I’ve been prompted to return to a draft post first started back in 2017. Back then I was a weekly FIFO warrior spending a week away will within the Qantas carry on luggage allowance. Yes, less than 7 kg, including medical, dental, IT and some meals. At the time I was always amazed at the absolutely ludicrous ways that other passengers absolutely failed to store they luggage in the overhead lockers, it was like they could only see 2 dimensions.
I’m sure many are rolling their eyes are people who fly weekly with hand luggage only. Those suits who clog up the works and all, and I agree there are some people who do clog up everything. This post is about how to not be that person. Some maths on why carry on only is important for FIFO. Occasionally I did check in luggage to go to work. The minimum wait time for luggage to arrive at the baggage carousel was 30 minutes. Multiple that out twice a week for 50 weeks, and you get 50 hours standing around waiting for luggage. More than a full working week wasted.
However, times have changed, I no longer do weekly FIFO and Qantas have just announced changes to the carry on luggage baggage allowance. Qantas always had a fairly complex arrangement between luggage dimensions and weight and number of pieces. The short story, at least for domestic flights, is make sure your bags are less than 105cm.
What does 105cm mean? Basically just add up the length width and height of the bag in cm, then you got it. You can have upto 115 cm in a bag, but only 1 bag. Qantas will allow 2 bags that are 105 cm. Yeah! That’s strange, much much more than 1 bag of 115 cm.
1 x 115cm bag = 56cm + 36cm + 23cm
Up to 10 kg
The other factor is the weight, the new rules say max 14kg and 1 bag can be upto 10 kg. So if you have 1x 115 cm then 10 kg. 2x 105 cm then you can have 14 kg in luggage. Plus, of course, your small personal item – laptop bag/handbag. I’m not even going to get into the 185 cm garment bag…
You can find all the nitty gritty direct from #Qantas. Although, I note the CSM on my morning flight on Friday got the new carry-on rules wrong, telling us the new rule is 2 bags one at 10 kg, and the other at 4 kg. So no mention of bag dimensions, but not if you have 2x 105 cm bags you can still have them both at 7 kg. The second bag does not have a 4 kg limit. Maybe, just maybe, the Qantas rules are a bit complex.
Virgin Australia pretty much match Qantas for the luggage dimensions, but you’re limited to 7 kg max.
This gets me on to the bugbear from my FIFO days, once you’re on the plane you have to stow that hand luggage in the minimum space possible. Maybe I should say use all the space, the overhead lockers have height. There is usually at least one person who jumps on with their little laptop satchel bag and just puts it into the overhead locker laying down. Stand it up, then you don’t take a big footprint with empty air that could be used by a larger bag.
Actually, I had 2 main bugbears about carry on luggage. The other one was #VirginAustralia crew putting their luggage into the locks above row 3 in economy. Row 3 is the front of the economy section, and is frequently occupied by people who spend some money on flying. It is also one of the rows where everything has to go into the overhead lockers, but there is limited space available as the crew are militant in stopping economy riff raft from using the business overheads. Naturally, the overhead lockers are the best place for Crew to dump their carry on luggage.
I had a whole heap of examples of other outrageous carry on luggage that I saw over 8 years of weekly flying. There was the suitcase that someone rolled on once, it was at least as tall as my legs. Unfortunately all the pictures seem to have disappeared.
I would implore readers to be very careful with their carry on luggage choices. Rollie Bags should be avoided at all cost as the empty weight starts at about 2-3 kg. You’re throwing away a big chunk of your carry on allowance. I travel with a soft carry bag that is 105 cm and lets me pack all my stuff within a 7 kg limit, plus the previously pictured laptop bag.
Everyone is different and some people must have a wheelie bag just to be able to travel. Once you’re on the aircraft I will just ask you to make sure you carefully use the overhead locker space. Maybe practice some Tetris!!! You know that game from the 1990s…