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Qantas crackdown – Cabin Luggage

Qantas crackdown – Cabin Luggage

Discussion in AusBT community is highlighting a reported crackdown on carry-on cabin luggage weights by Qantas. Particularly on a Sunday, Sydney – Melbourne flight.

One of my pet peeves.

It’s one (of many) reasons I won’t travel on Tiger or Jet Star.  It feels like 100gms over, and you are hit with an excess charge.

I’ll admit it here – my carry-on, although always within the size restrictions, is invariably more like 10 to 12 kgs rather than the stipulated 7kgs (15.4lbs).

I have developed a well-practised strategy of being able to get it close to 7kgs by removing my computer and joining it to my ‘personal item’ handbag if challenged. Mind you, I haven’t been challenged for a long time.

I don’t want to injure anyone’s shoulder

Reportedly, the crackdown is for Health and Safety reasons, so that flight attendants don’t injure their shoulders. I completely understand this and have a great deal of sympathy regarding workplace injury.

But – when was the last time a flight attendant actually helped anyone put their bag up in the overhead locker?

I’m thinking pre-1980’s?

Reportedly, there is a particular problem with the overhead bins on the new 737’s – they somehow effectively ‘weigh’ more than the old bins (hydraulic assistance?) and have been causing injury. Take this bad design issue up with Boeing, I say, rather than inconvenience passengers.

New Rules: My luggage, My burden

Other than closing the overhead bins – and I’m happy to do that too – the only person who handles my hand luggage on a flight is me. I hoist it up to the overhead, and I hoist it down – being careful not to boink anyone’s head on the way. (I learnt that the hard way.)

Which leads me to my proposed rule – if you can’t lift it up and down, then you can’t take it on board. Yes, I’ve made the mistake of assisting someone who was struggling only to discover that they were keeping their free weights collection in their carry-on.

Sensible work practices

I noticed on the domestic flights I took last weekend, all the Qantas flight attendants used two staff members to close the overhead lockers – thus spreading the weight over 2 pairs of shoulders rather than one. That seems like a wise practice to me.

Inconsistency gives me the shits

What really drives me mad, is seeing the inconsistency of application of these rules. I have seen way too many large cases being taken on as hand luggage without a second look from check-in staff. Or passengers with three, four or five pieces of ginormous hand luggage, hulking it on board without a second look from flight staff. And then on the next flight, they want to weigh and tag every piece of hand luggage.

Make the right rule, and then apply it consistently, Qantas.

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