For Tigerair Australia passengers, the free ride is over.
Having taken a softly, softly approach on the issue of cabin baggage for the past eight months, Tigerair says it will begin enforcing its own rules over how much stuff travellers can bring on board.
From September 18, passengers will no longer get away with carrying more than 10kg of hand luggage, more than two bags, or taking bags larger than 54cm x 38cm x 23cm on board a Tigerair flight, the airline said in a statement on Friday.
Tigerair commercial director Adam Rowe said it will send emails to passengers booked to travel on the airline reminding them of the new measures.
Moreover, the airline will offer a 40 per cent “discount” on baggage fees for anyone who falls foul of the rules during the first three months of the new regime.
“We are simply asking all passengers to play by the rules as there will be increased monitoring and the risk of a penalty charge for those that ignore them,” Rowe said in a statement on Friday.
“We urge passengers to make sure they book the right amount of baggage in advance of their journey at the time of booking, or after booking via manage my booking on our webpage, to avoid any extra fees at check in.”
Tigerair said staff have given “penalty free educational warnings” to passengers over the past eight months on the issue of overweight cabin baggage.
Passengers on flights less than one hour and 45 minutes will pay $70 to check in a bag at the airport, while those on flights longer than 145 minutes will be slugged $85. This fee does not include the 40 per cent discount.
Rowe said there was a considerable impact on the airline’s on-time performance when carryon bags needed to be checked in at the boarding gate.
He argued the policy were necessary to make Tigerair more efficient and allow the airline to offer low fares.
“For these reasons our strict carry-on luggage guidelines will not be compromised,” Rowe said.
According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, Tigerair had the worst on-time performance of all the major carriers in June.
About one in four Tigerair flights departed more than 15 minutes late in June, while three in 10 Tigerair flights reached the boarding gate more than 15 minutes after their scheduled arrival time.
Jetstar recently said it would introduce cabin baggage officers at select Australian airports in a bid to control what passengers take on board.