Weighing all wheelie cases

Old Dec 2, 18, 4:09 pm
  #1  
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Weighing all wheelie cases

Well I think I have had my last Qants flight ending on Friday. Departing Melbourne the cabin manager has been weighing all wheelie carry on cases. If they are above 7 kg they have to be checked in. Apparently itís because of injuries to staff.
I do around 40 to 50 flights a year and always put my case in the shelving above. And I can catogrically say I canno remember the last time I saw a flight attendant do it for a passenger.
from here on in if this is the practice Virgin will get my business.
Waiting for the baggage to arrive for 20-30 minutes is rubbish when you are on business.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 4:52 pm
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Welcome to FT.

I presume you know that on Qantas domestic Jet services, you are entitled to have up to two 105cm bags and a personal item, none of which can weigh more than 7Kg all up.

This really gives you something over 15Kg as carryon.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 5:28 pm
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Qantas's website is explicitly clear on what the maximum weight is for cabin baggage; if you took overweight cabin baggage , then that is your fault and the staff were perfectly correct in requiring it to be checked in

That you have got away with it a lot of times has no relevance

Virgin also has published limits too and you may have occasion where Virgin staff do the same , so be prepared with a 3rd carrier to use for when that happens
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Old Dec 2, 18, 7:01 pm
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The issue is the new interiors on the 737s, which have the pivoting overhead lockers needing to be manually pushed up by cabin crew, as opposed to just lids being closed on the older cabins.

This can take two cabin crew to push closed, especially if they are short. If they are doing lots of short flights in a single day, i can see how they could cause injury. You might put your bag in the locker, but the crew close them. Not an issue on the A320s or A330 but these new pivoting bins are not ideal for the crew to close.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jrfsp320 View Post
The issue is the new interiors on the 737s, which have the pivoting overhead lockers needing to be manually pushed up by cabin crew, as opposed to just lids being closed on the older cabins.

This can take two cabin crew to push closed, especially if they are short. If they are doing lots of short flights in a single day, i can see how they could cause injury. You might put your bag in the locker, but the crew close them. Not an issue on the A320s or A330 but these new pivoting bins are not ideal for the crew to close.

A cursory Google search on overhead bin design indicates that such are usually equipped with lift assisting mechanisms. These can lower the required effort when closing the bins (e.g. a 40 kg load effectively can become a 10kg load according to the ITT Control Technologies website). If crew cannot muster the strength for such a load they are not fit enough for the safety tasks that might be required of them (e.g. opening overwing exits)

QF tested the pivot design through their Project Amber some years ago - it would be incompetent if the OH&S aspects of such bins were not fully tested and assessed.

IME QF cabin crew are very reluctant to lift individual carry on items into the bins and mostly leave that task to the passenger.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Platy View Post
A cursory Google search on overhead bin design indicates that such are usually equipped with lift assisting mechanisms. These can lower the required effort when closing the bins (e.g. a 40 kg load effectively can become a 10kg load according to the ITT Control Technologies website). If crew cannot muster the strength for such a load they are not fit enough for the safety tasks that might be required of them (e.g. opening overwing exits)

QF tested the pivot design through their Project Amber some years ago - it would be incompetent if the OH&S aspects of such bins were not fully tested and assessed.

IME QF cabin crew are very reluctant to lift individual carry on items into the bins and mostly leave that task to the passenger.
It is not the staff's job to lift passengers items and put them in the compartments. istr hearing that they are not even covered for imjuries that occur if they ignore the advice not to do so - if it isn't their role to lift the bags, I can see why they would be reluctant to do so

Regardless of impact to difficulty closimg the cpmpartment doors, the airline specifies a weight limit and the passenger exceeded it - the issue seems to be that not all staff are enforcing it ; if they were, then the OP would have had the problem resolved 50 flights * years ago and be taking bags 7kg or lighter
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Old Dec 2, 18, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Qantas's website is explicitly clear on what the maximum weight is for cabin baggage; if you took overweight cabin baggage , then that is your fault and the staff were perfectly correct in requiring it to be checked in

That you have got away with it a lot of times has no relevance

Virgin also has published limits too and you may have occasion where Virgin staff do the same , so be prepared with a 3rd carrier to use for when that happens

Rules may be rules, but their application requires competency and may have a downside.

There are sound reasons for not enforcing the weight limits too strictly:

1. The weigh scales at the gate will have some degree of error in their accuracy - the passenger should not be penalised if their carry on falls within such range of expected error
2. The weigh scales may not be used competently - for example if the load is not distributed horizontally - the passenger should not be penalised for mishandling of the scales
3. The weigh scales may not be "zeroed" properly so that readings may be consistent, but not accurate - the passenger should not be penalised for inaccurate results
4. The passenger may weigh their carry on in good faith on their own bathroom scales, which for many reasons may not themselves provide a reading aligning with that of the QF scales - a passenger who is trying to follow the rules ends up being penalised
5. A passenger may have one carry on item, but be allowed two at 7kg - their one carry on item could be over 7kg and under 14kg meaning they are within the overall limit, but still technically in breach
6. QF will quite simply piss off a lot of its customers since many will inevitably perceive the policy as overly draconian, especially if they are only over the 7kg by a reasonable margin ("reasonable" being as they would perceive it)
7. The airline is creating more work and delays by diverting bags to the hold from the gate

IIRC QF used to have a 10kg limit (?).

