Cabin bag crackdown: Jetstar to reduce cabin baggage limit to seven kilograms from 10 kilograms

Jetstar is set to reduce its carry-on baggage limit from 10 kilograms to seven kilograms for economy passengers as part of a crackdown on overweight cabin baggage and overcrowding of overhead bins.

The new allowance limit will apply to all domestic and international flights booked from October 28 for flights departing from 25 November 2014.

Once the new limit kicks in, economy passengers will be allowed to bring one main item of carry-on baggage and one other small item, with a total combined weight of up to seven kilograms. 

Business passengers will be allowed to bring two main items of carry-on baggage, so long as each item doesn't exceed seven kilograms. This was previously 10 kilograms per item for business class passengers.

Jetstar will still permit customers with existing bookings made before 28 October to bring up to 10 kilograms (economy) or up to 20 kilograms (business) on board.

The news follows the introduction of Jetstar cabin baggage officers who are enforcing the airline's carry-on size and weight limits at five airports: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast airports as part of a six-month trial. Jetstar cabin baggage officers started in all five ports on Monday 13 October 2014.

Passengers can expect to pay a $50 fee if their cabin baggage exceeds the weight and height limits and has to be checked at the gate on domestic flights, and $160 charge on international flights. 

According to Jetstar the changes are part of the airline's ongoing strategy to improve flight experience on board its planes. A spokesperson said the airline had received a lot feedback from frustrated customers who complained there was not enough room on the overhead cabin lockers. 

"Ultimately, the introduction of the cabin baggage officers and the carry-on policy change are both working toward the same goal. They're about ensuring everyone gets their fair allocation of overhead locker space as well as enabling us to board flights as safely and efficiently as possible," the Jetstar spokesperson told Traveller.

The reduction in weight allowances brings Jetstar into line with several other airlines. Virgin Australia and Qantas also have a seven-kilogram limit on carry-on baggage, though Qantas allows two carry-on bags of up to seven kilograms each on most domestic flights.

Rival airline Tigerair Australia is also cracking down on passengers who bend its carry-on baggage rules, introducing stricter measures for carry-on baggage since September 18. Tigerair now allows passengers to carry a maximum of two carry-on bags free of charge provided they do not have a combined weight of more than 10 kilograms.

The hassle of carry-on baggage became a huge global issue when airlines introduced new baggage charges back in 2008.

Jetstar's new carry-on baggage restrictions

From November 25, Jetstar's carry-on baggage restrictions for all Economy Starter, Starter Plus and Starter Max passengers will be one main item (56cm height x 36 cm width x 23 cm dimension) and one other small item, with a total combined weight of up to  seven kilograms. For business class passengers, it will be two main items, as long as each item does not exceed seven kilograms, with a total combined carry-on baggage weight of up to 14kg. 

There are no changes in fees for check-in bags. They remain $15.50 for baggage of up to 15kg and $16.50 for baggage of up to 20kg, at time of booking, one-way. Fees for baggage checked-in at the airport, will cost Jetstar passengers $70 for up to 15kg of checked baggage, and $15 for every additional kilo after that. Passengers who have to check in their carry-on bags at the gate will have to pay a fee of $50 on domestic flights and $160 on international flights. 

Other airlines with a 7kg carry-on baggage weight restriction in economy include Virgin Australia, AirAsia X, Air New Zealand, Lion Air and Scoot.