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Air Jamaica Policy: Second Checked Bag Costs $25 & Arrives Within a Week!

 

I can only hope that this announcement from Air Jamaica is a misprint, misstatement, or someone had one Red Stripe too many before coming up with what must have seemed like a good idea at the time!  Air Jamaica’s new luggage policy for flights between New York and Barbados and New York and Grenada is hilarious! Not only will coach class passengers pay $25 to check a second bag and first class passengers will pay the same for their third checked bag, the extra service you get for this charge is that your bag will be delayed up to one week, you’ll need to go to the airport to pick the bag up as they won’t deliver it to you, and you’ll have to track the bag’s progress online as they won’t be advising you about your bag’s journey.

I have flown with Air Jamaica in their Executive Lovebird service and it was really lovely!  But I think I’d have to wear layers and layers and layers of garments like a refugee fleeing a repressive society before I’d check a piece of luggage that is planned to show up as late as a week later, that I’d have to go back to an airport to pick up and have to  pay $25 for the experience. Can you imagine going on vacation, having your additional bag delayed up to a week and then realizing that your bathing suit and the special outfit your were going to wear for an occasion you were celebrating is in the bag that is delayed? Above the $25 per bag expense, you’ll also lose a day of your vacation going to the airport to get the bag when it arrives!

Ah, you say, the airport is just an hour from your hotel.  Let me tell you that an hour trip to the airport will kill the whole day.  If you go to the airport after breakfast and arrive there at 11am, believe me when I tell you it’s not going to be a quick turn around there as you wait to claim your luggage.  By the time you get back to your hotel it will be after 1pm, and if, like me, you’re going to have lunch now, it will be 3pm before you get to the beach.   For me, that’s a lost day! 

You have to give Air Jamaica an award for creativity. Usually, companies impose additional charges for additional service. That is award-winning for a new low for lack of service  and charging for the added inconveniences especially from the company that started with a mission to make the passenger’s experience exceptionally charming with Lovebird service, complimentary champagne to toast your trip, and once upon a time provided fashion shows in-flight featuring tropical resort wear for the onboard entertainment of their Caribbean-bound passengers. How cool was that?  Where did the marketing folks who were focused on the passenger experience and customer service go?  Bring them back!

If Air Jamaica’s purpose is to discourage travelers from flying to Barbados and Grenada, they’ve come up with a good plan.  If you reside in those destinations, it might not bother you to have your additional luggage arrive a week after you do, but as a vacationer, you may actually pass your luggage in the air as you are departing from the destination and your additional baggage is finally arriving. 

For decades I have said that the day I understand this industry will be the day to quit because I’ll know at that moment that there’s something wrong with me! Happily, Air Jamaica’s new luggage plan assures me that my sanity is in tact in this crazy industry.   It seems to me, that if Air Jamaica doesn’t have enough flights to these destinations and if their planes are too small to fit all of the passengers’ luggage onto the same plane, they should be lowering the fare by $25 per bag that is delayed to compensate their patrons for the inconvenience!

I have to check with Jim Grace, President & CEO of Insure My Trip to see if there is a policy to cover delayed luggage when the airline tells you in advance that your luggage is going to be delayed!  That really introduces a conundrum! If you know your luggage is going to be delayed up to seven days before you leave home, could that inconvenience be covered with delayed baggage insurance as a pre-existing condition? What do you think, Jim?

Your personal travel expert,

Stephanie  Abrams

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

2 Responses to “Air Jamaica Policy: Second Checked Bag Costs $25 & Arrives Within a Week!”

  1. livinginbarbados says:

    This is even crazier if you try to figure out what is supposed to happen with clearing US Customs for the 2nd+ bag. Surely the US are not going to waive the requirements, so where will they do the checks? Or imagine a parent with infant and two bags and a stroller, which to check first? Then if the 2nd plus items dont arrive for a week what will it be, wheeling child around with no clothes or carting child around with no wheels?

    As you ask, what is ‘delayed’ luggage when you promise not to transport with the flight?

    Finally, what if your luggage cannot be through ticketed to your final destination, which is not NY/JFK? Do, you have to book a connecting flight after the bags arrive?

    I don’t think Red Stripe could be blamed for this nutty set of ideas. It must have been ganja!

  2. Livinginbarbados makes some great points and gave me my laugh of the day! I was focused on the experience of the outbound passenger on Air Jamaica headed for Grenada or Barbados. But the return trip is even more complex for an even larger portions of passengers if you consider such things as those connecting in NYC to their final destination with their luggage headed for JFK up to a week later and Air Jamaica expecting the passenger to return from their home town to JFK to pick up their luggage!

    We live in the Beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. The trip to JFK is about 180 miles each way. Having to drive back to JFK up to 7 days after our return home to pick up luggage planned for late arrival woud present the decisive reason to choose another carrier or wear all of my clothes on board!

    But think about how impossible it would be to connect with your luggage if your final destination was St. Louis, Missouri or Manchester, England! Going back to JFK to collect your luggage would be out of the question.

    Not everyone has the luxury of traveling light which is clearly the viable alternative. There is a new company called Luggage Forward (www.luggageforward.com). They could be the answer to many passengers wishes.

    Do you get the feeling that just maybe the folks at Air Jamaica didn’t think this one all the way through?

    How about this one: Barbados is a big golfing destination. Golfers flying from JFK to Barbados with Air Jamaica would be faced with the problem of paying $25 to have their clothes arrive up to week late so that their golf clubs would arrive with them or they could have their clothes arrive with the and plan not to play golf until their clubs got there. That would go over big, doncha think!

    This one has to go up for the least thought out plan of the year in the travel industry. Somebody stayed up really late to come up with this. If you saw it in a sitcom you’d say it’s too far fetched and overwritten!

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