Start packing lighter: Aussie airlines are now weighing carry-on bags

Reckon you can fit a whole week into a duffel bag and avoid bag check-in fees by taking it as carry-on luggage?

Well, from next week, there’ll be no sneaking it past airline staff – because all Aussie airlines will now weigh carry-on bags to make sure they don’t weigh over seven kilograms.

Last week, Qantas announced it would be following the same procedures as it’s budget airline Jetstar, forcing passengers to stow their bag below deck if it exceeds seven kilograms.

And now Virgin Australia has done the same to match its own budget carrier, Tigerair. So basically, from Monday, December 17, all passengers on these airlines will have to weigh their carry-on bags before boarding. Yikes.

Well, technically Virgin Australia passengers have had to chuck their bags on a scale before boarding since early this week, but the bag scales will be out in full force by Monday – which means if you’re going somewhere for Christmas, plan accordingly.

And it’s not just at the boarding gate, either. According to Pedestrian TV, there will be scales waiting at different points in the airport, including and check-in and bag drop. But so far, only domestic passengers will have to weigh their carry-on.

Although Tigerair and Jetstar have both been weighing travellers carry-on bags for a while, Tigerair has recently started trialling a new system where carry-on bags are tagged if they are within the weight limit – with untagged bags not being allowed past the boarding gates.

Paul Woosnam, general manager of ground operations at Virgin Australia, issued a statement earlier this week, reiterating that the new policy would promote fairness for their passengers and reduce risk from heavy baggage, Pedestrian TV reported.

“As an industry, we’re seeing many passengers trying to bring everything but the kitchen sink on domestic flights, which is causing flight delays as well as safety issues for cabin crew, ground crew and passengers.

“We’re seeing injuries to our cabin crew caused by closing overhead lockers full of heavy baggage, shifting bags in overhead lockers to assist guests finding space and assisting passengers with lifting their bags into the overhead compartments,” he said.

“This is preventable if all passengers adhered to the baggage limits and guidelines.”