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Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is a journalist based in Auckland.

Air NZ's higher excess baggage fees kick in

From next week, extra luggage will cost air travellers more.  Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
From next week, extra luggage will cost air travellers more. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

Air New Zealand customers will be stung with higher excess baggage fees from next week, with the cost of an extra bag on domestic flights set to double.

The move comes after the airline, which is locked in a domestic airfare price war with Jetstar, started cracking down on passengers who try to breach the 7kg carry-on baggage limit.

The cost of one extra check-in bag on domestic flights will double from $30 to $60, while a second extra bag will increase from $75 to $100.

It will also cost more to check in overweight bags, with bags over the 23kg limit to cost an extra $60, up from the current $50.

The new rates will come into force next Tuesday - the same day Air NZ rolls out a new service that lets customers pre-pay for extra bags at a lower rate than they would be charged at the airport.

Domestic customers who use the new pre-pay service will pay $30 for one extra bag and $50 for a second extra bag - half as much as the new excess fees.

Air NZ spokeswoman Marie Hosking said the higher excess fees would encourage customers to plan ahead and pre-purchase their baggage.

She said the charges reflected the cost of carrying additional weight on the aircraft, and the baggage fees did not constitute a large proportion of the company's revenue stream. Excess and overweight fees will also increase on international flights, with the cost of an extra bag to Australia to increase from $75 to $120 - more than double the $55 pre-pay cost.

The cost of an extra bag on other international flights will increase from $115 to $200, with pre-paid baggage to cost between $95 to $155, depending on the destination.

Customers will be able to book pre-paid baggage from this Thursday.

Air NZ customers will also be able to book preferred seats, for a cost, allowing them to choose seats with good locations, extra leg room or more personal space.

Ms Hosking said 70 per cent of customers could already select their seats for free, and the new service would allow the rest to pay to select a seat in advance.

- APNZ

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