Jetstar carry-on baggage crack down kicks off next week

Jetstar carry-on baggage crack down kicks off next week

UPDATE | Jetstar's six-month trial of 'cabin baggage officers' will kick off at airports in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast on Monday October 13.

These staff are tasked with weighing and measuring customers' bags, and will arrange to have bags checked in if they’re oversized or and/or too heavy to be taken into the cabin.

Ahead of the trial, the low-cost carrier's at-airport fees for checking in a bag have also decreased from $70 to $50 on all Australian domestic flights, although it remains cheaper to pre-purchase a bag via the Jetstar website before arriving at the check-in counter.

That fee covers up to 15kg of baggage – 5kg more than Jetstar's cabin allowance of 10kg – and will be charged to all travellers who haven't purchased a checked bag yet exceed their carry-on allowance.

A Jetstar spokesman told Australian Business Traveller that the airline has "introduced these roles and reduced the (airport checked baggage) fee to help change customer behaviour.

"Ultimately, every customer should be able to fly in comfort with their allocated amount of cabin baggage", the spokesman added, while affirming that Jetstar "(doesn't) want this fee to be a revenue stream ... as we’d prefer for our customers to understand and comply with our baggage policy."

Australian Business Traveller also understands that Jetstar is looking to reduce its cabin baggage allowance from 10kg to 7kg per piece, bringing it in line with all other major Australian carriers.

PREVIOUS – September 2 2014 | Jetstar is cracking down on travellers who try to sneak overly large or heavy bags into the aircraft cabin instead of paying excess baggage fees to check them in.

Enforcing the airline's carry-on size and weight limits are new ‘cabin baggage officers’, who will appear at airports in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast on a trial basis.

These staff are tasked with weighing and measuring customers' bags, and will arrange to have bags checked in if they’re oversized or and/or too heavy to be taken into the cabin.

Currently, travellers can check-in online or at an airport kiosk, and if jetting off without a checked bag, the gate lounge is usually the first place they interact with a Jetstar staff member.

A Jetstar spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that “to make the air fair for all of our customers, we want to make sure that everyone is compliant with our carry-on baggage allowance.

“Limiting the amount of carry-on baggage improves crew and other passengers’ safety and will also speed up the boarding process so that our flights can get away on time.”

Travellers who attempt to sneak excess carry-on baggage into the aircraft cabin will have their bags placed in the aircraft hold in line with the checked baggage allowance that they have purchased.

Those who tried to get away with buying a 'carry-on only' fare will rightly have to cough up extra for their newly-checked baggage at the prevailing airport rates, which is generally higher than what you'd pay online.

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • undertheradar


    2 Sep, 2014 01:55 pm


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  • gippsflyer


    5 Sep, 2014 02:39 pm

    It seems Jetstar have been doing this for a while, at least from my observation of a boarding Jetstar flight at OOL last year (I was waiting to shortly board a VA flight using the same gate door). They had scales and tape measures at the gate door, and where walking up and down the queued boarding lane pulling people out to their hand luggage checked, with quite a few bags being tagged and transferred to the baggage handlers for putting in the hold. They weren't taking excuses, and were being steadfast in maintaining the often unenforced hand luggage rules.

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  • Broderick Boyd


    2 Sep, 2014 02:06 pm

    Personally I dont have an issue with this however I think the size of the suitcase more then the weight is the problem. I can cram 10KG into my Nautica Carry-on without the seems bursting.

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  • Chris_PER


    2 Sep, 2014 02:08 pm

    I think all airlines should do it in my opinion, particularly when a bag is blatantly oversized to be in the cabin.

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  • LJS


    2 Sep, 2014 02:33 pm

    Its about time, maybe Qantas could follow suit.  The only way to deal with this is by consistency.  I watched people walk in with oversized bags, dump them in the business class bins then proceed to the end of the plane where they were seated. It will cause angst - but be to the benefit of those who follow the rules and are considerate of other passengers.

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  • Jared wyles


    2 Sep, 2014 02:42 pm

    This happens on qantas? According to the DYKWIA i saw on virgin the other week, it only ever happens on virgin when he is forced to fly them. 

    It really grates my nerves when people do this when i am on either side of the magnetic rope.  

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  • gippsflyer


    5 Sep, 2014 02:32 pm

    On more than a few of my VA flights over the last couple of years, I've seen VA cabin crew actively pull up Y pax from dumping in the J cabin, even denying requests made by boarding Y pax to use said space. 

