As the peak Christmas travel season approaches, some travellers are in for something of a shock. For those trying to avoid those extra baggage charges by smuggling the kitchen sink on board, the time is up. Not only are the airlines taking a more serious approach to policing carry on luggage, some are even changing what they allow.

New limits for business class carry on from 25 November. Previously you could take on 2 x 10 kg bags now the limit has been enhanced to 2 x 7 kg bags. One wonders if pax with current tickets will be advised of the changes?

The airline concerned is one that is probably not the first choice for many of our members – Jetstar. And it’s not just their Business class customers affected by the change, those squeezed into economy now have their allowance cut to one 7kg bag, down from 10kg. Like any change, often the devil is in the detail. Plenty of airlines allow 7kg, but not many say that must be the total weight of all carry on.

7kg for a combined weight limit of main bag + small piece (eg. laptop, handbag, duty free shopping) is very very strict.

If you are the kind of traveller that likes to board early, chances are you also like to travel light. With a bit of preparation, you can easily fit two weeks of needs into an overnight bag. As a result, many of our members don’t have an issue with the change. If you insist on taking everything, be prepared to pay the price.

I don’t understand why this is so hard. People stop bringing the kitchen sink onboard and just conform to the very simple rules, what is difficult about that ? If you have more or bigger than allowed, check it in, end of story.

Clearly the move is aimed at increasing revenue for the airline in an area that increasingly becoming the major earner, passenger fees. While safety may be used as the excuse, it’s unlikely that the difference between 7kg and 10kg is really going to change the safety aspect of cabin baggage. The overhead lockers are well and truly rated to handle luggage loads well in excess of an average bag weight of 7kg.

For now, Jetstar’s main competitor, Tiger airlines, is keeping its allowance at 10kg. Time will tell how long that stays. If history is anything to go by, once one airline makes a change, it’s not long before the other follows. And with Tiger staff said to be paid commission on those extra sales they can make, expect strict policing of their policy as well.

Do you think the cutdown in carry on allowances and stricter policing is a good thing? Will it mean quicker boarding, and more room for those in the lockers, join the discussion HERE.

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