Qantas is cracking down on overweight carry-on baggage

Font Size:

Qantas has reportedly been cracking down on carry-on baggage weight limits over the past month, with regular weight checks reported by passengers – and no bags being spared.

While many airlines, aside from Jetstar, are fairly lax about monitoring carry-on bag weight, it seems the premium airlines are now placing a priority on making passengers stick to the limit.

And no bag is being spared, with one passenger reporting on Australian Business Traveller that all bags were being inspected and weighed, regardless of whether they looked heavy or light.

“I was on QF427 from Sydney to Melbourne on Sunday morning and every single piece of carry-on luggage was being weighed. No exceptions for business class or status, if you were on QF427 your carry-on bags were weighed. I was under the 7kg bag limit but a lot of people weren’t; some were over by less than 1kg and were still being instructed to check in their bags. A lot of complaining being done. So, it seems like these sporadic bag checks, which have been reported in the past are still happening. Personally, I don’t mind them. Rules are rules after all, and I always make a habit of packing light,” wrote one passenger.

“I was also on the flight,” wrote another passenger. “The whole thing was a debacle, with boarding slowed considerably. My roller, at 7.5kg and well under the prescribed size limits, had to be sent to the hold. The justification was apparently that there are a number of crew currently injured from having lifted or moved bags well over the 7kg limit.”

The weight checks have reignited calls for increased weight limits for carry-on bags, with some passengers missing the old 10kg limits.

“I do think 7kg is a bit light … 10kg is ideal from my perspective. Depending on the bag, it can weigh 1kg or more on its own. I do agree with the post above that if you can’t lift it yourself no matter how light, then check it in,” said one passenger.

But others had suggestions for how to get around the 7kg weight limit.

“Don’t forget that QF cabin luggage allowance includes a second bag, such as a handbag, laptop computer, overcoat, small camera, for almost all their flights, for all cabin classes and passenger status. Exceptions are for the Dash 8 and destinations like Lord Howe Island. Other airlines that permit that second bag specify the dimensions as being 40x30x15cm. So, if your cabin bag is 8kg and it’s weighed, then simply remove your laptop, etc.” wrote one savvy flyer.

Others claim that the second bag – or ‘personal item’ – can also weigh up to 7kg.

Others are just happy that weight limits finally being enforced.

“These rules have been around for a while. I really can’t see a problem with it. The number of times I have seen people cramming small suitcases into overhead bins. I think it is high time the rule was enforced. I am all in favour,” said the passenger.

“Good on you, Qantas, for doing something right for a change. I hope all airlines enforce this more often. Really annoys me when I go to put something in the overhead and it’s full, especially when the seats below are still empty,” wrote another.

Does the carry-on law enforcement bother you? How often are you over the limit? Do you have any suggestions for people trying to travel with carry-on bags only?

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


New baggage rules for international flights from Australia

As of 30 June, new baggage rules came into effect at all Australian airports.

How to pack for weeks in a carry-on bag

Pack for a two-month holiday in a carry-on 22 inch suitcase and a small backpack

Simple tips to help you avoid paying baggage fees

A few tricks to make sure you never have to pay excess baggage fees.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 49
  1. 0

    At last! More time is wasted with people stashing stuff in the overhead locker than if they had waited in baggage collection.

    • 0

      You are right of course, but then we waited 4 days over in Europe for our bags to reach us. Four days in the same clobber is not ideal either. If you go for a month or more might be better to get new clothes at a cheaper department store and then leave the stuff at a thrift shop. Asian destination are especially good for that; my elderly aunt did exactly that every time she went to an Asian country.

    • 0

      Completely agree Rosret.

      As frequent travellers we almost always have weight issues with our bags on return flights but try to be right on or no more than 0.3 kg over for checked bags. Only ever been pulled up once and that was for full flight in America where they were policing weight limits to the gram. Funny thing on that flight was that I am lightweight and pointed out to the guy checking us in that most of his countrymen are double what I weigh. A waste of time and I had to part with 2 tins of Greek tomato paste. I’m sure somebody enjoyed them though.

