Air NZ lowers baggage charges

Airline competition stepped up a notch today with Air New Zealand announcing plans to slash its domestic baggage charges.

The move follows budget airline Pacific Blue's decision last week to begin charging domestic customers for checking their bags from September 1.

Pacific Blue travellers buying discount fares will have to pay an extra $8 for luggage weighing up to 23kg, and any weight excess over that will cost a further $8 per kilogram.

The airline blamed skyrocketing oil prices for the extra charge.

However, Air NZ has responded by increasing the weight of luggage passengers can carry without charge and has lowered the cost of excess baggage.

From September 15, Air NZ passengers will be allowed to take a first bag of up to 25kg without incurring costs for extra weight, 5kg more than previously.

Second bags weighing up to 25kg will incur a $15 charge, instead of $5 per kilogram for excess weight.

Air NZ's Bruce Parton said the company's policy change was in recognition of customer loyalty.

"Customers told us that they wanted to pay less for extra baggage and have a simple system that they can understand. The savings under the new policy will be enormous for many customers."

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