About two weeks ago, we flew from Australia to Bali on a budget airline called Jetstar. Before the flight, I checked us in and purchased checked bags for $77 Australian, so about $60 USD. I’d gotten a confirmation email so all we needed at the airport were printed boarding passes.
We got up to the counter, hand over our passports, chunk the luggage up on the scale and wait. “Ok mates that will be AUD$360. And I need a copy of your plane tickets out of Indonesia.” EEERMM I’M SORRY, WHAT?!
Of course, since my phone’s on airplane mode and there’s no wifi around, I can’t pull up the airline website, download the proof I’d paid, or search my email for the return tickets. If I couldn’t get all of this figured out, and soon, we’d be on the hook for $360 for bags, and we’d have to book new flights leaving Bali within the 30 day visa allowance. Needless to say, I had a mini meltdown.
Jeremy is the nice one in our relationship, and I tend to be feisty, especially when I get frazzled. So I went over to the side, bought a few minutes of wifi time and frantically searched my email while Jeremy checked our bank statement to see if payment for the bags had posted. It hadn’t. But I did manage to find the return tickets. I was happy we didn’t have to pay for new flights but totally bummed we’d have to pay for bags.
Jeremy stayed calm (per usual) and I let him do the sweet talking to the gate agent. She agreed to let us pay the reduced fare for bags (which she said was $54AUD, even cheaper than I’d booked them for myself), and said the email confirmation for our return flight was good enough. Then, and we didn’t realize this until later, she didn’t even charge us the $54!
Moral of the story? Check and double check the airline’s requirements, buy your bags ahead of time, and don’t freak out in the airport because it will all work out!