      Carry ons: Is a bit rough knocking back a 7.5 kg carry on although ours sometimes go to about 7.3 kg. That’s realistic and using the dodgy excuse of cabin staff injuries is a furfy because cabin staff do not as a rule handle carry-ons.
      My real gripe with carry-on baggage is the size of the bags, sometimes 2 carry-ons per passenger because the bags are not checked when you board and your overhead locker being full when you get to your seat. If Qantas staff want to crack down on carry-ons they should start with passengers putting their bags in other traveller’s lockers.

      We’ve never had a problem with Qantas but then we carry our own scales, pack well and if challenged always have something we can take out and wear onto the plane….and then take off again.

    • 0

      Spot on Mick, different budget airlines in Europe have different rules, amazingly most go on size rather that weight, I don’t know how popular the overcoat bags are, but you can buy them online, you load all your stuff in them and you can travel with little or no luggage, I haven’t seen one, so I don’t no if they are an urban myth

    • 0

      Fully agree with Mick’s comments. Maybe each overhead locker should be marked with the seat numbers and no-one else can put their excess in someone else’s space unless there is still room left after those allocated are seated. Recently traveled from Sydney to Adelaide and had to go back 15 rows of seats before I could find any overhead locker room, and as we had a seat by the emergency exit we could not put it under the seat. Then when you get off you have to wait until everyone else is of before you can retrieve your carry on bag.

  2. 0

    My son in law is an engineer with Quantas. Some of the stories he has told me have put me off ever flying with them. An accident waiting to happen. I also regard them as overpriced and overated, compared with other airlines I have flown with.

    • 0

      Over priced compared to who? Qatar Airlines? Phillipines Airlines? Malaysian Airlines?
      My only concern with Qantas is when they took aircraft maintenance to Asia to be done. I am surprised one has not yet fallen out of the sky but their record is so far intact so who better?

    • 0

      Well Mick Singapore who were the top rating airline are cheaper, as are Emirates to name just a couple. We fly to Europe regularly and my personal prefference is Royal Brunei, they don’t serve alcohol but that does’nt bother me and they have new planes and extremely good flight crew.

    • 0

      I have been travelling at least once a year to Europe for the past 20 years at least, our last trip earlier this year with British airways, we travelled from the end of May to July, the fare was $1350 return, Singapore, Emirates and Qantas where more expensive, I admit I didn’t check some of the airlines mentioned, the year before Qantas was the cheapest, most times Singapore are now the most expensive. You should also check out Air New Zealand, I just checked out one way flights back from Vancouver, NZ was $504, most others were around the $1000 mark, the trick is to check regularly if you have the time, you might be surprised at the diffence over a few days or even sometimes the same day, this also applies to cruising if that’s your thing, always clear your history otherwise you are likely to just get the same deal.

    • 0

      casey – Qantas and Emirates are partners and charge the same price. About equivalent in service as well. Both good carriers.
      I understand Singapore has taken top spot from Air NZ so maybe they have dropped their prices. Unlikely much cheaper than Qantas unless they are having a limited time sale.

      Jim – I understand. I watch for 10 months so pick the best offer.

    • 0

      I agree, casey, Qantas is a low-quality airline (seats, entertainment screens, poor quality staff service), and is over-priced given their poor quality. I am also concerned when their poor quality attitudes will cause safety issues.

    • 0

      My last choice of airline is Qantas, casey. The cabin crew are arrogant and appear to care little for their passengers. I am tall and Qantas is the only airline on which we have travelled that won’t honour a request for a certain seat which allows me to sit without my knees up under my chin.

    • 0

      We have only ever had one case of this OM and have flown Qantas many times. The case in question was a stuck up homosexual steward who had only one of the three meals to offer. I did not want the chicken as I was worried it might be off because he was flogging it so hard as he came down the aisle so I asked for an alternative. The guy then became super arrogant and started to tell me what I was to do. As you can imagine I was not having a bare of that and I responded in like fashion, which the guy could not handle.
      Eventually I told him to keep his meal and to go away as I would go hungry, if there is such a thing on a long haul flight. Five minutes later the head steward came along and was extremely apologetic and said he would get me a Barramundi as per the menu. Funny how the other choices were available when push came to shove. The other thing which happened for the rest of the flight is the head steward obviously took a liking to me (bad choice) and kept asking if there was anything I wanted. First class was the only thought but I felt a bit embarrassed and my dear wife admonished me for making a fuss.

