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Weighty Issues with Qantas

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grnorton

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For the last few years I have prided myself on traveling light. It culminated in a month cycling along the Elbe and Danube rivers with 12 kg of luggage in 2 panniers during September 2013.

Earlier this year I presented myself to the Qantas check in desk at Adelaide airport - Qantas Club Business Class - naturally. It is not possible to electronically check in for an international flight, trust me. One cannot avoid personal contact or as it turned out, impersonal contact, when leaving the country.



"Luggage?" was the curt welcome. This should have set alarm bells ringing, but it did not and as the saying goes: "Pride comes before the fall". With barely repressed smugness I indicated that I was travelling only with carry-on luggage. She peered over the counter, and with a touch of distain in her voice, indicated that it required weighing. So help me God, I did not see this coming. "It's 2 kg over the limit... " after a pregnant pause from this menopausal matriarch, she ventured that there may be something I could take out? The logical response to this, was "take it out and put it where?" Remember I have NO booked luggage. But I was so dumbfounded by the initial interaction that I stood mute.


As Sir Les Patterson would say "Are you with me?"....


At the risk of insulting the reader, let me take you through this scenerio,


I am flying Business Class, my baggage allowance is 32kg. I approach the check in. I weigh 74kg, I have a TOTAL baggage of 9kg. The man across from me is checking in the Economy queue - he is a card carrying member of McDonalds "Eat 5 get 1 free". He tips the scales at 112.5 Kg and has hand luggage that will require a block and tackle to lift it into the overhead bins. He sails through.

Perhaps mistaking my stunned silence as indicating intellectual impairment, the Qantas employee attempted to be helpful, possibly mindful of the $ 250 million loss the day before. "Would it be possible to unpack a few item and carry them on my person - that is with me?"


Now I resort to mental mathematics:


Weight analysis before check in:


My weight: 74kg
Hand luggage: 9kg
Total: 83kg


Weight analysis after check in:


My weight: 76kg
Hand luggage: 7kg
Total: 83kg.



Surely this must be the aeronautical equivalent of transubstantiation?


Anyway my brain was scrambled by confusing thoughts such as " this would not even happen at the Aer Lingus counter" and "this is a concept that NAPLAN sets as a simple test for kindergarten."


So I simply resigned and the beast booked my hand luggage through as baggage! Little did I know that a similar challenge awaited me in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

 

harvyk

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The difference is that with the 2kg it's on yourself rather than in the overhead bin. If it's in the overhead bin it's an extra 2kg which could come down unexpectedly. Yes you can in theory take up to 78kg of luggage (2 x 32kg checked in + 2 x 7kg carry on) but in that case the majority of that weight is sitting below you in a specially designed cargo hold, not in an overhead bin above your head which needs to be shared amongst multiple pax

Also a persons total weight has no baring on what you can and can't take onto the plane.

Them is the rules, the check in person has no choice but to follow them.
 

grnorton

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the point is taken - BUT manifestly the rules were not applied equally as I observed in the queue!
 

harvyk

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If they didn't weight his carry on bags, how would you know the actual weight of them by simply looking at them? Furthermore I'm assuming that when you are talking "He tips the scales at 112.5 Kg" you mean checked luggage, because again how else would you know his weight?
 

RooFlyer

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Welcome to AFF grnorton :) There is also an 'Introductions' page you may care to visit (and filling in some info about yourself in profile means we can help you better (as they say) if any future queries arise.

The difference is that with the 2kg it's on yourself rather than in the overhead bin. If it's in the overhead bin it's an extra 2kg which could come down unexpectedly. Yes you can in theory take up to 78kg of luggage (2 x 32kg checked in + 2 x 7kg carry on) but in that case the majority of that weight is sitting below you in a specially designed cargo hold, not in an overhead bin above your head which needs to be shared amongst multiple pax

Also a persons total weight has no baring on what you can and can't take onto the plane.

Them is the rules, the check in person has no choice but to follow them.
I agree them's the rules, but 'overweight' stuff can also go under the seat in front. I nearly always travel with more than the allowed weight of HL and have a perfectly clear conscience, knowing that the 'extra' weight will endanger no-one. Its the only airline rule I knowingly, and repeatedly break in F, J or whY.

