Jetstar Is Now Checking If You Exceed Carry-On Baggage Limits At The Gate

Jetstar Is Now Checking If You Exceed Carry-On Baggage Limits At The Gate

We’ve often warned readers that trying to exceed the cabin baggage limits for bargain airlines can be a risky and costly business. Looks like it’s about to become a lot trickier on Jetstar, which is testing out “cabin baggage officers” on major routes.

Australian Business Traveller reports that the new officers will initially operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns, and will check and measure bags when passengers check in. That means you can’t simply use online check-in and hope no-one notices your backpack weighs a lot, or that it’s outside the regulation size limits.

It has always been theoretically possible for a staffer to question your bag as you board, but in reality Jetstar turn-around times for flights are so tight that it doesn’t often happen. Clearly, someone has worked out that the potential income from catching people who break the limits will cover the cost of employing the officers — and make life more pleasant on board for people on board who do stick to the rules.

As we note in our guide to domestic baggage fees, Jetstar has a limit of just two bags on board, and they can’t weigh more than 20kg. If you’re forced to check baggage at the airport and haven’t paid for checked baggage, you’ll pay $70 simply to stow the bag, plus $15 per kilogram for any excess over 15kg. That can make a cheap flight very expensive.

Jetstar cracks down on carry-on baggage limits [Australian Business Traveller]


  • Part of me likes the idea, part of me hates it.

    I like it, because its frustrating as hell trying to store your baggage in the cabin when people have clearly overpacked/oversized carry on.

    I don’t like it, because every now and then I’ve had a return trip where I’m a kilo or two over and I’ve managed to sneak past without having to check it.

    I have been checked by Jetstar numerous times coming out of Melbourne though, they have scales near the desk at the gates and seem to randomly check people.

  • I like this and about time someone started doing it. I was very lucky one year when my laptop was crushed (destroyed) and then later the bag with laptop in it was just taken out and dropped on the cabin floor by a passenger trying to get their HUGE bag in. All because they were idiots and didn’t think about other peoples’ stuff. The airline replaced my laptop and told the passenger’s that their bags cannot be here and they have to pay for them to be put in the cargo hold. One passenger wouldn’t pay so his bags were left at the airport I think

  • If every passenger on an A320 (177-188 seats) of an A330-200 (303 seats) put just a couple of kilos extra in their bags the aircraft could well wind up overloaded. It could even be loaded beyond centre of gravity limits. Either of these scenarios could wind up with everyone on board dead. People really need to take baggage limits seriously, they are not a joke and they are not there to annoy you.

    • If they were really that close to this issue, they wouldn’t let you pay a little extra and bring the crap on anyway.

    • Commercial airlines do not travel so close to their limits that an extra 376-606kg could mean the difference between flying and crashing. This “extra couple of kilos” per passenger could easily be reached simply by having a couple of obese people on board. Baggage limits are there for money-making purposes. Safety has extremely little, if anything, to do with it.

      • Totally there for money-making purposes! People who think we could crash should start weighing people! I’ve been squashed by some overweight people who were too big for their seat and ended up in mine. Can I charge for that inconvenience? Why don’t they make baggage fees cheaper? Remember when it used to be free? Tiger airways is another example of “cheap flights” being a joke. They made a girl throw out everything in her carry-on because she didn’t have money to pay for being over by one kilo! One kilo!!!

    • Yeah, if that’s the case, why don’t they have scales so they can weigh passenger+bag on entry into the aircraft. Say you’re allowed 100kg, then you pay excess baggage over that. If you’re over 100kg, you pay for the extra fuel you cost. If you weigh 55kg, then enjoy up to 45kg of carry-on if you can carry it.

      EzJet has unlimited weight, measured size carry-on lugguage. I’d pay a surcharge to have that with me on the flight.

      Checked baggage isn’t just about the $10 extra, it’s about the 1/2 hour extra you have to wait at the far end to get your laptop.

      • Great idea.
        I’d also like to see how underutilized is the luggage compartment is, thanks to the luggage checkin charges.

      • Tall guy here. My optimum weight is in the low 90’s, and I’d be classed as a ‘healthy BMI’ at 100kg or more.

        While I understand the logical simplicity behind what you’re saying (and for all I know it could be legal), it kind of amounts to discrimination. Sometimes weighing more is pretty hard to change.

      • And more fuel means even more weight! So more fuel is needed to cater to that extra weight.
        The weight increases exponentially, while profits decrease.

  • Quite frankly nothing with Jetstar surprises me. I have only had one interaction with this inept airline and will never ever ever fly with them again. I was so insensed with the moronic behaviour of its staff that I called QANTAS to try and see if any sense could be made only to be told that they new Jetstar was a basket case but couldn’t help. Notwithstanding I am a Qantas Club member on my last trip I flew Virgin Business class and loved it. Good bye Qantas and Jetstar!

  • About bloody time. When I flew as a kid they used to check everything at the gate. While recently travelling I watched people try to cram obviously oversized bags into the overheads to the point where the flight was held up while the hosties tried to sort out the mess.
    I like South African Airways’ approach where if you end up at the bottom of the stairs with a bag that obviously isn’t going to fit, they take it off you there and then, put it underneath and then wait for it on the tarmac at the other end.

  • On one hand, I do see a lot of (usually) older women with oversized wheelies and a bag, trying to cram both in the overhead, and taking more than their share of space. On the other… I’m a poor backpacker type and frequently carry a frame backpack on board to save check-in fees, which are under the weight limit, but can be disqualified by dimension (narrow, but tall).

  • I’m curious if anyone knows if JetStar’s carry-on crackdown is playing out solely on domestic flights, leaving international gates without the hassles?

  • Take a lesson from America! If it’s too big to fly, then they have you check it for free at the gate. Used to think this was annoying, but now think Australia just likes to charge for anything. Hello, tomato sauce should be free!

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