      To cut a long story short we’ve never had a problem with other stewards other than this guy who was clearly in the wrong industry. I do not understand how other passengers controlled themselves given the guy’s arrogant bedside manner. That was obvious as he made his way along the aisle and it was a surprise an Aussie did not bop him one for the bad behaviour. In the end all ended well and I’m sure the guy was spoken to after the event.

  3. 0

    The simple answer is fly Hawaiian Airlines in the Pacific Region. They have a carry on allowance of 11.5kg. Most of our travel to Asia and North America is through Honolulu.
    Any airline with a measly 7kg is just profiteering!

    • 0

      Hawaiian Airlines are the best as Aquarian says, fly them as often as I can, even when going to the US, like a stop for a few days at Ilikai apartments before jetting off again.
      32Kg checked luggage per person is too much but other people welcome it, more so on the way back with all the shopping folks tend to do over there.

  4. 0

    Why on earth would you want to lug around anything that’s heavy in the first place? Pack your ‘essentials’ for the flight – your handbag or backpack, and then everything else can go into your checked luggage. Except, of course, your laptop, which would be a part of your 7kg limit.

    What’s the use of putting ‘most’ of your gear into your carry on if you’re going interstate? Most airlines have very generous checked luggage weights, why not use them?

    I’d rather wait around the luggage carousel on arrival than have to repack my carry on to achieve the maximum weight.

    If you’re worried about going over the weight limit, purchase yourself a good set of digital scales available from The Reject Shop (cheapest), or any travel goods store, and weigh all your luggage and then you know that when you get to check-in, all your luggage is within the weight limits. It’s really not that hard.

    If you’re worried about the life of the scales from TRS, then I know that they’re still going strong, as I purchased a set over 5 years ago. Don’t get fooled into paying more just because you don’t want to be seen in a discount retailer.

    • 0

      eBay sells these cheap and we have had a set for 5 years. Still going strong. We never leave home without them because we need to pack to the gram and do not want a problem when we check in.

    • 0

      We just use our household scales, step on with your luggage, the weigh your self without the luggage, mind you can get weight shock with this method.

    • 0

      The trouble is you have to come back and can’t take the bathroom scales with you. For about $7 you can buy a fantastic set of hand held (with a grip) scales. They go everywhere with us and we know exactly how much weigh we have to play with. Saves our bacon almost every trip. I recall an Islamic guy at Sydney Airport having a stand up argument checking in because he was 2 kg over weight. We do not have that problem thanks to the scales. Ebay it! Cheers.

  5. 0

    Tiger air have been cracking down on the 7 kg limit on cabin baggage.
    Just remember you can wear a coat hat or jumper wear your heaviest shoes! Wear that T shirt under your shirt!
    Also stuff any food into your coat pocket
    7kg means total of both items bag and other article!

  6. 0

    We fly into and out of Asia several times a year and the number of people abusing the luggage weight limits is horrendous. I wish every airline did what Qantas seems to finally be doing, ie enforce the rules. If not, then remove or change the rules.
    If the limit is 7kg then you should stick to 7kg, not try to find ways to get around it like taking other ‘smaller’ bags onboard – the TOTAL carry on weight is supposed to be 7kg. Several decimal points over the 7kg limit is still over the limit (if you don’t think it matters, try multiplying half a kilo by 200 or so passengers – that’s a lot of extra weight where it’s not supposed to be), so take something out and wear it, put into your checked baggage or leave it behind. We weigh our baggage before going to the airport and ensure it’s under, not on, the weight limit.
    Biggest problem with people being allowed to abuse the carry-on weight limit rules is the chaos that ensues when passengers are trying to get to their seats but are continually held up by others looking for overhead space for their 2 or 3 bags!
    Which then creates the other problem: in order to get to the overhead lockers before they’re full, many passengers line up for boarding even before their seat number has been called, which leads to more disruption inside the cabin with passengers who should be going to the back of the plane unable to pass those selfish barstewards at the front who boarded before they were supposed to! Grrrrrrrr…..

  7. 0

    BA hand baggage. All customers are permitted 1 piece of hand luggage & 1 small item (handbag, laptop) on board. Hand luggage must not exceed 56cm x 45cm x 25cm & the small item must be no bigger than 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. Both items can weigh up to 23KG EACH!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0

      This is quite common in Europe, many of the budget airline care more about the size than the weight.

