Is this case unjust or is it just plain unjust??? This is the situation. I was booked on a flight from Canberra to Sydney with a connecting flight from Sydney to Narita, Japan as part of the (Japanese Exchange in Teaching program, also known as JET. This was for the 12th of April, 2011 on flight QF806 and QF21. I was well aware of the guidelines of only 1 check-in baggage allowance stated. Contracted long term, 1 baggage was not going to be enough so I looked into what other options I had. This included freight couriers, shipping, posting etc, among which excess baggage arrangements were also considered. I rang a Qantas representative who advised me that for an extra luggage, a fee of $150 was all that was necessary given my situation. This was the best option. I was assured that $150 was the amount to be paid and given that it was a connecting flight, my luggage would be taken all the way.
However, the flight was due for departure on the Tuesday and on the Monday, the day before, a flight change to the schedule was made. The flight was no longer to be a connecting flight. An overnight stay was required and luggage pick-up from Sydney airport had to be made. The changes to the flight plan meant not only an overnight stay in Sydney, but a stop over in Hong Kong as well. This required an additional check-in at Sydney airport. The excess luggage that was applied from Canberra to Sydney and assured as the only excess baggage fee due to the connection of the previous flight arrangements, no longer stood. At Sydney airport I was charged $35/kilo which in my case, was $35 times 24 kilos giving a total of $840.00. This amount can be understood as a rude shock to the system. Time was limited as the new flight plan had a flight that was too early for the shuttle bus from the hotel which a ticket was provided, to be used. A taxi had to be organised for 4am in the morning.
The excess baggage counter did not open till later. On opening, I was brushed aside by the supervisor to allow another customer to push in front of the line for service first on the grounds that she was the supervisor and what she says, goes. The unexpected excess baggage fee has caused undue stress of financial burden on my ability to settle as planned. On talking with my situation with other participants, I was not the only person with excess luggage and every other person was served by somebody who for reasons that the flight was very empty, allowed their excess luggage on without a fee!
I was assured that $150 was all that was needed for my flight to Japan. Had the flight changes not been made, my situation would not have occurred. I was alarmed at the lack of compassion of my situation. It is not my fault of being misinformed by a Qantas representative. It is not my fault that flight changes were made at the last minute and new rules came into play. Given the bad luck that the flight had to be changed and new rules had to be applied, I would not be so disgruntled by the situation had the consistency of the excess baggage fee was applied to all participants.
I complained to Qantas after settling in Japan and trying to manage with the unexpected budget adjustment. A travel voucher was offered immediately upon hearing the undue experience that I had. This offer was not helpful as my contracting organization will be providing my flight back on completion of the contract. When asked to just pay back was is rightfully owed to me, and after many back and forth exchanges of email due to my growing impatience and stress I was most disappointed and they final reply when they took everything back, voucher and all and just left me hanging!!! My situation is not on any part my problem caused by myself. I need the money that was taken wrongfully from me. Can anybody suggest helpful advise or be of any assistance in any way?