TALKING POINT | For many business travellers, flying without checked baggage saves lots of time on the road, whether by avoiding the airport check-in queues, making the most of perks like Fly Ahead to get home faster, or stepping straight out of the airport and onto the next meeting, with no bag to collect.
That makes airline cabin baggage allowances critical to business travel, but it must be said that on domestic routes, Virgin Australia’s carry-on baggage rules don’t favour the business traveller, being less generous than offered by Qantas on comparable flights.
For example, on treks between Sydney and Melbourne – and indeed, most other domestic flights – Qantas allows business class and economy passengers to bring aboard two bags of up to 7kg each: that’s 14kg in total, such as the common combo of a rollaboard bag paired with a large-style laptop bag, briefcase or backpack.
Virgin Australia passengers can also travel with two carry-on bags, but at a combined total weight of 7kg, not 7kg per bag as with Qantas.
Both airlines also permit one 'personal item' such as a handbag or laptop sleeve in addition to their published allowances, but when it comes to everything else, you'll get 14kg across two bags when flying Qantas, or 7kg across two bags when flying Virgin Australia, being only half as generous.
This distinction isn't a mere oversight by Virgin Australia – I’ve seen that 7kg weight limit strictly enforced at Virgin Australia boarding gates, with many unimpressed business travellers asked to check their larger bag in (and wait for it at the carousel after the flight), when the same luggage combination would have been A-OK when travelling on Qantas.
In more recent times, some Australian Business Traveller readers have also reported having their cabin baggage weighed at Virgin Australia Premium Entry in Sydney, and if bringing along more than 7kg in total, being directed back to the airline's check-in counters to drop off their carry-on bag as checked luggage.
So, over to you – is it time for Virgin Australia to make its domestic carry-on baggage allowance more business-friendly, or are you happy to see the existing restrictions enforced, despite being less generous than the competition? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!