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Jetstar Airlines Charge For Carry-On CPAPs

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Yesterday Jetstar Airlines charged me $60 to take my Resmed CPAP onboard their plane.

Many years ago I was told by my Respiratory Specialist that CPAP machines were classified as medical equipment and were allowed onboard aircraft without charge and numerous doctors and airline staff have told me the same thing since.

I have carried my CPAP onto about 20 Jetstar flights in the past 5 years without any issue or challenge.

I purchased this ticket unaware of any change in policy hence unaware of the need to buy an additional luggage allowance in advance for my CPAP.

I am a Jetstar Club member and I have authorised Jetstar notices via email yet I recieved no notification or warning of this change in policy.

I have since spent ages going round in circles within their website reading rules and policies etc and eventually did find a confusing reference to CPAP with a link to Check-In baggage rules but I certainly didn't find any warning of these changes and the impact on regular customers.

So suddenly, after 20 flights, the Jetstar staff members insisted on weighing my CPAP and proceeded to charge me $60 for the machine.

Apparently I had two choices. Check it into baggage, which I simply cannot do, or carry it onboard which was going to cost me $60.

Because of their extreme baggage charges once you reach the airport this is, for their previous CPAP customers, a form of entrapment and robbery by Jetstar. Without adequate warning it is unethical and unconscionable conduct on their part.

When I objected I was told by both attendants that "everybody has a CPAP now" and another staff member was most insistent that "1 in 3 or 4 passengers have CPAP machines" He even explained that I was being unreasonable in my objections because he had seen some couples with a CPAP each! (with righteous vindication on his part)

These justifications were, to me, gross exaggerations and displayed either ignorance or deception being used to overcome guilt or discomfort with the policies they were being required to enforce.

You all know how I feel about my machine. It is an abominable curse and detestable to the extreme. If I could possibly survive without it, no matter the discomfort or cost I would have given it back to the hospital a long time ago. CPAP Endurance

The implication that my machine is some kind of trendy fashion accessory was so ludicrous that I was dumbstruck!

Anyway my objection wasn't about their policy or their charges but their failure to provide sufficient warning or notification.

I lodged a complaint with Jetstar and am awaiting a response. (They have kindly agreed to refund the excess carry-on fee.)

So be warned that Jetstar now weigh and charge for CPAP machines if you are not willing to check them into normal baggage.

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Sierra +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Innovater

You may want to file a complaint with the transportation board. I have traveled quite recently in Canada with the lowest of the low service airlines (Swoop). They charged me $37 each way for a normal carry on bag that regular service airlines allow at no cost. But I knew it ahead of time, and no they did not charge me for the CPAP.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Thanks Sierra,

I don't like wading into trouble any deeper than I need to but it's been a bad few weeks for me and I'm penniless as per usual so this was just the icing on the cake.

I'll give Jetstar a reasonable opportunity to respond before I take it any further.

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KangarooTailStew +0 points · 4 months ago

Thanks for the warning BUG. By the time I add this to all their other charges it's starting to look like just one more reason to switch to Virgin Airlines.

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4ntwenty +0 points · 4 months ago

Wow that is harsh! I'd be seriously cheesed off if that happened to me! Let us know what happens. I don't think it's just about warning customers. It seems like there is something wrong with the whole concept of discounting the need for CPAP machines. I wonder if the forums or CPAP organizations could do something to put pressure on them?

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bonjour +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Commentator

Forums are not lobby organizations. That said all of you down under types could email jerstar that because of this you you will be using other airlines.

Ask them if they can 100% guarantee that after being tossed about, likely further than regular luggage, your CPAP will be without damage and in perfect working order. Replacement is unacceptable because you cannot sleep without it. You got the idea. Hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I would never let my CPAP out of my hands because, as you imply bonjour, there are too many risks and no effective safeguards especially if you are arriving at a strange place late at night.

Just to compound the situation this particular machine belongs to the Launceston General Hospital and their contract forbids putting the machine through Check-in baggage.

They clearly understand that a machine, which cost them thousands of dollars and is considered to be a vital life support system, would be at risk if it was checked-in without all of it's original packaging for transport.

Our laptops and other electrical devices would be safer in general luggage than a CPAP.

Devices are, after all, designed for frequent travel where a CPAP is not.

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bonjour +0 points · 4 months ago Sleep Commentator

And heaven forbid they should load it on the wrong plane, that happened to my luggage on one trip.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 4 months ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Jetstar have been polite and responsive and they have decided to refund the $60

I don't think this is a general policy and it won't change the problems CPAP users will face in the future but I certainly appreciate it right now.

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