    I think because the VA domestic J cabin is generally only a few rows on the narrow bodies, it's very easy for the cabin crew at the forward galley to keep an eye on what people are doing, hence the effective policing. VA also the ones that stand between the J and Y cabin on arrival at the gate, to let the J cabin empty first before clearing Y through.

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    2 Sep, 2014 02:40 pm

    Excellent news. Can we have it on Qantas and Virgin as well??

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  • Aubz11


    2 Sep, 2014 02:46 pm

    It's about time! I've seen some shockers & wondered why i should abide by the rules & pay extra for baggage but others don't get pulled up when it's clearly oversize & should have been checked in

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  • Serg


    2 Sep, 2014 03:07 pm

    Long overdue and not onlu for JetStar

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  • gumshoe


    2 Sep, 2014 04:00 pm

    Totally agree, some of the backpacks brought on board are huge and as said seen them stuffed into both J & Y lockers, many with straps hanging out, its wrong.

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  • msndelevium


    2 Sep, 2014 03:34 pm

    Sounds similiar to what Singapore's changi airport is doing

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  • moa999


    2 Sep, 2014 04:01 pm

    Sounds good.

    Saw an article on RyanAir the other day that said their ground team will specifically target carry-on baage when the flight is full (more than 140 of 180 seats) as otherwise they know departure is at a high chance of delay as people cant fit their bags in the overhead.

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  • Sifor


    2 Sep, 2014 05:23 pm

    I wonder if Jetstar will demand that I put my $11,000 super telephoto camera lens in the hull because it takes my bag weight to ~11kg....

    Real question: my camera bag is 51x32.5x30 = 113.5cm. But the max depth is apparently only allowed to be 23cm and mine is 30cm...So while my bag complies with total size (<115), width and height, it doesn't regarding depth. 

    The bag fits fine in the overhead lockers and at least on the flights I'm on it's never full because of me. Last thing I'd need though is a flight attendent trying to frogmarch my bag off to the hull!

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  • Rufus1


    2 Sep, 2014 07:57 pm

    Jetstar flies A320s, which have bigger overhead lockers than the 737s of QF or DJ.  My standard cabin bag is marginally over the size limits of some airlines, but fits wheels-in in any widebody, A320 and newer 737 overhead bin so it uses the space efficiently.  I've never been told to check it. 

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  • Newbie7


    3 Sep, 2014 02:42 pm

    Don't know why everyone is commeting negatively on this, I completely agree, enforce the size but don't go after the weight. That always frustrates me, a max-carry-on size luggage is already 3kg in weight completely empty. You stuff in two weekend outfits, runners and dress shoes, toiletries, a bottle of wine as a gift, your laptop, voila you've got more than 5kg right there in items and your total is over the limit. If you have documents or god forbid hardcover books then no chance.

    I know Jetstar - and actually at MEL the international security randomly weigh carry-on bags - say anything over 7kg is a hazard, when Boeing itself has said each bin can hold legally 45kg - and each bin is designed for 3 bags, so that means 15kg a bag. Most Asian carriers also say 10kg for carry-on limits, which seems a lot more sensible. If I'm gone for an extended weekend, I don't want to have the hassle of checking a bag, even if I weren't paying for it flying QF, yet the 7kg weight limit seems arbitrarily low.. Aright, rant done ;)

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  • Doubleplatinum


    7 Oct, 2014 08:29 pm

    OK tell us that when your 15kg bag drops out of the overhead onto a senior citizens head

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  • Doubleplatinum


    7 Oct, 2014 08:27 pm

    You're breaking my heart - rules is rules. Pay for a courier if you are worried

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  • eminere


    2 Sep, 2014 05:40 pm


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  • Adam


    2 Sep, 2014 05:59 pm

    Not sure if this happens much in AUS but in Asia, how about the people sitting in row 30 dropping their in the bins above row 4 to collect on the way out... That's even worse than someone with a 75L backpack!

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  • Rufus1


    2 Sep, 2014 07:58 pm

    Better that the person finds and uses an empty spot where they see it, than pacing up and down the aisle looking for room when the flight is otherwise boarded and ready to go...

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  • Adam


    2 Sep, 2014 08:02 pm

    Not if you're in row 4!

