Jetstar has started charging parents to travel with their baby on their laps on domestic and international flights.
Although the infants will not get their own seat for this cost, passengers wishing to travel with babies will fork out $30 per child, per one-way journey on domestic Australian flights and $50 on international flights with the budget carrier.
Infants over two years of age will now need to travel in their own seat, while kids under two can travel on an adults lap.
When flying with Jetstar, it was previously free to bring infants on domestic flights and on flights between Australia and New Zealand, provided they travelled on a lap. Other international flights previously had a $40 fee.
The changes came into effect Monday, May 15, 2017.
According to a Jetstar spokesperson, the changes bring Jetstar on par with one of Australia’s other low-cost carrier, TigerAir.
"We know that fees and charges can be unpopular, but giving customers' choice and charging each customer for what they actually need helps us to offer the lowest possible fares, every day," she said.
It is currently free to bring a baby on Qantas and Virgin domestic services but for international flights, adult passengers are charged an extra 10 per cent on top of their full fare to carry a baby on their laps.
Jetstar also offers passengers an allowance of up to four oversized infant items, an offer no other airline provides, which seems generous considering how much excess baggage charges can sting.
Adding to Jetstar’s competition, Singapore-based airline Scoot has just bought a new fleet of eight 787-8 Dreamliners, and has plans to fly from Australia to Europe for just $1000.
The new planes are designed to be ultra-light, and feature a carbon-fibre body, fuel-efficient wings and a new engine that all add up to a lower operating cost, meaning the savings are passed onto customers.
The budget flight is focusing on a ‘no-frills’ approach to international travel, with food and entertainment not included in the price of the ticket.
Passengers will have to purchase these luxuries at an additional cost.
“At the end of the day, we think most customers still can accept and enjoy our product in spite of these differences,” Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin said at a press conference.
Scoot is hoping to break into the Australian market with their eye-catching offer off a returned ticket to Athens, Greece from select Australian cities, connecting through Singapore, for just $1000AUD.
These Scoot flights start in June 2017.