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Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, has announced plans to implement much stricter enforcement of carry-on or hand luggage throughout the airline’s domestic network.

To combat limited overhead bin space and the growing problem of passengers abusing carry-on luggage guidelines, Qantas will begin weighing and sizing each and every piece of hand luggage on domestic flights. As carry-on luggage has become the preferred way to transport bags for many passengers, airlines now face the problem of not having enough space in overhead bins for carry-on storage. While aircraft manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing now offer larger and more spacious overhead bins, it will take years for these new overhead bins or lockers to make their way to aircraft.

According to, Qantas’s Senior Manager of Corporate Communication Stephen Moynihan confirmed the airline’s plan to strictly enforce hand luggage guidelines. In a statement to, Moynihan said that the new and stringent hang luggage enforcement will ensure that all passengers have their “fair share” of cabin space. Moynihan went on to clarify additional benefits to passengers saying, “Ensuring that allowances are being followed will also help reduce delays during the boarding process and ensure an on-time departure.”

It should be noted that the actual carry-on/hand luggage guidelines will remain the same. The only change passengers can expect is the stricter enforcement of the pre-existing guidelines. Passengers traveling domestically on Qantas (within Australia) are allowed up to 30 pounds (~14 kg) of hand luggage with each piece weighing up to 15 pounds (~7kgs). Carry-on bags cannot be larger than a combined 45 inches (~114 cm). Qantas allows for a maximum of one 45-inch bag, a 41-inch bag and a garment bag, or two 41-inch bags. Qantas is the most generous airline with regards to carry-on/hand luggage.

Passengers traveling domestically on Qantas’ busiest routes, including Sydney to Melbourne, can expect to encounter this stricter enforcement. Upon boarding, passengers should expect to have their carry-on luggage sized and weighed. If the passenger’s hand luggage does not adhere to the baggage requirements, their luggage will be checked and will have to be retrieved at baggage claim upon arrival.

While stricter enforcement of hand luggage may appear to be more of an inconvenience than a passenger improvement, the additional baggage screening will likely enhance the overall passenger experience. While boarding might take a little longer on routes with the enhanced hand luggage enforcement, once on board the aircraft, passengers will be able to easily store their hand luggage.


(Featured image via Qantas)

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