Baggage blues: too much luggage on flights has flyers furious



We’ve seen it time and time again, boarding a flight only to find massive bags bulging out of control from the overhead bins. You try the next bin – full. Your bag ends up 7 rows deep from where you’re sitting or jammed beneath your seat. Can someone say ‘hashtag – uncomfortable!’

“On my way from Hobart to Sydney on Monday night after a long weekend I was shocked at the size, weight and number of carry-on luggage items people were trying to cram on a two-hour flight,” so says frequent flyer Will Overman.

“There was even an announcement on the flight asking 10 people to volunteer to have their hand luggage stowed underneath because the overhead lockers were so over-crowded, he said”

What the heck is going on?

Truthfully, now that checked baggage fees are raging like a wildfire, many flyers have decided to consolidate; not their ‘stuff’ just their bags into one, making their carry-on luggage look the size of a baby elephant.

Did you know if you’re flying via Jetstar, the airline may charge you up to $160 to check your bags? With Tiger Air, it’s upwards of $85.

Latest to hit Twitter, is a movement to end the carry-on insanity by embarrassing flyers with oversized luggage.

Spud Hilton, an reporter from San Francisco, has jump started the campaign and it seems to be gaining popularity on social media.

Numerous travellers have begun posting their dismay on Twitter, with passengers who shamelessly hold the over head bins hostage with their gi-normous bags.



A representative for Tiger Air says it’s imperative that travellers adhere to the rules. Additionally, they are confident that employees are weighing all luggage to enforce their weight limits.

“We need to be strict about carry-on luggage weight and size restrictions to enable them to fit into our overhead lockers and for safety reasons. Therefore the carry-on luggage restrictions are never compromised.”

The rep held: “Our staff will check at the check in counter and also at the boarding gate to ensure the policy is applied correctly.”

A representative for Qantas has spoken out and said large carry-on baggage can be a problem for other flyers.

“It’s really important that passengers comply with the requirements for carry-on baggage. The restrictions on size mean that everyone gets a fair allocation of space on board the aircraft. They also help speed up the boarding process so that our flights can depart on time – which is especially important over the busy Christmas period,” the rep said.

Too much luggage isn’t just a pain in the neck, it’s also very unsafe, this according to the Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA).

The organization was so alarmed by the situation; it began its own movement to end the insanity of over-sized carry-ons.

Their website says: “Cabin baggage is one of the most common causes of injury to cabin crew and also to come customer service/ground staff. Some of these injuries have been career ending.

“There are also the issues of stress and pressure on crew to stow excessive cabin baggage which often results in being abused by passengers.”

Tag teaming on the concerns, Australia’s aviation watchdog, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said large pieces of luggage in the overhead bins is very hazardous specifically during an emergency: “In an accident, the more baggage on board, the greater the likelihood of baggage compartments spilling open, and the greater the chance of injury from flying objects. Evacuation times are slowed by baggage cluttering aisles.”

Vast concerns have driven the FAAA to unite with the Australian Services Union to lobby CASA, WorkCover establishments and airlines to enforce the regulations set in place to accommodate and protect passengers.

Check out carry on limits for Australian airlines:


Two bags allowed, each weighing 7kg for domestic flights and one for international. Note the size restrictions here.

Virgin Australia

Up to two pieces of luggage weighing a total of 7kg, as well as a personal item such as a computer or purse.

Tiger Air

Up to 10kg of carry-on luggage and two bags are free, just as long as they each don’t exceed the dimensions of 54cm X 38cm X 23cm.


One piece of luggage is allowed and another small item weighing a total of 10kg.

About Author

Tracee Tuesday

Tracee Tuesday is a travel writer, radio and television personality.Her mission is to inspire, inform and equip you with information necessary to experience the most amazing trips that are fun, affordable and culturally broadening.In her pastime, Tracee enjoys: white water rafting, astrobiology, zoology, traveling, music, horseback riding, and is an all-out foodie.