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  • crosscourt


    3 Sep, 2014 11:07 am

    touche. that drives me nuts. ive seen creew on Comair in sth africa tell people to remove their bags and take them to back with them. that is not your space in rows 2 or 4 or 5 if you are sitting in row 29. Nor is the toilet at the front of the plane.

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  • Hayne


    3 Sep, 2014 09:51 pm

    Actually, that issue is usually caused by people who have no idea (or couldn't care less) about putting their bag in the right way, or insist on putting their small handbag / backpack / laptop bag / jacket in the overhead compartment on a full flight.  If the flight is empty, that's fine but if you can see it's a full flight, the decent thing to do is leave that space for someone with a carry-on - your jacket can live on your lap.  Or on most planes, you can fit your carry-on by placing it on its side with the wheels facing out, which allows for the most efficient use of the overhead space.  Amazing how many people don't stop to think about that.  

    In the end, you'll save yourself time because some hapless passenger won't be wandering around trying to find a space for their bag and delaying take-off.

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  • Flying Fish


    3 Sep, 2014 11:02 am

    Great idea! I would love to see this on EVERY airline! 

    I travel domestically in North America and endure delayed departures all too often caused by passengers being unable to get seated because they're trying to find space for their carry-on in overhead bins crammed with oversized bags!

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  • Dundas


    3 Sep, 2014 02:37 pm

    So what I've seen people doing is flying in groups and checking in separately. One person checks in while his mate hides around the corner with the rest of the bags. Then the first person looks after the bags while the second person checks in. No problems are encountered at check in, and unless the airline wants to police what happens at the gate, there are no further problems, either. Two guys on a recent Air Asia flight from KL to Chiang Mai had four bags each when they boarded, and I'm guessing each would have been close to  or more than the 7 kg allowed ... It made me wonder: why would anyone pay for check luggage when you can do this? 

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  • David Donohue


    3 Sep, 2014 02:46 pm

    must start to build up my shoulder and back muscles so that my 12kn bag still looks like 7kg

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  • Skippybear


    3 Sep, 2014 02:50 pm

    What a **** of a job that would be! I worked with JQ when they first launched. It was horrendous because pax couldn't cope with the 30-minute check-in close; lying on the floor kicking and screaming. It would help if each airline had the same cabin baggage allowance. Currently JQ-10kg, QF 2x7kg, VA 2 pcs total 7kg. It's no wonder people get confused.

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  • Bavarian


    3 Sep, 2014 03:00 pm

    Checking the size is fine. But weighing is just plain ridicolous. QF allowing 7 kg of carry on, BA up to 23 kg - as long as one can put it in the overhead bin himself.

    The overhead bins allow for approx. 78 kg of load - that reads a sign in them.

    7 kg therefore is just abusive. Do the maths: Suitcase 2.5 kg, laptop computer 2.5 kg, book 0.3 kg, some paperwork 0.2 kg - leaves you with 1.5 kg to carry on. That's not even a dress suit.

    It's not the weight that matters, it's the size. So axe does bloody weight limits, go for the BA one (which seems to be safe enough, never heard of carry on incidents over there, nor of any with other airlines offering up to 23 kg).

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  • Mal


    3 Sep, 2014 03:40 pm

    Now this is something all airlines should be doing, rigourously enforcing carry-on limits so we no longer have a few selfish people stealing overhead locker space from the rest of us!

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  • Stevo


    3 Sep, 2014 07:57 pm

    Great news, I've written many leters to airlines re this issue. Why should I check in my bags and pay when selfish people take oversized bags and back packs, it slows the loading unloading while they struggle to put their bags in lockers and get them down when landed then they also don't have to wait at carousel belt like I do. I hope it is inforced for every flight forever. These people are just rude and selfish. I think it is also a safety issue as well. Well done. 

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  • AussieGuest


    3 Sep, 2014 08:35 pm

    After the losses posted recently, the nickel and diming/clawing back of revenue will begin in earnest.

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  • Driveucrazy


    3 Sep, 2014 10:56 pm

    What dopes! Why's it taken so long.......?

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  • gavin carpenter


    4 Sep, 2014 03:52 pm

    About bloody time.

    they should all do it and get together to make it the same rules on all airlines

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  • Peter


    5 Sep, 2014 07:13 am

    Keep it practical like EasyJet and Bristish Airways do, where there are only two rules for carrion baggage:

    1)  the bag must conform to size limitations, which are the current standards for domestic and international travel; and

    2) the weight is unimportant, however each traveller must be able to place it, unassisted into the overhead locker.

