Passengers travelling on Qantas domestic flights can expect to have their carry-on baggage weighed before departure as the airline moves to enforce its existing cabin baggage rules.
Items exceeding the published allowance of 7kg per bag are now routinely being checked-in at the boarding gate for collection at the baggage carousel after the flight, with some cabin bags also being weighed at the entrance to Qantas’ Premium Lounge Entry in Brisbane, before the security checkpoint.
“We know that people like the convenience of not having to check-in their luggage,” Qantas’ Senior Manager Corporate Communications Stephen Moynihan told Australian Business Traveller, “but we also need to ensure that the correct limits are being followed by customers.”
“Cabin bins that are too full or bags that are too heavy can cause a safety risk for both customers and crew… and this focus to keep cabin baggage within the allowances ensures everyone has their fair share of space onboard,” Moynihan added.
Cabin baggage weight allowance: Qantas vs. Jetstar Australia
While Qantas quotes “safety” as one reason behind its 7kg per bag limit, Qantas Group airline Jetstar began allowing passengers to purchase additional cabin baggage weight on domestic flights in September 2018, increasing the normal 7kg/bag limit to 10kg for an extra charge.
When asked why 10kg/bag is acceptable for Jetstar but 7kg/bag remains Qantas’ limit per item, Qantas responded that “in relation to Jetstar, their baggage policy is different to suit its (business) model,” and that on Qantas, “crew can also get injured if they have to move bags around.”
Some Australian Business Traveller readers have reportedly been required to check-in cabin bags with Qantas that were only 500g overweight – 7.5kg – which would have otherwise been allowed in the cabin on Jetstar flights with the purchase of additional carry-on baggage weight.
As such, a solution for passengers travelling Qantas with an overweight bag would be to spread their belongings across two cabin bags, as Qantas allows travellers to carry aboard two items at up to 7kg each: 14kg in total.
This would comply with Qantas’ carry-on baggage policy and avoid bags being gate-checked, but logically, carrying two bags onto the aircraft would take up more space on board than bringing along one slightly heavier bag.
Qantas' carry-on baggage allowance remains more generous than Virgin Australia, which also allows two cabin bags per person but at a combined total weight of 7kg, as opposed to 7kg per bag (14kg total) as with Qantas.
So, over to you, AusBT readers: what do you think of Qantas’ efforts to check-in overweight cabin bags? Does this encourage you to travel with two carry-on bags, or should Qantas increase the weight allowance for travellers toting a single bag to 10kg, as it permits on Jetstar? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!