Qantas rolls out new baggage limits, excess fees next week

By David Flynn, April 27 2012
Qantas rolls out new baggage limits, excess fees next week

Qantas will introduce new luggage limits and fees for checked bags on international flights next week as the airline moves from its current weight system to a 'piece and weight' system.

Under the new plan, which takes effect for all tickets issued on or after May 2, passengers will face limits on the number of bags they can check – based on their destination, travel class and status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme.

There are also maximum weight limits of 23kg or 32kg per bag, depending on your travel class and Qantas Frequent Flyer status, with a 'heavy charge' imposed at the airport for bags that tip the scales above that weight.

Here's how the new limits shake out.

International flights (to other than North & South America)

  • Non-Frequent Flyers, Bronze Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy: 1 bag of 23kg
  • Qantas Club, Silver Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy: 2 bags at 23kg each
  • Gold Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy: 2 bags at 32kg each
  • Platinum Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy: 3 bags at 32kg each
  • Non-Frequent Flyers, Bronze Frequent Flyer members travelling in Premium Economy: 2 bags at 23kg each
  • Qantas Club, Silver and Gold Frequent Flyer members travelling in Premium Economy: 3 bags at 23kg each
  • Platinum Frequent Flyer members travelling in Premium Economy: 3 bags at 32kg each
  • All customers travelling in Business and First class: 3 bags at 32kg each

International flights (to North & South America)

  • Non-Frequent Flyers, Bronze Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy and Premium Economy: 2 bags at 23kg each
  • Qantas Club, Silver and Gold Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy and Premium Economy: 3 bags at 23kg each
  • Platinum Frequent Flyers travelling in Economy and Premium Economy: 3 bags at 32kg each
  • All customers travelling in Business and First class: 3 bags at 32kg each

New excess baggage fees

While Qantas currently charges passengers only for bags weighing more than their allowance, from May 2 you'll need to pay for the number of bags you check in.

For most international flights that comes in at $90 per bag if you pre-pay online, or $120 at the airport, regardless of your travel class or Qantas Frequent Flyer membership status.

For trans-Tasman flights (as well as trips to Noumea & Papua New Guinea) the fee is a more modest $35 per bag online or $50 at the airport.

Qantas has also set a maximum of two additional bags on top of your allowance.

The move brings Qantas international flights in line with last year's shift to a similar piece-and-weight system for domestic flights.

Full details on the new Qantas checked baggage policy are at qantas.com/baggage.

Keep up to date with the latest news for Australian business travellers and frequent flyers: tune into @AusBT on Twitter.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

I'm a little frustrated by this! I booked my flight in late january, premium economy to Singapore return in late May. Following a response from Qantas twitter, I won't be able to make use of the 46kg over two bags. Whilst I may not use two bags, nor use 46kg, I get the impression that the stringent restrictions on having a slightly heavier bag will be in full force! Will I get charged excess kg's or have to pay for an extra bag's worth? Given my flight was booked on the old rules?

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 297

I'd suggest you're correct.  Stick to the 23kg limit, ie use suitcases no larger than 60cm tall and this should see you right.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

If you're flying Premium Economy you still get 23kgs per bag over two bags so you still get a total of 46kgs... Sorry... I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say.

I think the rules are pretty fair actually... For a one week trip to Singapore, I had a total 13kgs and that included taking things over from Australia to friends in Singapore. So the average traveller shouldn't have too much issue with 23kgs surely... 

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

I think it's a perfectly reasonable response to say "look, I was planning to take 32kg in this one bag, and I booked as such, and now you're changing the rules".

(I arbitrarily picked 32kg since that's a fairly standard top-end limit number.)

Some people prefer to travel with one big, heavy bag than two smaller, lighter ones, while people in certain industries may have expected to be able to pack event materials or heavier equipment according to the booking. I'd have thought that one could make a reasonable case to the ACCC about that.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2389

Infrequentflyer: as your booking was made before May 2 you'll still be working under the current 'by weight' baggage rules, which means that if for instance you're a Gold frequent flyer in Premium Economy you can travel with up to 46kg over any number of bags (although no one bag can exceed 32kg).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2011

Total posts 185

The limits seem fair, I guess one point that seems odd is for Gol FF's.  I am currently Gold and travell PE internationally most of the time.  Instead of the 46kg I now get 3x23kg.  Which arguably is more.  But I tend to find that at the end of a trip I may have ~25kg of luggage (shopping etc.).  Under the old rules that was fine, but now it seems I need an extra bag.....But it I weas in ecconomy as a Gold FF it would be.....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 182

I'm wondering if this is a "oneworld" across the board new policy.  I have a booking in J on MY ADL-FRA via KUL but have Germany internal flight booked with AirBerlin thats in Economy, I was trying to "add" extra luggage to my flight and initially was able to, but their system wouldnt accept my ccard.  Then all of a sudden the fee went from approx $280 to over $1900 AUD.  When I emailed AB, their response was to wait until after May 2 as they have new fees from then, and my new "additional weight/extra bag" would be 1 extra piece @ 50EUR.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your responses!

To clarify, Qantas states that all bookings made before May 2nd remain on the old baggage system. I.e. one bag @ 23kg for premium economy. 

In line with the old baggage fares, I could be up for $35 p/kg as opposed to $120 for a second piece weighing up to 23kg.

I was only frustrated as I thought it would have been more reasonable to say that anyone flying after the 2nd of May could make use of the new baggage conditions.

I'm not too worried as I'll have access to two 7kg carry on bags + I'm also travelling with a few friends who are going business so i'm sure we can share some weight if need be.

Anyway, thanks for your advice and listening to my rants!

Cheers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jul 2012

Total posts 1

I am a Bronze member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program and I'm flying to the Caribbean. It states that Non-Frequent Flyers, Bronze Frequent Flyer members travelling in Economy and Premium Economy to North and South America are allowed: 2 bags at 23kg each. Just want to know how may bag I'm allowed to check in?


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