    This is a very effective system because it is so easy to understand, but still allows flexibility for the traveller.

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  • Geoff Bryce


    5 Sep, 2014 08:49 am

    Recently was on QF to Melbourne in J. We got on pretty late in boarding and observed when standing at row 2 our overhead bins at row 3 were empty.Two guys walking in front of us, looked down the a/c, saw the flight was quite full and one said, with a smirk to his mate, looking at 'my' overhead bin, "this will do"....I suggested he keep walking, when he turned around to reply, the 'J' FA who must have been watching this, walked between us, took his bag, and walked down the back...Problem solved.

    Last year in South America, the airport baggage police are always in the departure lounges. But, for them not a baggage revenue thing, purely getting the a/c loaded and off on time. There were baggage handlers waiting at the gates to take oversize cabin luggage to the a/c, which was not too bad really, as your late loaded bag was now first off...

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  • Merc25


    7 Oct, 2014 12:50 pm

    for all the above reasons thats why i fly buisiness where availablebut even then i have problems with finding space in overhead lockers as the FA"S  use them for their own personal baggage especialy when siting in row 1

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  • concorde70


    7 Oct, 2014 05:50 pm

    Just a revenue raising ploy!

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  • djb


    7 Oct, 2014 07:27 pm

    I travel a great deal for business, overseas & domesticly & I read in wonder at the vitriolic comments of so many, re carry-on bags. Quite honestly in 30 years travelling for work, I have rarely been really put out or seriously inconvienced by oversized carry on baggage. I've always found space & haven't noticed any late departures because of baggage.

    I wonder if most of the reaction is in fact pettiness dressed up as indignation.

    If a bag is grossly oversized then it is obvious at the check-in or the gate & easily spotted. What we are talking about here is, dispite all the claims otherwise, a grab for cash by the airlines. They are the ones who instituted online check-in to save money by reducing staff & the result is less eyes on luggage at check in. Now they are putting on more staff to spot the so called offeners. I bet they are on commission & will charge for very minor infractions.

    Recently I flew to thailand via singapore on jetstar, I had my carry-on weighed at the check-in counter in perth & it was under weight by .5kg, however, as is jetstar's policy I was forced to exit customs at singapore & re check in. 

    Guess what, the same bag, with the same contents was again weighed at jetstar asia check-in & by some strange transformation it had grown in weight by 1.5kg.

    A cynic might say that this was a scam, a very, very generous person might give the benefit of the doubt.

    The jetstar model is failing, they are reducing flights, the flights are underbooked, so they are using this as a means to increase revenue. Even ryanair the most parsimonious of airlines is softening its mean-spirited approach to their customers.

    What are we becoming?

    Greedy & small minded!

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  • Opto80


    8 Oct, 2014 10:57 am

    I agree with you djb. I have never had a flight delayed due to cabin baggage issues but maybe I am just lucky. I do travel extremely light and my carry on is less than 5kg generally. 

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  • Doubleplatinum


    7 Oct, 2014 08:25 pm

    About time, am sick of seeing bogans trying to play dumb to get away with this

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  • smit0847


    8 Oct, 2014 09:54 am

    What a wonderful job this would be to do!

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  • markpk


    8 Oct, 2014 06:22 pm

    Anybody else get the Qantas survey this week asking for your opion re onboard baggage limits? Seems Qantas may be heading down the same road. 

    As I noted in my survey responses - I would happily check my roll-on bag more often if Qantas and others could sort out the stupidly inefficient offloading to carousel process - in fact, I would pay a fee if Qantas guaranteed me that my bag would be available within 5-10mins of the front door being opened...But alas, the idea that an airline would sign up to a performance guarantee is but a pipe dream..! 

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  • Adam


    8 Oct, 2014 06:35 pm

    Qantas can't even get my bag out on the carousel in the first 100 even when it has a "Priority" tag on it. Haha.

    Agree with most above though... If the size and weight LOOK ok, just let it go. Sounds like most people are just annoyed with the blatant ones like an 85L backpack walking down the aisle. 

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  • markpk


    8 Oct, 2014 09:01 pm

    Don't even start me on that one Adam...I swear across Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, the baggage handlers are deliberately holding back premium/priority bags...

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17 Jul, 2019 09:07 pm


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