Posted May 19, 2009 by Carl Unger
Air Jamaica announced a new $25 baggage fee for the second checked bag. Yawn, right? Little late to the party, Air Jamaica! Airlines have been adding these fees for over a year. And by keeping the first bag free, Air Jamaica actually joins the ranks of more lenient U.S. carriers like Southwest and JetBlue.
But it's not the $25 that has Air Jamaica in the running for Most Absurd Fee Ever. It's this, from the airline's press release announcing the new fee: "Passengers are guaranteed delivery of the free baggage allowance on the same flight on which they travel. All other bags will be transported within seven days, and must be collected from the airport. The status of these bags may be tracked online at www.AirJamaica.com/baggage to determine when they may be collected." The policy affects only two routes, New York-Grenada and New York-Barbados.
If you just did a spit take while reading that quote, well, that will teach you to drink while reading the BookingBuddy blog. But yes, you read correctly. Air Jamaica's new policy is that baggage you pay to check will arrive within seven days, while your free baggage arrives with you.
Let me try to make some sense out of this. The airline is clearly trying to discourage people from checking multiple bags, likely in the hope of simplifying its business and saving money. This is the driving force behind baggage fees in general. And to further unburden itself of the task of transporting baggage, Air Jamaica will now do so at its convenience, not that of its paying customers.
Alright, I tried—this makes zero sense. If anything, you would expect the bags you pay for to receive special attention. Instead, Air Jamaica is taking your money in exchange for a downgrade from the service you normally receive for free.
And that, my fellow travelers, is simply absurd.
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