AIR JAMAICA CHANGES BAGGAGE POLICY

Bill Alen - May 25, 2009
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Air Jamaica is vastly criticized for their new baggage policy. Passengers are allowed to take less baggage free of charge and are expected to pick it up at the airport within 7 days after arrival.  Air Jamaica, the Jamaican national airline, is the largest airline in the Caribbean. With its Corporate Headquarters in Kingston the airline serves 14 destinations in the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. Already in January 2009 its CEO announced there would have to be some cuts to routes, staff and fleet in 2009. In May the airline introduced the first changes.According to the new baggage policy, passengers in Lovebird Economy class may check only one bag free of charge (they were allowed two before the change). Checking of an additional bag costs them US$25. Lovebird Executive Class passengers may check two bags free of charge (instead of three), the third one costs them US$25. However, what caused a wave of criticism among the travelers is that only the baggage checked free of charge travels on the same plane as the passengers. The additional bags are transported by a different aircraft within seven days and they must be collected at the airport by the travelers. The status of the baggage may be tracked online on the Airline’s web pages. The baggage may have a maximum weight of 50 pounds and total maximum dimensions must not exceed 62 inches. The baggage that is not in accordance with these Air Jamaica’s guidelines will be a subject to additional charges. The company claims the changes are implemented because of weight restrictions on the aircraft.Air Jamaica’s new baggage policy has been in effect for the New York/Grenada route since May 11, 2009. The same policy will apply to New York/Barbados route beginning on July 2, 2009. The New York/Barbados route was canceled earlier this year but it will start its operations again on July 2, 2009 and it will be opened until Aug. 30.

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