This is my first review of an airline. Usually, I don’t think to do so. But I’ll admit – this post was inspired by a recent not-so-great experience with the airline.
For those who currently live and travel to and from Japan, you probably already know of Peach Aviation. They’re a pretty small and new airline operating from Japan with very affordable domestic and international flights. They’re still expanding and currently, for those in Korea – the only flights available are those to Kansai in Japan. I have now had two experiences with this airline. Once in September 2013 and the most recent in January 2015.
They are a small airline that flies mostly domestic routes and routes to closer Asian cities/countries like Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The planes are much smaller and you can expect to be waiting at gates for the smaller flights. Also, the seats are a tight fit even for a somewhat petite Asian like myself. They do have seats with a more comfortable space for an extra cost – as long as you’re also willing to assist the flight attendants in the case of an emergency as it is by the escape routes.
They’ve recently cracked down on the baggage weight limit as well. The limit for carry-ons is two items (even if one of these is a plastic bag of duty-free items) and the maximum weight is 10kg. Which.. is a lot harder than you think. Many suitcases are weigh a bit by itself.
So on my flight to Kansai, Seoul airport had me weigh my carry-on suitcase and my purse. I was at 11kg. But they said it was fine and allowed me to board the plane. On the trip, I was very conscious of the fact that I was already overweight in terms of baggage and tried to factor that into my shopping habits. When it was time to head back to Korea, I got the feeling that I may have increased it by a bit but I was hoping that they would let it slide. I was – I have to say – quite prepared for the chance that they wouldn’t and I would have to check in the baggage. Neverless, we got to the airport, checked in – no problem. Until we attempted to go through the gates when we encountered a Peach Airlines employee standing by a scale. She asked me to put my two bags onto the scale, which I did. And it showed to be 12kg. And this is how the rest of the conversation went down:
Peach Airlines employee: Your baggage is way too over. You need to get it checked in.
Me: Oh… really? Okay then. (Taking my purse and my luggage off).
Peach Airlines employee: And it’s not even the right size. Your suitcase is too big for carry-on. You can’t carry that onto any flight. Go check it in.
You know what? I got it the first time. I never argued. And my carry-on suitcase is actually standard size for a carry-on. I’ve never had any problems with any other airlines – including Peach in the past – with the size of it. Your airline let me fly to Japan with it being slightly overweight AND the size that it was. So yeah, I felt like she was taunting me when I was already having to deal with the fact that I now had to pay an extra $44 USD to check in my suitcase. It was the tone and expression in which she said it as well.
So my latest experience with Peach Airlines did not end well. Would I fly with them again? Most likely. They still have the cheapest airfare around with so many sales. But next time, I may just opt to have a checked-in bag from the start as it’s cheaper to do it online than to have to do it at the last minute at the airport. I’m not about to get into an argument about it at the airport – I want to be able to get onto my flight and reach my destination safely.
Peach Airlines website here.