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Tigerair introduces new carryon fee option

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 17, 2015

A Tigerair Australia Airbus A320 at Hobart. (Rob Finlayson)

Tigerair Australia will be the first airline in this country to offer a carryon baggage fee for passengers wanting to take on board more than the permitted 7kg.

The airline is introducing a new cabin+ option that increases the carryon allowance to 12kg spread over two bags “subject to available space and passenger comfort and safety on board”.

The changes apply for bookings made from March 17 for travel on or after April 17, Tigerair said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move towards a carryon bag fee brings Tigerair in line with the practice of so-called ultra low-cost carriers in the US such as Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier, who also have carryon fees.


In the case of those three US airlines, passengers are allowed to take one carryon bag at no charge provided it fits under the seat in front, while travellers who want to use the overhead locker or bring on a second bag have to pay a fee.

Tigerair is currently second only to Qantas in terms of the generosity of its carryon allowance, with passengers able to take 10kg spread over two bags on board.

However, the change brings Tigerair in line with its owner Virgin Australia and Jetstar, who both have a 7kg limit on carryon luggage. Qantas allows passengers to take up to two bags each weighing up 7kg on board most flights, with the exception of Dash8 and Olympic Dam services.

Tigerair says the 7kg limit has been introduced to manage overcrowding in the overhead lockers, assist with passenger safety and improve on-time performance.

The cabin+ fee starts at $18 for shorter flights and $23 for longer flights if purchased online prior to travel, or $36/$46 at the airport.

If the bag needs to be checked in, Tigerair charges passengers who have not pre-booked online $70 for flights up to 105 minutes long or $85 for longer flights.

Tigerair commercial director Adam Rowe said the new guidelines have been introduced in response to customer feedback.

“People generally understand and support these requirements as there is only a finite amount of available overhead locker space,” Rowe said.

“Passenger safety and comfort are key considerations, as is the considerable impact on the airline’s on-time performance when bags need to be transferred to the hold if they are oversized.

“Tigerair continues to be as clear and transparent as possible on the matter of baggage selection and excess baggage and provided that our passengers book the right amount of baggage in advance, they will avoid any extra fees at check-in.”

Meanwhile, Tigerair owners Virgin Australia has also made changes to its baggage policies.

The airline removed its no checked bag Saver Lite fares across its domestic and short-haul international network on Tuesday. Long-haul flights to Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles already included a checked bag with every ticket.

The only routes where a bag-free fare can be purchased is for flights between Australia and New Zealand, which keeps Virgin in line with its alliance partner Air NZ’s fare structure for trans-Tasman travel.

The end of the Saver Lite fare has change has also coincided with increased prices for Saver, Flexi and Business Class tickets on certain routes.

For example, a Saver fare for travel from Sydney to Melbourne on June 2 was $95 on the Virgin website on Monday, when Saver Lite was still available.

On Tuesday morning, once Saver Lite option was removed, Saver fares had increased to $109, while flexi ($355 vs $339 before the change) and business ($699 v $675) had also gone up.

Virgin’s rival Qantas includes a checked bag with every ticket.

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Comments (10)

  • Ken


    Huh!, any bag in the overhead lockers even if under 7 KG is charged extra?

    My small wheelie bag will not fit under the seat and weighs less than 7KG so will be charged a fee to bring along!
    if that is the case then i will not be flying, How rediculous

  • SeeSure


    “assist with passenger safety”. I don’t think so, in the event of an accident all those bags stuffed under the seat become missiles, that is not safe at all. The safest thing is to have as much as possible of the hand luggage in the overhead bins. Although, re-reading the article it only says that is what comparable US based airlines do, it does not specifically say that will be Tigers policy.

  • marc


    I had a bag once, but I got rid of her.

  • George


    whats next a fee to use the toliet ?

    How many more add ons will there be ?

    What happened to just looking after your clients to ensure repeat business
    with out wroughting them along the way for every extra penny you can get.

    Give your clients a little something goes along way in business

    Give a little, get alot in return

  • Peter R


    Tigerair is a Low Cost Carrier…..what do you expect ?

  • William


    I can’t see how a bag under a seat has more potential of becoming a missile than a bag in an overhead bin. I would assume the bars at front of the seat would prevent too much forward movement. Personally I think airlines aren’t tough enough on enforcing carry on baggage limits because I’ve seen people with ridiculously big roller bags that don’t fit in the overhead bins unless they’re put in sideways and take up too much space.

  • Craigy


    Not a problem for me. I have no inclination to fly tigerair.

  • Hilton Conroy


    This is a fraud.. it has nothing to do with passenger safety, delays or locker space. Please be honest and do not take your customers as fools.. It would be fairer and obviously more honest to add about $10 to ALL fares to allow the same revenue.. that’s what it is about anyway.. My wife and I juts flew to Melbourne on Tigerair and there was no sign of delays. The lockers were chockers though. The new 7KG policy will actually ensure that those overhead lockers will be even more crowded. One simple reason .. couples like us will now take two 7 KG bags instead of just fitting all clothes etc in one 10 kg bag. Isn’t that obvious??? .. A large percentage of your customers are couples. So clearly this shows the changes are simply a slightly sneaky way to increase revenue without telling the public your fares have increased. This is the kind of thing that has got budget airlines a bad reputation all over the world. For goodness sake please stop this dishonest nonsense.

  • Bruckle Steinovich


    Tigerair and Ryanair in the UK are tarred with the same brush….cheap, nasty, and its Raftery’s rules to get to a non-allocated seat. Their terminals are the furthest away point from civilisation, and check-in staff love your overweight luggage. …Try and take a carry on bag that is slightly larger than the permitted dimensions with Ryanair.
    The seats are so close together there is no room to move, Cattle class for sure. It’s $$$$ mate, nothing less. Big people like me would be better off with a standing room strap hanging from the ceiling.

  • PB


    Quoting Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit in the United States ia hardly an endorsement of this practice. These three carriers are bucket shops – they promote low fares and make it up on unethical add ons like baggage fees.
    Scum usually rises to the top – in the airline industry the scum is Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit, and people ride with them just once before they realise the total cost of traveling.
    RyanAir and EasyJet started this trend – all of these bucket shop carriers provide a balance to the higher fare, conventional air carriers, but even those conventional carriers have stuck it to their passengers by charging fees.
    Only Southwest has stuck to free bags and ethical, open and honest picket pricing, and the market loves Southwest because of it. Southwest doesn’t make promises – you get a seat, a soft drink, maybe a snack, and no unethical hidden charges, and their planes fly full. If the likes of Frontier did the same it would be making money. Frontier is struggling. Allegiant is a charter carrier which sells seat blocks to hotels, casinos and cruise ships and tops off flights with open sales so Allegiant has a different model.
    To see Tiger pull this stunt is weak and it will cost them business. It’s a sucker bet.
    But to quote Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit as an example is pathetic beyond belief.

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