A New Zealander is claiming Jetstar ground staff at Queenstown Airport got stuck into her box of cherries. The unidentified woman was checking in for a flight to Auckland last month and was told her luggage was overweight. As a gesture of good will, Jetstar staff temporarily stored the cherries to allow the passenger to make alternative arrangements. When the passenger chased the cherries up the following day, she discovered the box was significantly lighter.
Luggage overweight and box of cherries jettisoned
The story is reported in Christchurch’s Star News today. According to the newspaper, the passenger was among a group of four people boarding a Jetstar flight from Queenstown to Auckland on December 11. The report didn’t identify what flight the passenger was on, but Jetstar typically has three direct flights a day between Queenstown and Auckland.
When checking-in, the passenger’s luggage was over the allowance. Like most low-cost airlines, Jetstar gives you a small complimentary cabin bag allowance. However, checked-in luggage costs more and starts at NZ$11 for a 15kg bag. Typically, Jetstar is fairly tough with its luggage policies.
Jetstar told Simple Flying the passenger group was offered the opportunity to upgrade their carry-on baggage allowance at both check-in and boarding however, they declined. Jetstar then offered to store the cherries until arrangements were made to pick them up.
According to The Star report, the passenger claims she offered to pay cash to cover the difference, but Jetstar counters don’t take cash. Because the flight was close to closing, she also claims she wasn’t given the time to lighten her luggage by taking anything out.
Friendly baggage handler investigates, finds cherries in Jetstar’s staff fridge
That’s when things went slightly haywire. The following day, when someone went out to the airport to collect the prized cherries, they were still there. Or at least some of them were.
At Queenstown Airport, The Star reports a friendly outsourced Jetstar baggage handler went and had a look in the staff fridge out the back, and success, there was the box. But a lot of the cherries were missing. The passenger was unimpressed and claimed Jetstar staff had eaten her cherries.
“They’ve got no right to eat them. It is against their policies. We picked those cherries with love, and that is what hurts,” the cherry deprived passenger told The Star. Given the price of cherries, who can blame the lady for being so unhappy?
But Jetstar told Simple Flying the cherries were left at the airport voluntarily by the passenger. The airline categorically refutes the suggestion any Jetstar employee opened the box of cherries or ate any.
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According to the report, Jetstar offered NZ$50 in compensation and said it was investigating the passenger’s claims. We are unable to ascertain Jetstar’s policy on what happens when a passenger surrenders foodstuffs or drinks. But it’s pretty good customer service offering to store something and have it picked up later – especially from a low-cost carrier.
The fate of the remaining half box of cherries remains unknown.