I have a confession to make: my carry-on bag is usually very heavy. Very heavy.
When I travel, I like to travel with only one bag. It’s not that I put rocks inside. But my electronic equipment is not exactly light. Consequently, my bag is relatively heavy…I’d estimate about 30 pounds.
Importantly, though, I never ask for assistance when placing it into an overhead bin. That is common courtesy. As James from OMAAT said, “No crew member should be injuring their backs lifting over weight bags that passengers can’t lift themselves.” In the USA, carry-on weight doesn’t matter. American, Delta, and United do not have weight limits on carry-on bags. Even stingy Spirit allows up to 45 pounds.
But throughout much of the world, carry-on bag is both size and weight restricted. One avenue that many (myself included) have used to bypass this requirement is to check in online and totally bypass the airport counter. While counter agents often force you to weigh your hand baggage before handing you a boarding pass, gate agents rarely enforce weight limits (or even size limits).
Until now…at least on Qantas.
Qantas is now weighing all passengers carry-on bags at the gate on a limited number of flights.
Qantas’ logic is that heavy bags are unfair to other passengers and pose a safety risk:
Cabin bins that are too full or bags that are too heavy can cause a safety risk for both customers and crew.
That’s a fairly objective point. And Qantas does not seem to be using this as a revenue-generating measure. Indeed, passengers who are found to have hand baggage that is too heavy will be forced to check it…but at no extra charge.
I think Qantas’ new policy is reasonable, especially since it won’t be charging people who are caught trying to sneak extra baggage through. Of course it is an annoyance, but I’ve seen what happens when overhead bins fly open and heavy luggage drops on the head of a passengers…it isn’t pretty. It’s why I take my electronic equipment out before I place it in the overhead bin.