Qantas is pushing the amount it charges passengers for excess baggage up by 75%

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and former international cricketer and captain of Australia Michael Clarke (sitting).
Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

Qantas is quietly lifting the amount it slugs passengers for excess baggage by 75 per cent.

The airline has been charging passengers who exceed their checked baggage allowance $40 for their first extra piece of luggage and $60 for each subsequent piece.

But on Friday, Qantas will increase that to $70 for the first excess piece of luggage – a 75 per cent increase – and $90 for each additional piece.

The “heavy charge” that is levied for single items weighing over 23 kilograms has jumped from $30 to $50 and pre-purchasing an extra piece of luggage on domestic flights has been increased from $30 to $35.

“Qantas has generous checked baggage limits compared to other airlines, so there’s a very small percentage of customers who actually have to purchase additional baggage,” the spokeswoman said.

The new excess baggage fees bring Qantas into line with its major domestic competitor, Virgin Australia.

Charges for additional and excess baggage on international flights have not changed.

‘A new era for Qantas’

The new fees kick in a day after Qantas’ biggest promotional event of the year: the unveiling of the features in its 787-9 Dreamliner fleet, which will arrive on Australian runways in 12 months.

Unveiling the aircraft’s features at Sydney Airport on Thursday morning, chief executive Alan Joyce said the Dreamliner would change Qantas’ operations into the future.

“The Dreamliner is an aircraft that has been designed for comfort, it’s an aircraft that’s going to revolutionise our network in flying routes we could have only imagined in the past,” Mr Joyce said.

Qantas has not announced where the eight Dreamliners, due to come online in 2017 will fly, but has indicated it will take over routes currently serviced by B747s and will add new destinations to its international network.

The aircraft will seat 236 passengers, with a 1-2-1 configuration in business class, giving each passenger direct aisle access, a 2-3-2 configuration in premium economy and 3-3-3 in economy.

Qantas has also overhauled its iconic flying kangaroo logo for only the fifth time in more than 70 years.

“This is a new era for Qantas, and like major milestones in our past, when we’ve seen new changes and new eras coming, we felt that we need to change our look or design to reflect that new era,” Mr Joyce said.

The new logo was streamlined and had drop shading to give a better sense of movement and depth, while a silver band stretching from the tail to the rear of the fuselage gave it a more “premium” feel, according to Qantas’ designer Marc Newson.

Having lost its wings in an overhaul in 1984, and the new streamlined flying kangaroo appears to have had its arms removed.

This article first appeared on Business Day. Read the original article here.

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