SYDNEY (CNN): Flying home for the December holidays can be a stressful experience, with passengers carrying gifts for their nearest and dearest as well as their own luggage.
Now Australian airlines
have announced a renewed push to enforce hand luggage weight limits at the
busiest time of the year.
Both Virgin Australia
and Qantas have told domestic passengers that their hand luggage will be
weighed at various points in the journey to ensure that it complies with
seven-kilogram (15-pound) limit.
Budget airlines such as
Tigerair Australia and Jetstar already weigh hand luggage for all passengers.
“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,” said Paul Woosnam, General
Manager Ground Operations at Virgin Australia, in a statement to CNN.
A Qantas spokeswoman
told CNN that regular fliers have told the airline that passengers need to be
reminded about the cabin baggage limit
Qantas rolled out a
system of stricter checks from late November, while Virgin Australia announced
that it would step up enforcement from December 10.
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,” said Woosnam.
“We also want to
get our passengers away to their destination on time, and more and more we’re
seeing flights being delayed due to cabin baggage issues.”
The drive to improve
compliance is supported by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority,
which says that “preventing non-compliant hand luggage from entering an
aircraft is an important safety role of ground and cabin staff.”
standard allowance includes up to 30 kilograms of luggage, including a checked
bag of up to 23 kilograms and a seven-kilogram cabin bag. Each passenger is
also allowed a laptop bag, suit bag or handbag.
passengers flying in economy class can check in a bag weighing up to 30
kilograms, plus two cabin bags weighing up to seven kilograms each.
The airlines will be
putting on extra ground crew as part of the push over the holiday period.
“Christmas is an
incredibly busy time of year for us so we do encourage anyone traveling over
the holiday period and beyond to familiarize themselves with the carry-on
allowances to help get them to their destination safely and on time,” said