I recently completed a journey that included a couple of legs on JetStar Asia. As the majority of the trip was with some other folks, and booked by their agency, I didn't pay a lot of attention to the carrier they selected for my extra side trip to Singapore. Prior to the trip, I vaguely recalled that JetStar Asia was an LCC, but hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to their conditions of carriage.
Morning dawns in Yangon, I check in with China Air for their leg to Taipai and ask if the bags can be checked through to Singapore. Agent takes forever to generate tags and has to call two other agents over to help her, but I chalk that up to the fact that she's wearing a trainee badge. I confirm the tags do have both the China Air flight to Taipai and the Jetsar leg to Singapore printed on them.
Get to Taipai and ask a China Air gate rep where the JetStar transfer desk was. He says we need to exit through immigration and reenter through departures as Jetstar doesn't do airside transfers. OK
, have 4 hours to kill so no problem. Head towards immigration, notice a Taiwan Visa office and decide to confirm what Chira Air rep said. She says, no, we must transfer with China Air, so head back to gate rep. He appologizes profusely, says they have this problem frequently, walks us to TW
Immigration and explains what needs to be done. US is Visa Waiver in TW
, so no problem passing us through with a stamp on the passports.
JetStar counter doesn't open for 45 minutes, so we camp out and wait. First to check in, no problem, agent is surprised we have no baggage, I explain that it was checked through. She shrugs and hands us boarding passes. Back through Immigration, grab a bite to eat airside and walk to gate.
A few minutes before departure, hear our name being paged. Agent at counter asks if we had bags. I said 3, but they were checked through from Rangon by China Air. Agent ask for tags - but I had accidentally left those up in Immigration on entry. Assured him that the tags showed the bags checked through. He said they'd look for them. Boarding call - agent says they found the bags. Indeed, when we arrived in Singapore, they were on the belt.
Prior to return to Taipai a few days later, I decide I better read up on JetStar. They are an LCC along the lines of Ryan Air, charging for the first kilo of checked bags as well as overweight carryons. Expecting the worst, we throw away as much as we can and get ourselves down to two checked bags. JetStar counter agent in Singapore asks to see itinerary for followon leg from Taipai to LAX
. Checks bags at no charge but says we'll have to recheck in Taipai - no interlining. No counter check on carryon weight.
Do the Immigration dance in Taipai, get more passport stamps, recheck bags and all is well.
Not sure if it was just my pleasant smile, or they really do allow free bags on connections, but it was a nice outcome.