Also WRT 'them's the rules', I EXPECT some lee way in J or F and I too would be indignant of being hauled up for the sake of 2kg. Just like J and F pax are given some leeway when the seat belt sign is on for an extended time, mid flight. FA's don't bark at us if the plane appears stable. The rule says they should, but thankfully common sense mostly applies. It should also apply at J/F check in as well.

Although I wonder why the OP didn't just take the suggestion of taking 2kg of something and put it under their arm as a 'personal item' during the check-in process, then stuff it back in the HL afterwards. I was once challenged by a Virgin check-in agent, travelling Y and she 'went the distance' to see me overcome my overweight (she weighed it) HL issue.
 

opusman

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It's about time QF upped the hand luggage limit to 10Kg. If Jetstar can do it I don't see why they can't.
 

harvyk

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Welcome to AFF grnorton :) There is also an 'Introductions' page you may care to visit (and filling in some info about yourself in profile means we can help you better (as they say) if any future queries arise.
Check their join date, they have been here nearly as long as I have. :cool:
 

ozbeachbabe

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Earlier this year I presented myself to the Qantas check in desk at Adelaide airport - Qantas Club Business Class - naturally. It is not possible to electronically check in for an international flight, trust me. One cannot avoid personal contact or as it turned out, impersonal contact, when leaving the country.


I've done OLCI for a QF international flights plenty of times.

"It's 2 kg over the limit... " after a pregnant pause from this menopausal matriarch


An interesting juxtaposition.....
 

maninblack

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The difference is that with the 2kg it's on yourself rather than in the overhead bin. If it's in the overhead bin it's an extra 2kg which could come down unexpectedly.
With respect. Utter baloney. Many carriers allow bags of 10kg and some even more in the overhead bins.
 
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DontGetMeStarted

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BA must have reinforced overheads with 23kg carry-on allowance.
On British Airways


Including OpenSkies and CityFlyer


We offer one of the most generous free hand baggage allowances of any airline, so you’ll never be short of space for all those travel essentials you like to fly with.


Your free baggage allowance on British Airways flights
Passenger 1 x cabin bag 1 x personal bag
Adults (12 and over)
Children (2-11)
Infants (under 2)


(only for items they may require during the flight)

Size and weight of your hand baggage


1 x cabin bag 1 x personal bag
56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in) including handles, pockets and wheels. 45cm x 36cm x 20cm (18in x 14in x 8in) including handles, pockets and wheels.
Maximum weight per bag is up to 23kg (51lbs).
You must be able to fit your bags into the baggage gauge at check in.
Any items you purchase at the airport, including duty free, form part of your hand baggage allowance. If you go over your allowance of 2 bags, you may have to check in one of your extra bags, for which there may be a charge.
Occasionally we may not have space to stow all hand baggage safely on board and you may be asked to check in some or all of your hand baggage at the boarding gate. Please make sure your hand baggage is within the size and weight limits shown, otherwise you will be charged for extra baggage.
Where to put your hand baggage on board
 

medhead

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The weight of another passenger is irrelevant. All that stuff is worked based on a fixed weight per passenger. Therefore the fact they are heavier than you is already accounted.

I can't imagine why you didn't just take something out and then put it back in when away from the counter.
 

lovestotravel

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It's always the fat people that are against the idea of a "100kg" per passenger allowance or similar
 

medhead

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Who are you calling fat? I certainly fit within my seat space and I'd be more than happy to penalise those people who need to hang over into my seat space. Far too many flights suffering that lot of crap. But the fact remains qantas charge one price per adult passenger regardless of weight.
 
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Melburnian1

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Without overly getting into the whys and wherefores of these variable rules, I'd have to say that the OP's piece was one of the funniest ever contributions to AFF that I have had the pleasure to read.

Great English, Sir.

Extremely well written scenario that has 100 per cent credibility. It would make a great skit on a classy comedy show (with thought bubbles showing if necessary).

Please contribute some more delightful prose. The world needs YOU!

By the way, on occasion at MEL just inside the airside entrance (before security and well before immigration), I have struck a fellow who looks it (and perhaps weighs, but memory fails me) one's handcarry.
 
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