Carry on clamping: Baggage crackdown leads our wrap of check in news

All Australian domestic passengers can expect to have their cabin bags weighed before boarding from Monday, as airlines unite to manage oversized carry on.

Virgin Australia says passengers should expect to have their cabin bags weighed at various points in their journey, including at the check-in desk and the boarding gate, to ensure they comply with the 7kg limit.

The move comes in response to flight delays and injuries caused by crew struggling to manage oversized cabin baggage.

Passengers with bags weighing more than 7kg will now have to stow them in the cargo hold with other checked luggage.

The move brings Virgin Australia into line with Qantas, which last week announced it would start weighing bags to enforce its 7kg limit rules.

Low-cost carriers Tigerair Australia and Jetstar already use scales.

The industry-wide approach is being supported by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and applies to domestic passengers.

Virgin Australia and Qantas will boost their resources at airport terminals from next Monday, December 17, as the crackdown comes into full effect.

“As an industry, we’re seeing many passengers trying to bring everything but the kitchen sink on domestic flights, which is causing flight delays as well as safety issues for cabin crew, ground crew and passengers,” Virgin Australia general manager of ground operations Paul Woosnam said in a statement.

“We’re seeing injuries to our cabin crew caused by closing overhead lockers full of heavy baggage, shifting bags in overhead lockers to assist guests finding space and assisting passengers with lifting their bags into the overhead compartments.

“Some of these injuries can be quite significant and may result in the crew member being unable to work for a period of time.”

Meanwhile, The Gold Coast’s new Ruby Apartments are looking to smooth their own check-in systems with the introduction of an Australian first.

Its Enzosystems hospitality kiosks offer a full check in and check out experience.

CEO David Brook said: “The Enzosystems hospitality kiosks are our new front desk. There’s no longer a need for a full reception desk, as these systems offer a complete check-in and check-out process.

“Our lobby area houses a circular check-in desk with six check in stations where guests are guided through a self-check-in process with the help of our fully trained Ruby ambassadors.

“Guests are no longer required to wait in line filling in mountains of paperwork, including information that has already been provided when booking.

“All information is entered into our check-in system at the time of booking, which means that guests check time is much faster, and they can start enjoying their holiday as quickly as possible.”

The Enzosysystem hospitality kiosks hand out room keys and eases guest payments at time of check-out. They can be used by visitors who arrive without a booking, the kiosks housing updated information on what rooms are available at any given time.

Across the pond, crisis talks are under way to try to prevent a three-day strike by Air New Zealand engineers which would throw the Christmas holiday plans of some 100,000 travellers into chaos.

The Aviation and Marine Engineers Association and E tū confirmed on Tuesday they had issued full-day strike notices for December 21, 22, and 23.

The national carrier says the strike could seriously disrupt the holiday plans of domestic and international visitors, with negotiators on both sides committing to working around the clock to try to reach a settlement.

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