JQ as of fairly recently will now allow an upgrade to a 10kg by purchasing the 3kg.

How long until QF follows the JQ model and we'll realise this was just step one of a revenue raising gambit by an airline with a CEO with an LCC mindset.

IF JQ cabin crew can cope with 10kg carry on, then so can QF (given that the 737 bins are load assisted)!

Last edited by Platy; Dec 2, 18 at 8:48 pm
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Old Dec 2, 18, 8:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It is not the staff's job to lift passengers items and put them in the compartments. istr hearing that they are not even covered for imjuries that occur if they ignore the advice not to do so - if it isn't their role to lift the bags, I can see why they would be reluctant to do so

Regardless of impact to difficulty closing the cpmpartment doors, the airline specifies a weight limit and the passenger exceeded it - the issue seems to be that not all staff are enforcing it ; if they were, then the OP would have had the problem resolved 50 flights * years ago and be taking bags 7kg or lighter
I'm not suggesting that QF crew be required to lift personal carry on items as the norm. IMHO individuals should be taking responsibility for their own items. That said, it would be entirely reasonable for them to help in some classes - I used to travel with someone in a wheelchair for example; Mrs Platy is short and can struggle to get her bag into an overhead bin on some aircraft (although I'm usually there to help).

That QF has changed their practice after years of apparently being functionally operational under their previous regime of (non) enforcement will only serve to increase the perception that they are behaving unreasonably in the eyes of many - taking a LCC stance rather than a mature full service airline one...

QF has to operate in the real world and assess the impact of its decisions on passengers of varying perceptions!

There as also a practical reality that a 7kg limit is very difficult to pack within compared with a 10kg one.

(PS. I have some sympathy for your position - most of us wouldn't want to end up with the US style situation - I'm talking about a sensible mid point, which I don't think was lacking in Australia previously: cue airline cash grab).

Last edited by Platy; Dec 2, 18 at 8:47 pm
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Old Dec 2, 18, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Platy View Post
I'm not suggesting that QF crew be required to lift personal carry on items as the norm. IMHO individuals should be taking responsibility for their own items. That said, it would be entirely reasonable for them to help in some classes - I used to travel with someone in a wheelchair for example; Mrs Platy is short and can struggle to get her bag into an overhead bin on some aircraft (although I'm usually there to help).
The risk of injury is not reduced when lifting 1st class passengers luggage though


Originally Posted by Platy View Post
That QF has changed their practice after years of apparently being functionally operational under their previous regime of (non) enforcement will only serve to increase the perception that they are behaving unreasonably in the eyes of many - taking a LCC stance rather than a mature full service airline one...

QF has to operate in the real world and assess the impact of its decisions on passengers of varying perceptions!

There as also a practical reality that a 7kg limit is very difficult to pack within compared with a 10kg one.
And therein lies the problem - becuase many staff want to avoi confrontation and have an easy life, there has been poor enforcement of clearly publicised rules, to the level that poor teddy becomes the innocent victim as he is propelled from the pram when an agent does do their job

If unable to pack to 7kg, QF does offer at least 23kg luggage allowance to all passengers and also has , ime, a pretty decent speed for luggage delivery to baggage reclaim




Originally Posted by Platy View Post
(PS. I have some sympathy for your position - most of us wouldn't want to end up with the US style situation - I'm talking about a sensible mid point, which I don't think was lacking in Australia previously: cue airline cash grab).
Except the sensible mid point always seems to be , where rules apply - "that which I want to take is reasonable, so the limit should be set there"

With proper enforcement of size /weight , there is ime, quicker boarding and disembarkation ( as people no longer need to get their steamer trunks down and carried out ) and no issue with overhead space; can happily board last and not have to worry about whether can get bag overhead

I have no desire to board an aeroplane 30 minutes before departure, just to be confident of finding space nearby
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Old Dec 2, 18, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Sages View Post
Well I think I have had my last Qants flight ending on Friday. Departing Melbourne the cabin manager has been weighing all wheelie carry on cases. If they are above 7 kg they have to be checked in. Apparently itís because of injuries to staff.
I do around 40 to 50 flights a year and always put my case in the shelving above. And I can catogrically say I canno remember the last time I saw a flight attendant do it for a passenger.
from here on in if this is the practice Virgin will get my business.
Waiting for the baggage to arrive for 20-30 minutes is rubbish when you are on business.
Don't exceed the explicit weight restrictions, and you won't have an issue!
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Old Dec 2, 18, 9:25 pm
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The frustrating thing about the 7 kg limit is the inconsistency with other airlines. Why do some not stipulate a weight limit but others do - and these are variable? The lockers are load rated across the board and AFAIK not load rated to a specific operator. JJ a few years ago stipulated a 5 kg limit for their carry ons. Does this therefore mean QF is unsafe because they are more than someone elseís limit? QF canít play the ďsafetyĒ card when there are inconsistencies elsewhere.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by og View Post
The frustrating thing about the 7 kg limit is the inconsistency with other airlines. Why do some not stipulate a weight limit but others do - and these are variable? The lockers are load rated across the board and AFAIK not load rated to a specific operator. JJ a few years ago stipulated a 5 kg limit for their carry ons. Does this therefore mean QF is unsafe because they are more than someone else’s limit? QF can’t play the “safety” card when there are inconsistencies elsewhere.
Are you saying that a falling object with a mass of 5kg is no less safe than a falling object of 23kg?

