Jetstar passengers can now take heavier bags on to planes — for a price.

The airline this week increased the carry-on baggage weight limit from 7kg to 10kg. But passengers on starter fares will have to pay an extra $6 on regional routes and $8 on jet routes.

Jetstar Group chief customer officer Catriona Larritt said the new pricing gave customers more choice.

"Customers told us they'd like the option to carry more on board so we're pleased to be able to offer them the option to purchase an extra three kilos.''


She said the extra carry-on allowance was useful for those travelling with a laptop or camera bag, or those travelling on short trips with an overnight bag who wanted a quick departure from the airport without a wait at the baggage carousel.

Jetstar says any starter fare allows 7kg of combined carry-on weight between two items, at no additional cost.

The airline said customers who buy the more expensive FlexiBiz fare can already take up to 10kg on board with them as part of the bundle's benefits.

The move is another way of raising extra revenue, increasingly important for airlines whose base fares are at low levels due to competition.

Like Jetstar Air New Zealand allows 7kg in free carry-on but earlier this year put up check-in bag charges by up to 50 per cent for extras on its domestic jet flights. Air New Zealand also raised prices for excess bags by as much as 50 per cent this year.

Airlines around the world are making billions of dollars out of ancillary revenue with bag charges yielding an estimated US$23.6b ($32.4b) in the past year.

In the United States $US30 (NZ$45) bag fee is gaining traction as carriers seek to boost revenue to offset higher fuel prices.

United increased the charge for passengers' first checked bag by $5 last Friday, matching a move by JetBlue Airways earlier in the week.