Monday, 20 May 2013

Flying with bikes (Virgin vs Jetstar)

So I've been doing a lot of flying with my bike over the last year, but without even thinking about it, I've been doing it all with Jetstar ... mainly because they've had the best prices for when and where I wanted to fly.

My usual luggage ... except Bec. 
But today I flew back from Melbourne with Virgin Australia ... and was I in for a nasty surprise ...  they'd move to a piece system for their check luggage.

I wonder if I'm the only one who remembers when VirginBlue first started flying in Australia and they had the coolest bike-friendly policy ever ... a bike just counted as 5kgs of your overall luggage, regardless of the weight, and that was super cool.  For many years I didn't consider flying with anyone else ... Virginblue rocked.

Then they wised up and changed their policy so that a bikes weight was just counted towards your normal baggage limit ... which given the stuff I used to shove into my bike box was probably a fair enough move to make.

Today however I rocked up with my 14kg bike and my 5kg clothes bag (I like to keep my clothes separate so they don't get all dirty or ripped) and was asked to fork over an extra $40 for the pleasure of having a second bag.

I wasn't too happy about that.

Now don't get me wrong ... it's their airline, so it's their rules, and I'm OK with that ... but for flying with bikes, Virgin Australia would have to now be my least favourite airline (however I don't fly Tiger), whereas Jetstar with their variable luggage limits (so you can upgrade from 23kgs to 30kgs check in for something like $7) and multi-piece check in are at the top of my airline booking list.  Who'd have thought that would happen five years ago when I was terrified to fly Jetstar in case I went 1kg over the luggage limit ...

Sorry Virgin, not even Branson can make you cool this time.

Disclaimer: I hold a pathetically small holding of Virgin Australia shares, which from memory I inherited when they were split off from Toll or something and which aren't worth selling because I'd probably lose most of it in brokerage.  I don't however hold any Qantas shares ... which kind of makes me think "Why am I even bothering typing this disclaimer?"

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