Air travel is a necessary but cumbersome aspect of being a touring musician, so when Aussie airline Jetstar recently introduced a new fee which would increase the price of travelling with instruments, they started a bit of a shit-storm.
In late, March the Qantas-owned airline implemented a new $25 ‘oversized item’ fee for each piece of oversized baggage per flight, and for musos making many trips a year, it was never going to sit well.
Jetstar’s new “separate handling” fee applies to all checked items longer than one metre, with the weight of those oversized items counting towards your total checked baggage weight. So even though the weight counts towards your baggage, you still pay the ‘oversized item’ fee for each oversized item you bring on board.
Tom Brockman, who plays drums in Aussie metal act Taberah, took to social media to point out that these new charges would cost his band an extra $150 on each return flight.
“Just wondering if you can justify the new ‘Oversize baggage handling fee’ that has just appeared out of no where and has totally fucked travelling musicians?” Brockman posted to the Jetstar Facebook page, also saying that he’d be “willing to carry the guitars to the plane for you if it’s THAT much of a hassle”.
His post has attracted the attention of hundreds of punters, as well as some other musicians who can’t understand the reasoning behind the new ‘oversized item’ fee.
Responding to their concerns in a statement to Music Feeds, a Jetstar spokesperson says, “We have introduced a fee to cover the additional manual handling required for sporting equipment and musical instruments over one metre in length compared to standard bags.
“Until now we have absorbed the cost of having extra staff and equipment to handle bikes, golf clubs, guitars and other oversized items. We know that extra fees and charges aren’t popular, but charging for optional extras helps us to offer the lowest fares possible every day.”
Jetstar don’t exactly have the best reputation with musicians right now, after the airline temporarily lost thousands of dollars of Tash Sultana’s equipment last year.
View Brockman and his fellow musicians’ Facebook comments, below.