Change coming to Qantas carry-on rules
WANTAS domestic passengers will soon be able to board with a carry-on bag as heavy as 10kg after passengers complained the current 7kg restriction was too small.
From March 25, domestic travellers can bring on board a cabin bag weighing up to 10kg and a second bag weighing up to 4kg.
Currently, Qantas domestic passengers can board with two bags, both with a limit of 7kg, plus as small "personal item" bag, such as a handbag or slim laptop bag.
The total cabin baggage weight limit will still be 14kg per person, with the rule change essentially allowing one bag to be heavier than the second.
The physical size limits on cabin bags will remain the same.
News.com.au has contacted Qantas for comment.
The rule change follows a trial by Qantas over the summer that included weighing passengers' cabin bags and asking for feedback.
The airline found nine out of 10 travellers had under 10kg of cabin baggage in total.
Of those, about 40 per cent had bags weighing between 7kg and 10kg.
Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Andrew David said the changes gave customers more choice in how they used their 14kg allowance.
"Most customers on short business trips and weekends away only travel with one carry-on bag plus a small personal item," Mr David told The Australian.
"Focusing on the amount of baggage customers are bringing on board helps flights to depart on time."
Qantas and Virgin Australia announced in December they would start weighing the cabin bags of domestic passengers in a united front aimed at ridding oversized baggage from aircraft cabins.
Passengers can expect to have their carry-on bags weighed at various points in their journey, including at the check-in desk and the boarding gate, to ensure they comply with airlines' weight limits.
It brings the airlines in line with low-cost carriers Tigerair Australia and Jetstar, which already use scales to crack down on cabin baggage cheats.
Qantas said at the time it was enforcing the rules as increasingly heavy carry-on bags were causing injuries to passengers and cabin crew and holding up flights as passengers jostled to find space in cramped overhead compartments.
"Qantas offers the most generous amount of cabin baggage of any Australian airline, and we know customers like the convenience of not having to check in luggage. But we're getting feedback from regular flyers who say all customers need to be reminded about how much luggage they can take on-board," a Qantas spokesman told news.com.au.
"So we're renewing our focus to keep cabin baggage within the allowances and to ensure everyone has their fair share of space on-board.
"Ensuring that allowances are being followed will also help reduce delays during the boarding process and ensure an on-time departure.
"Cabin bins that are too full or bags that are too heavy can cause a safety risk for both customers and crew."