Air New Zealand told to 'be more upfront' about increase in charges

Air New Zealand is under fire from the chief executive of the Aviation Industry Association after it hiked baggage prices last Thursday without directly notifying customers at the time. 

On Tuesday, it was revealed the company had raised its fees for pre-paid, excess and overweight baggage, as well as for domestic pet carriage. In some cases, the fees had been doubled. 

Air New Zealand said it was due to "a high-cost environment, which means we're having to adjust pricing across several areas". 

However, during an interview on Wednesday's AM, Aviation Industry Association chief executive Simon Wallace said the company should have done better. 

"Air New Zealand should have been more upfront," he told co-host Laura Tupou. 

"Certainly, to slip it through as was done last Thursday is not the best way to do it. Be upfront, be clear about it and be clear about why you are doing it." 

Wallace did concede that "airlines are like any business and not immune from any price increases" as well as noting pet charges had not increased in a decade. 

But he warned there would come a "point where passengers won't pay" high fares and additional costs, which could lead to the shutting down of some routes. 

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran had signalled that "ancillary charges" would be rising during an interview with Radio New Zealand in February.

However, while the potential increases had been touted at the time, no date for their introduction was confirmed.

Watch the interview above.