The 10-kilogram cabin bag is making a comeback on Qantas mainline flights after the airline bowed to feedback from customers upset by a move to reduce the maximum weight limit.
The airline briefly dropped the maximum weight of a cabin bag to 7kg and began policing the limit.
The airline retained its 14kg limit on overall cabin baggage, the most generous of any Australian carrier, and assumed customers would split their belongings into two bags.
But with wheelie bags weighing a couple of kilograms even when empty, many customers found the limit cumbersome.
“Most customers on short business trips and weekends away only travel with one carry-on bag plus a small personal item,’’ acknowledged Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David.
“We’ve had feedback from our frequent flyers who said they can easily keep within the 14kg limit but would like flexibility in how they use their cabin baggage allowance.
“Customers will now have more choice how they use their 14kg carry on allowance, by having one bag that weighs up to 10kg,”
The change will come into effect on March 25 for all cabins but the total limit will remain at 14kg.
The change will also only affect mainline services and QantasLink turboprop cabin baggage stays at 7kg.
However, on busy routes such as Canberra, QantasLink offers a service that allows people to drop off wheelie bags as they enter the plane and pick them up again as they exit.
Passengers have also been warned that the baggage police will still be out to make sure they stay within the revised limit. Those with bags weighing more than 10kg will be asked to check them in.
David said the airline still needed customers to check their cabin luggage before security to make sure they didn’t exceed the allowance and that they could safely lift the bag.
“Focusing on the amount of baggage customers are bringing onboard helps flights to depart on time and allows everyone to have their fair share of space in the overhead compartments,’’ he said.
“Heavy bags or overhead baggage compartments that are too full can cause a safety risk for customers and crew.’’