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]