Domestic airlines have begun weighing cabin bags, to ensure passengers are carrying luggage within the 7KG specified weight limit.
Travelling photographers who carry camera gear as cabin baggage should be cautious of how much their bags weigh, or risk paying additional fees or repacking bags at the counter.
Virgin Australia begun weighing bags at the check-in desk this week, joining low-cost carriers Tigerair Australia and Jetstar, which have weighed cabin bags for some time.
Qantas will begin enforcing the rules next week.
‘As an industry, we’re seeing many passengers trying to bring everything but the kitchen sink on domestic flights, which is causing flight delays as well as safety issues for cabin crew, ground crew and passengers,’ Virgin Australia general manager of ground operations, Paul Woosnam, told News.com.au. ‘We’re seeing injuries to our cabin crew caused by closing overhead lockers full of heavy baggage, shifting bags in overhead lockers to assist guests finding space and assisting passengers with lifting their bags into the overhead compartments.
‘Some of these injuries can be quite significant and may result in the crew member being unable to work for a period of time.’
While existing luggage weight restriction policies have existed for some time, many airlines weren’t strictly enforcing the rules, allowing passengers to cram excessive amounts of baggage into the overhead cabin.
Photographers in particular prefer transporting expensive and fragile camera gear in the cabin, to ensure it isn’t mishandled and remains safe. But a camera bag often exceeds the 7KG cabin bag weight restriction.
Cabin baggage allowances:
Virgin – 7KG per passenger
Tigerair – 7KG per passenger
Jetstar – 7KG per passenger
Qantas – Two bags no heavier than 7KG per passenger
Airlines usually offer the option to upgrade baggage allowances.