Qantas’ carry-on crackdown

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?

Related articles:
New baggage rules
How to pack for weeks in a carry-on bag
How to avoid paying baggage fees

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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