Qantas Has Just Improved Carry On Allowances To Match Domestic Travel

Qantas is improving its carry on allowances for premium class passengers on its international services. This will bring it into line with changes made to carry on allowances for passengers on domestic services. Premium class passengers jetting off somewhere nice can now take a piece of carry on weighing up to 10 kilograms. The previous maximum weight of a single piece of carry on was 7 kilograms.

Qantas has just upped carry on allowances for some international passengers. Photo: Qantas.

But, as reported in Executive Traveller, there’s some fine print. Firstly, this increase in carry on allowance benefits passengers in first class, business class, and premium economy. Passengers in economy class are still restricted to a maximum weight of 7 kilograms per carry on piece.

Secondly, this doesn’t mean you can cart two pieces of carry on weighing 10 kilograms each. The maximum weight of your combined carry on luggage is still 14 kilograms. Thirdly, you need to be able to lift and remove your luggage from the overhead bins. Whilst the crew will often help you with this, there is no obligation on their part to do so.

A welcome move by Qantas

Nevertheless, this is a positive enhancement that will be welcomed by many frequent flyers who only travel with carry on.

Like many airlines, Qantas has had a fraught time with passengers pushing the carry on limits. We’ve all seen people cart ridiculous amounts of carry on onboard. Not only is it inconsiderate of other passengers, taking up excessive overhead bin space and cluttering aisles, but it can also pose a safety hazard. 

Excessive carry on is both inconsiderate of others and a possible safety hazard. Photo: Kamel15 via Wikimedia Commons.

Qantas cracked down on carry on

Qantas has traditionally been one of those airlines that tended to turn a blind eye to overloaded passengers.

But last year there was a crackdown on domestic carry on. Qantas gate staff began weighing passenger’s carry on at the gate prior to boarding. As reported in Australian Frequent Flyer, not even business class and platinum passengers were exempt. Passengers caught out were reportedly unimpressed.

But the move caused a mixed reaction from regular travelers. One passenger started a forum discussion with this;

“Sydney to Perth, 26/8/2018, QF581…. QF decided to weight all hand luggage. No exception over 7 KG – Fair enough. Business-class and VIP FFL no exempted. All luggage over 7 kg was checked in. Some p*ssed off people. Staff took heaps of abuse….”

It wasn’t something regular Qantas passengers were expecting;

Wow. In all my years flying QF, and having been on 581 many times, I can’t remember a single instance of QF ever weighing carry on at the gate.”

A common response was suggesting Qantas should increase the carry on allowance;

“My opinion is that QF should increase the carry on limit to 10 KG and then enforce the weight and size limits. This would stop the time-wasting of people trying to squeeze over-sized bags into the overheads and ensure there is space for everyone. Being tall, I have helped many people get their bags down and I’m sure some were close to 20 kg!”

Qantas increased its domestic carry on allowances in March 2019. Photo: Skitterphoto via Pexels.

And surprisingly Qantas did. Qantas are notorious for their “enhancements” which detract value from a product or service, but in March 2019 it increased the maximum weight allowance for a single piece of carry on on domestic services to 10 kilograms. Total combined carry on weight remained 14 kilograms. The domestic allowance also included economy class passengers who make up 90% of the passengers on Qantas domestic flights.

Yesterday’s move by Qantas to up the international carry on allowance brings some symmetry between its domestic and international services, helping reduce confusion and angst for transferring passengers