Whether the compartment can take it is one issue - and I m not sure whether all have the same weight rating but there is also the issue of items dropping out of open containers

Any item falling is a risk - there is no reason to assume that every country/airline has the same levels of risks that it wants to take

If travelling on a multicarrier itinerary, then prepare for the most restrictive alowance ; it is no more inconsistent than how checked allowances vary from airline to airline and even vary on route within one airline.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 9:45 pm
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As has been discussed elsewhere; many even lightweight cabin bags weigh between 2.5 and 4kg on their own which doesn't leave an awful lot of weight space for all those valuable electronic bits and pieces and other non-hold valuables you need to carry.

Most of my Australian domestic travel these days is at the end/start of a long haul flight and my carry on weighs 4kg empty and often over 7kg when filled with electronics - iPad, phone, chargers, +/- camera if I'm bringing the DSLR, book, papers, drugs, emergency clothes (for when the luggage doesn't make it - more often than you may imagine), passports and currency - none of which I want hold checked.

What a pain to have to lug around two carry-on now... but it seems that is what we will have to do.

And as I'm usually in row 1, you can thank me for filling row 2's overhead bin with my two pieces as there is no under the seat and the row 1 bins are now crew only.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Platy View Post
Rules may be rules, but their application requires competency and may have a downside.

There are sound reasons for not enforcing the weight limits too strictly:

1. The weigh scales at the gate will have some degree of error in their accuracy - the passenger should not be penalised if their carry on falls within such range of expected error
2. The weigh scales may not be used competently - for example if the load is not distributed horizontally - the passenger should not be penalised for mishandling of the scales
3. The weigh scales may not be "zeroed" properly so that readings may be consistent, but not accurate - the passenger should not be penalised for inaccurate results
4. The passenger may weigh their carry on in good faith on their own bathroom scales, which for many reasons may not themselves provide a reading aligning with that of the QF scales - a passenger who is trying to follow the rules ends up being penalised
5. A passenger may have one carry on item, but be allowed two at 7kg - their one carry on item could be over 7kg and under 14kg meaning they are within the overall limit, but still technically in breach
6. QF will quite simply piss off a lot of its customers since many will inevitably perceive the policy as overly draconian, especially if they are only over the 7kg by a reasonable margin ("reasonable" being as they would perceive it)
7. The airline is creating more work and delays by diverting bags to the hold from the gate

IIRC QF used to have a 10kg limit (?).

JQ as of fairly recently will now allow an upgrade to a 10kg by purchasing the 3kg.

How long until QF follows the JQ model and we'll realise this was just step one of a revenue raising gambit by an airline with a CEO with an LCC mindset.

IF JQ cabin crew can cope with 10kg carry on, then so can QF (given that the 737 bins are load assisted)!
Your points 1,2,3 make sense... but I am not aware the OP was talking about a carry on that was within the sort of error range you describe there. Can I use your point 4 if Im booked for speeding? MY speedo said I was OK? Just kidding...that is another good point, again, NOT what I see the OP as talking about. None of those situations will lead to you having a 10 or 15kg carry on if you were actually trying for 7.
Point 5? True..... but the rules are not hard to find.
Point 6? We have a choice of airlines to fly with. Note VA says 7kg Total while allowing 2 carry ons…which is of course worse.....and a thread this year on The AustralianFrequentFlyer was talking about identical policing of carry ons by VA. So on an AIRLINE level in Australia enforcement appears to have some consistency to it.
Point 7. I agree...but clearly QF feels the "opportunity cost" is worth it, and it IS their decision to make.
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Old Dec 2, 18, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Are you saying that a falling object with a mass of 5kg is no less safe than a falling object of 23kg?

Whether the compartment can take it is one issue - and I m not sure whether all have the same weight rating but there is also the issue of items dropping out of open containers

Any item falling is a risk - there is no reason to assume that every country/airline has the same levels of risks that it wants to take

If travelling on a multicarrier itinerary, then prepare for the most restrictive alowance ; it is no more inconsistent than how checked allowances vary from airline to airline and even vary on route within one airline.

My understanding was that the pivot bin design was supposed to lower the risk of items dropping out of overhead bins (items are "cupped" into place). In that case the need to reduce the weight of individual items is of less relevance (comparing say 10kg with 7kg).
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