an airport shuttle at a regional location, you might as well take the checked option, since you'll end up waiting around for all the checked baggage anyway.
If you're planning to pay for an up-front seat, then paying for a Flex Bundle might be worth considering. On Melbourne-Sydney, that costs $45 and gets you the 14kg and a seat towards the front of the plane plus the ability to switch flights on the same day (though you'll still be up for the cost difference in your fare).
Me, I'm cheap enough and organised enough to stick with the 7kg limit when I'm flying Jetstar. Regardless, I'd prefer to have the choice than be stuck with checking a bag.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.