    • 0

      I suspect you have that wrong baksam. Whilst we have never flown BA no airline we have ever flown with, and that includes quite a few, has ever allowed more than 7 kg carry on. The overhead lockers are simply not suitable for this as if you dropped 23 kg onto somebody sitting below they could sustain a pretty bad injury.

  8. 0

    I caught a flight back from the Gold Coast last week and Jetstar too are checking the weight of all on-board baggage. It is about time the airlines cracked down on the selfish attitudes of people who think they can thwart the rules to suit them. The weight limits are there for a good reason, and don’t forget customers!!!! Its one (1) item of baggage, not two or three as I have witnessed some arrogant people take on board, thus causing us who only take on board the one piece of baggage to hunt for a space to place our luggage, or having to put it under the seat in front of me. Top marks for the airlines showing leadership on this issue.

  9. 0

    Mick has a point about passenger weight. The allowable weight should be luggage and passenger combined if cost of fuel is the reason for a restriction. They should also run a barge arse special with extra wide seats for the porkers who cant fit into a regular seat without oozing into their neighbours space.

    • 0

      I had to have a bit of a laugh at this one, many years ago my wife and I were travelling on the red eye to Perth on east west airlines, our friends who dropped us off at the airport were craning their necks to see our weight, everyone on the flight had to be weighed, I think the plane was pretty full, so they had to check how much fuel to load.

    • 0

      Good suggestion ozirules. I agree but fat people would be claiming discrimination. Perhaps passengers do need to tender their weight and get a penalty if they tell porkies as aircraft have both weight limits as well as having to place luggage so that the plane’s centre of gravity remains in a certain range.
      I am always advocated morbidly obese people should have to pay for 2 seats if they do not fit into one without being all over the person in th adjacent seat. I’m sure I’d get a bit of an argument with that one though but my wife had an international flight which was hell for that very reason. I guess we all have rights though.

    • 0

      Good point ozirules, people should be billed on the total combined weight of themselves and all their baggage. The basic factors governing flight are lift, weight, thrust and drag. Many seem to think that boarding a plane is no different to getting on a bus or a train. With all the cheating that must occur with cabin baggage weights it’s obvious that the airlines must have plenty of safety margin when it comes to calculating max all up weights or some flights would simply never get off the ground!

  10. 0

    This is long over due, some people are so inconsiderate, they seem to think that the overhead locker is for their exclusive use, the weight restriction is not so much of the problem, it’s the amount of bags, my wife and I were travelling back from Perth recently, when I went to put our bags in the overhead locker the ones in the designated area for us were actually overloaded, when I went to access the locker a bag fell out, I asked whose bag it was, even though my was telling me to shush, it turns out it belonged to someone in the same row as us on the other side of the aisle, as it turned out it was 4 people all flying together, each with two bags each and other assorted packages, so I passed him his property my wife not happy, she put her bag under the seat in front, I am over 100kgs there is no way a bag was going to fit under the seat in front of me without a lot of discomfort.

    • 0

      Spot on. It has been a point of anger and frustration for years but the airlines do not want to enforce this. We get around it by making sure we are not the last people to board but we constantly hear other passengers complain about the never ending story.

Load More Comments



continue reading


Avoid these common mistakes people make with bleach

Bleach is one of the most effective and least expensive disinfectants around, but it pays to remember it's not an...


Concerns over limited data on how vaccine will affect over-65s

There are growing concerns that the vaccine expected to be given to the majority of Australians when the rollout starts...


Making healthy eating more affordable

Eating a healthy diet is crucial to our mental and emotional health as well as our physical wellbeing. It can...


Hands up who's in the club that is wrecking the planet

Alex Baumann, Western Sydney University and Samuel Alexander, University of Melbourne Among the many hard truths exposed by COVID-19 is...


The most iconic handbags of all time

While countless clothing trends have come and gone, certain handbags have remained desirable across the decades, as coveted now as...

Health news

Health check finds Australia is stressed and obese

One quarter (25.6 per cent) of Australians undergoing a health check have been identified as at risk of developing diabetes....

Finance News

Financial planning costly and complicated, say review submissions

A review of the financial advice sector seeking to cut red tape and provide affordable advice could lead to more...


Types of polyps and what to do about them

Polyps are clumps of cells that grow inside your body. While most polyps aren't dangerous, some can develop into cancer....